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"College Football Rankings and Market Efficiency,"
(with John F. Oster),
Journal of Sports Economics, February 2007, 3-18.
pdf file (689 KB).
The results in this paper show that various college football ranking
systems have useful independent information for predicting the outcomes
of games. Optimal weights for the systems are estimated, and the use of these
weights produces a predictive system that is more accurate than any of
the individual systems. The results also provide a fairly precise
estimate of the size of the home field advantage. These results may
be of interest to the Bowl Championship Series in choosing which teams to
play in the national championship game.
The results also show, however, that none of the systems, including the
optimal combination, contains any useful information that is not in the final
Las Vegas point spread.
It is argued in the paper that this is a fairly strong
test of the efficiency of the college football betting market.