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College Football Rankings and Market Efficiency

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Abstract

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.

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File URL: http://cowles.econ.yale.edu/P/cd/d13b/d1381.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University in its series Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers with number 1381.

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Length: 23 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2002
Date of revision: Mar 2005
Publication status: Published in Journal of Sports Economics, February 2007, 3-18
Handle: RePEc:cwl:cwldpp:1381

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Postal: Cowles Foundation, Yale University, Box 208281, New Haven, CT 06520-8281 USA

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Keywords: Football rankings; Predictive information;

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Cited by:
  1. Trevon D. Logan, 2007. "Whoa, Nellie! Empirical Tests of College Football's Conventional Wisdom," NBER Working Papers 13596, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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