Looking over a lot of mock drafts for the 2010 NFL draft have the Tampa Bay Buccaneers picking 1st overall and the Rams picking 2nd overall. The two teams currently have the same 1 win record and they are differentiated by strength of schedule. Well, what is strength of schedule?
SoS as we will call it from now on is the combined record of all the teams the Rams and Bucs played this year. It is that simple, but not easily found. It can be synthesized into a winning percentage, but here I think it is better served as a W-L record. However, to make this easier (or more complicated) the Bucs and Rams have 3 opponents in common this season. Both teams have played the New Orleans Saints, Washington Redskins, Seattle Seahawks and the Green Bay Packers. So, if we eliminate both Redskins and Packers from both team’s SoS, we can simplify the number. Also, with the Saints and Seahawks, we will eliminate one game from the Bucs for the Saints and one game for the Seahawks for the Rams since each team plays their division rivals twice in a season. This creates a W-L SoS record which I call Unique Strength of Schedule. This completely made up stat works for comparing two team’s SoS.
I calculated this initially in a series of comments over at Turf Show Times (which may be coherent or not), but I’ll attempt to lay it out more clearly here.
The Rams current Unique Strength of Schedule over the whole 16 games is 83-73.
The Bucs current USoS is 86-70.
That gives the Rams a 3 game lead on the race for the number 1 overall selection in the NFL draft. But, why does everyone have the Bucs at the 1st overall selection? The Schedule.
The Bucs have teams with a combined record of 24-15 over their last 3 games.
The Rams have teams with a combined record of 20-19 over their last 3 games.
That 4 game gap changes the overall SoS significantly. But, with every team playing 3 more games, anything can happen. So, what should the draft-facing Rams fans root for over the last 3 games? Your personalized watching schedule is after the jump!
Keep in mind that all of this is moot if the Rams or the Bucs actually win a game over the last 3 weeks.
This is what the Rams fans should be rooting for over the rest of the season (Not including games with either the Rams or Bucs)
BALTIMORE over CHICAGO – lowers the Rams SoS
PHILADELPHIA over SAN FRAN – lowers the Rams SoS and strengthens the Bucs SoS (double bonus!)
MIAMI over TENNESSEE – double bonus
ATLANTA over NEW YORK JETS – only counts 50% because TB plays ATL twice
CAROLINA over MINNESOTA – 2.5 bonus for this long-shot because TB plays CAR twice
NEW YORK GIANTS over WASHINGTON – raises the Bucs SoS
CHARGERS over TITANS – lowers the Rams SoS
FALCONS over Bills – 50% bonus for Bucs SoS
MIAMI over HOUSTON – double bonus
NEW ENGLAND over JACKSONVILLE – double bonus
GREEN BAY over Seattle – lowers the Rams SoS
DETROIT over SF – 50% bonus because STL plays SF twice
PHILADELPHIA over DENVER – raises the Bucs SoS
NEW YORK JETS over INDY – double bonus
DALLAS over WASHINGTON – raises the Bucs SoS
BUFFALO over INDY – double bonus
CAROLINA over NEW ORLEANS – 50% bonus
CLEVELAND over JACKSONVILLE – lowers the Rams SoS
NEW ENGLAND over HOUSTON – double bonus
MIAMI over PITTSBURGH – raises the Bucs SoS
NEW YORK GIANTS over MINNESOTA – double bonus
NEW YORK JETS over CINCINNATI – raises the Bucs SoS
GREEN BAY over ARIZONA – double bonus because the Rams play ARI twice