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College Football Rankings and Market Efficiency

Author

Listed:
  • Ray C. Fair

    (Yale University)

  • John F. Oster

    (Stanford University)

Abstract

The results in this article 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 that this is a fairly strong test of the efficiency of the college football betting market.

Suggested Citation

  • Ray C. Fair & John F. Oster, 2007. "College Football Rankings and Market Efficiency," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 8(1), pages 3-18, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:jospec:v:8:y:2007:i:1:p:3-18
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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.
    2. Trandel Gregory A & Maxcy Joel G, 2011. "Adjusting Winning-Percentage Standard Deviations and a Measure of Competitive Balance for Home Advantage," Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports, De Gruyter, vol. 7(1), pages 1-17, January.
    3. Radek Janhuba, 2016. "Do Victories and Losses Matter? Effects of Football on Life Satisfaction," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp579, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    football rankings; market efficiency;

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