How to contact me

If you need to contact me, I can be reached at ratings at Unfortunately, I cannot respond to every message I receive. (This operation is literally just me. There is no customer support team here.) This is especially true during February and March. You will have a better chance of a response if you keep your messages brief. Please see if your question is answered below.

How are your ratings calculated?

The ratings are a proprietary algorithm, so I don't reveal the exact formula. However, I've discussed various aspects of the system over the years. This is a good place to start.

What does [this abbreviation] mean? How is it calculated?

Please check out the help links, labeled 'help' or with a '?', on the page in question for more information. If that doesn't answer your question, then absolutely drop me a line.

Where do you get your data?

STATS LLC supplies the box score and schedule data. Play-by-play data is gathered from the NCAA. If you need a list of scores to feed your own ratings efforts, I provide one here.

When will you release your preseason ratings?

Usually this occurs around the time the preseason AP poll is released in late October. Why the wait? There are a few reasons. From a practical standpoint, I like to turn the switch on the new season when I have every team's final schedule. From a psychological standpoint, I'd just prefer everyone wait until later in the offseason before sharing opinions, especially for teams not captured in early top 25's. Independent opinions are more useful than ones where everyone is peeking at somebody else's work.

When is the influence of preseason ratings removed from the system?

As of 2018, it is 73 days from the date of the first game. This ends up being sometime around January 20th. However, the influence of the preseason ratings is gradually reduced between the first week of the season and this point, so that the influence of the preseason ratings is minimal in mid-January.

Why do the preseason ratings have influence after the season begins?

That is covered here.

Why don't you write on your blog as often as you used to?

Currently, I'm writing at The Athletic. I'll still make the occasional post to the blog when I need to explain stuff on the site or I just want to write about something that wouldn't be appropriate for a professional web site. I know it kind of sucks to have to pay for my writing now when I wrote for nothing for like 15 years, but it's less than $4/month and you get access to a bunch of other great writers across many sports.

Why is [team] ranked [in some place]?

It's an unsatisfactory answer, but according to my system, [team] has played well enough to be ranked [in some place]. It's nothing personal. The system is designed to be purely predictive. For the purposes of assessing a team's ability, the outcome of close games is less important than most fans (and folks in the media, for that matter) believe. Usually, discrepancies between my ratings and consensus can be attributed to close game performance.

A good reality check on a team's rating is to compare future predictions with the betting line. If they are close, then chances are the team's ranking is reasonably accurate. One can also use Jeff Sagarin's "predictor" rankings for additional support.

Can you add [this feature]?

The ideas I receive range from pretty good to...not as good. If you really feel like you have an idea that will be of use to people evaluating teams and players, then by all means send it along.

While I appreciate the many ideas people submit, many people submit ideas. And I have my own ideas. And I usually want to work on my ideas more than yours. So rarely is it possible for me to implement a good user-submitted idea very quickly.

I paid, so why isn't my account activated?

If you drew funds on a bank account (an eCheck in PayPal parlance), it takes a few days for the payment to clear and for PayPal for credit the payment to my account. Once that happens, you'll get access immediately. But this process can take 3-5 days.

If you are paying directly from PayPal or using a credit card and your account has not been activated, send me an e-mail.

What can I do to help you?

It's really tough to incorporate outsiders into my operation. If you have some programming experience or feel like you bring something unique to table, I'm willing to listen. But I'm kind of a control freak and turn down most of these requests.

I want to get into analytics. Any advice?

The most difficult thing is just to get someone's attention. The best way to do this is to do some analysis of your own and share it with people, at least on the web somewhere. What analysis should you do? That is the hard part and something I couldn't give great advice on, but reading other people's work, and the things going on in other sports may help generate some ideas.

    Also, do these things:
  • Learn how to program and manage a database
  • Read a lot about analytics in various sports
  • Don't be afraid to work cheaply initially
  • Do something interesting and unique and make it public. Unique is really the key here.
  • Attend the professional conferences related to sports analytics.