Upset Meter


A couple of years ago, I was wondering if there was any value in predicting future success/failure for teams that pulled a bunch of upsets a year prior and on the flip side teams that were upset numerous times in the previous year. My hypothesis going into my research was that teams that pulled many upsets the previous year would be overvalued and see their record get weaker the following year, as teams would take them more seriously and the experts in Las Vegas would adjust their lines. Similarly, teams that were upset numerous times as favorites the previous year would be undervalued and would see their record improve. The results coincided with my original predictions as in the last 22 years, teams that pulled 3 or more NET upsets (upset wins minus upset losses) the previous year have seen their record get weaker or stay the same 126 out of 168 times for a 75% success rate. On the opposite end, teams that had a -3 or more net upsets the previous year have seen their record improve or stay the same on 125 out on 187 occasions for a 66.9% success rate.

Here is a look at the overall records for teams in each Category since 1990

Teams off season with +7 or more Net Upsets.

 

Now here is a look at this what the teams did last year. Those that pulled the most upsets are listed as + Upsets and likely headed for a weaker season. Those that were upset the most last year are likely headed for stronger seasons. Those are the teams that I have listed at the top and the negative numbers means their upset losses outnumbered their upset wins by that total. Last year Miami Florida was an underachiever as they had 5 Losses as a favorite and 0 wins as a Dog for a -5 Net Upsets. Manny Diaz steps into a pretty good situation for 2019. On the flip side there were five teams that were PLUS three or more Net Upsets last year. Charlotte, Wake Forest and Northwestern were all plus 4 Net Upsets and Pitt and Coastal Carolina were +3 New Upsets and only 33% of the time has a team in that category managed to improve their records. Hats off to Butch Davis of FIU whose team last year was +5 Net Upsets in 2017 but became the first in that category to actually improve their record the next year.