Boyd's World-> The College Baseball Ratings Page-> External Factor Index About the author, Boyd Nation

The College Baseball Ratings Page
External Factor Index

The playing field's not level. We all know that, at some level or another, some teams have advantages that have nothing to do with the players or the coaching staff. They're not morally wrong for having those advantages or anything, but we all know that our team could win it all if not for those dirty warm-weather, football-rich, big, public schools, right?

Here, I'm presenting some work done to try to quantify those advantages. As a basis for comparison, I've used the combined ISR's from the 1999 through 2001 seasons as a measure of team performance. Then I've taken a number of different numerical factors which might affect baseball results and tested them to see if there is a correlation between those factors and the ISR's. For those factors, I've combined them into a number which I call the External Factor Index, or EFI.

The factors which go into the EFI in its present form include the monthly average temperature and precipitation, enrollment, average tuition, wins over each of the last five years by the football (1-A only) and basketball teams, and conference revenue for the 1997-1998 year. There are, of course, other factors which could be included, overall athletic budget most notable among them, but I am, of course, limited to data that I can actually obtain.

In addition, beginning in 2000, I was able to add some data on academic standards -- the school's reported applicant acceptance rate, average high school GPA of the student body, and a couple of measures of standardized academic test scores.

The correlation between the EFI and the ISR for the data sets that I'm using comes to approximately .82. In crude terms, that means that, on average, roughly 2/3 of a team's success can be explained by factors not under their control. This is not intended to say that the efforts of the people involved don't matter; it's just intended to point out how hard it can be to overcome those obstacles -- folks like Wichita State and Rice deserve a good bit of praise.

Sorted by Team
Sorted by EFI
Sorted by Three-Year ISR
Sorted by Difference

Boyd's World-> The College Baseball Ratings Page-> External Factor Index About the author, Boyd Nation