Achievement Rankings: 2018 ACC vs 2018 SEC. What would FSU look like in the SEC?

In this analysis, I computed the achievement scores for each team in the ACC and SEC and ranked them. The higher the score, the more ‘over achieving’ a team is; they win more games than their talent level would predict compared to other members of their conference. Most of the table is self-explanatory. The talent score is the 4-year moving average of recruiting talent level according to the Rivals 247 Composite ratings.

sec vs acc

As the tables show, Florida is 5th in the SEC in terms of achievement. They are slightly out-performing their talent level within the conference. As we would suspect, the Noles are doing terribly for the amount of roster talent they have compared to their conference peers.

Things get interesting when I switched the teams. How does Florida compare to the ACC teams and vice versa with FSU in the SEC? I took their numbers and transposed them. Of course, every team within each conference would have different records because FSU would have played Georgia and Florida would have played Clemson, etc. But since that would involve speculation, it has no value. We can, however, take the known figures and simply compare them. So, I did:

fsu to sec

As we can see, Florida would drop to underachieving status in the ACC. This is because the ACC, on average, is less-talented than the SEC on average. The mean talent rating for 2018 SEC teams is 88.24. For the ACC it is 86.34. The conference winning percentage for the SEC is 47% (still games to go- will end up at 50%) and 50% for the ACC. When we add Florida to the ACC and take FSU out, the ACC mean talent level drops to 86.15 (makes sense- Florida has a lower talent score than FSU). With FSU in the SEC, the mean talent score rises to 88.42.

What does this tell us? As bad as FSU is in the ACC, they would be just as bad in the SEC, but it would be slightly more acceptable. FSU has the most talented roster in the ACC (edging out Clemson). However, in the SEC they would be the 3rd most talented team and slightly ahead of LSU. Florida in the ACC would be expected to have a better conference record, as the teams are weaker. Florida has the 5th most talented roster in the SEC, but would have the 2nd most talented roster in the ACC.

User note: The achievement scores are based on standardized values. So when you see Clemson, who is undefeated, with a negative value (indicating underachievement), the number is very close to zero, but it is basically saying that with that much talent disparity, Clemson should be undefeated. Since going undefeated obviously cannot be an underachievement, it essentially means Clemson, like Alabama, is doing what it should be- they are performing at expected levels for talent on hand.

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