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 of that, 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 32 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 153 out of 215 times for a 71.2% 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 160 out on 238 occasions for a 67.2% success rate.
Here is a look at the overall records for teams in each Category since 1990. Note the % column is geared towards my hypothesis. The percentage for teams that pulled more upsets is the weaker and same record divided by the total. For example, there have been 11 teams that have pulled 5 Net Upsets (5 more upset wins than upset losses) the previous year in the last 20 years and of those 11 teams, 9 had a weaker record the next year for an 81.8% success rate for this article.
Once we get to the negative numbers those are teams that had more upset losses than upset wins and this article is saying that those teams will improve their record. There have been 14 teams since 2000 that had -5 Upsets the previous year and 11 of those teams improved their record and two had a weaker record with one the same record for a 86%% success rate for this article.
Now here are the top teams for 2023. Here is the Going Up Category or teams that had 3 of more Net Upset Losses last year. These teams all have a 70% chance of improving their record with Oklahoma, Northern Illinois and App St all having a 85% chance or better.
GOING UP – Teams with 3+ Upset Losses last year
Northern Illinois -5
Appalachian St -5
Iowa State -3
Wake Forest -3
San Jose St -3
Central Michigan -3
Florida Atlantic -3
GOING DOWN Teams that benefitted from 3+ upset last year
Middle Tenn +4
Georgia Southern +3
Florida International +3
Ohio U +3
Eastern Michigan +3
South Carolina +3
Texas Tech +3
You can get the complete list on Phil Steele Plus FBS Info.
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