Bill Connelly dives into what advanced stats say the best and worst games of 2016 were.
Ask, and you shall receive. Below is a list of what the stats say were the top 50 games of 2016. I added one slight tweak, though. Along with percentile performances, the stat profiles also include a postgame win expectancy figure that basically says “based on this game’s stats, you could have expected to win this game X percent of the time.” If your postgame win expectancy was 50 percent, that means it was a perfect tossup, per the key stats.
If we’re truly judging the most high-quality games of the year, then in my mind they should be games in which both teams not only played well (per percentiles) but also played almost perfectly even. So the closer each team’s win expectancy was to 50 percent, the better the game.
So here are the top 50 games based on what I’m so cleverly calling the Great Game Score — the teams’ combined percentile ratings minus a win expectancy factor…
Best games make for a fun list, although from a pure entertainment standpoint, my favorite game of last season, the USC-Penn State meeting in the Rose Bowl, only finished fourth, but it’s when you get to the worst games that you get the crack that stings, Dawg fans.
And in case you’re curious, here are the 20 worst games of 2016…
The main surprise for me: no Georgia-Nicholls State! Too close, I guess.
Last season was so mediocre, they couldn’t even do awful well.