In 2008, I had a phone interview with Google and thought I should do some homework on their technology. To my amazement, the PageRank algorithm that started a billion dollar company is based on the same beautiful mathematics as my research in statistical physics. Even though my interviewer wasn’t impressed with my due diligence, my excitement about PageRank planted the seed for the Power Rank. Just like websites become highly ranked by having incoming links from other highly ranked websites, sports teams earn their rank by beating other highly ranked teams. The Power Rank algorithm uses only the score and location of each game and naturally accounts for strength of schedule in ranking teams.

Why should you visit the Power Rank for team rankings? First, teams not only have a rank but also a value, and the difference in value between two teams is a predicted point spread at a neutral site. For a home game, simply add points (about 6 points for college basketball) in favor of the home team. Second, the 2009 predictions beat the line in 62 percent of the college bowl games and 59 percent of NFL games during the last six weeks of the season.


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