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mcruic

Combined senior/junior ranking (282 clubs)

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I've taken my ranking program that I've used successfully for most team sports, and ran it on a database of results from all league and cup matches in senior and junior football from the start of the 2016-17 season onwards (19,000 + matches) to produce what should be a reasonable estimate of the current playing strengths of all 282 senior and junior clubs in Scotland.

Note - this does not necessarily reflect league position. Rankings and league tables are not the same.  The rankings take into account home advantage, and margin of victory, and league matches are weighted twice as much as cup matches.  It's also possible to move up and down the rankings quite quickly with a good/bad run of form.

Haven't seen anyone else do anything similar - so I'm just putting it out there.

http://scotscores.theroonba.com/clubrank/clubrank.html

Edited by mcruic

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I've no idea how this has been calculated, but Annan Athletic being so low down is absolutely wild given that they're consistently challenging for (and sometimes qualifying for) the play-offs in League 2. I suspect the time period this ranking runs over is far too long.

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Wouldn't it be more appropriate to run this on a season basis so clubs could be compared over a period of time?

It also depends on which Cup competitions are included. The SFA Cup and a cup in which all Lowland League/EoS/SoS/WoS clubs are entered would be a decent basis for inter league and division/conference comparison. The remains of the Junior Cup too.

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I can see how it got done, I guess it's an ELO based system? In general it looks good, but the structure of Scottish football skews things a bit. Clubs that are particularly good/poor for their league could be artificially high/low. Take Talbot for example, they're a good side, but would they really be 22nd in Scottish football at the moment, ahead of the likes of Partick Thistle? Sure nobody can rule out Talbot beating Thistle in a one-off cup game, but I can't see them staying ahead over a whole league season. In the same way, I wouldn't say BSC Glasgow are ahead of Forfar Athletic or Lochee United pretty much level with Stenhousemuir. Same way at the bottom, Fort William are poor for the HL, but I'd still say they should be well ahead of Arbroath Vics.

Having said that, there is no easy way to compare all the different structures / grades etc. in Scottish football so this is a very good attempt.

Edited by Marten

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2 hours ago, craigkillie said:

I've no idea how this has been calculated, but Annan Athletic being so low down is absolutely wild given that they're consistently challenging for (and sometimes qualifying for) the play-offs in League 2. I suspect the time period this ranking runs over is far too long.

It's calculated using the "eloratings" method, which largely nullifies the length of time used.  The most recent matches are weighted most.

What you are saying contradicts itself - you are saying Annan have had good form (over a long period), but you are arguing for the period to be shorter.  Annan's most recent form was the 2nd worst in the league after Brechin (4 points out of their last 8 matches).  That's how they've ended up where they are.  The good thing about the system is that it allows teams to move up when they start playing well.  If you take a snapshot of the rankings when Annan were doing well, they would be higher.  It's not a static table.

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22 minutes ago, Marten said:

I can see how it got done, I guess it's an ELO based system? In general it looks good, but the structure of Scottish football skews things a bit. Clubs that are particularly good/poor for their league could be artificially high/low. Take Talbot for example, they're a good side, but would they really be 22nd in Scottish football at the moment, ahead of the likes of Partick Thistle? Sure nobody can rle out Talbot beating Thistle in a one-off cup game, but I can't see them staying ahead over a whole league season. In the same way, I wouldn't say BSC Glasgow ahead of Forfar or Lochee United pretty much level with Stenhousemuir. Same way at the bottom, Fort William are poor for the HL, but I'd still say they should be well ahead of Arbroath Vics.

Having said that, there is no easy way to compare all the different structures / grades etc. in Scottish football so this is a very good attempt.

Yes - it's an ELO based system, but using 100 iterations over the 19,000 matches.  I could tweak it a little to make margin of victory have less of an effect, but apart from that, the only thing that would help it become more accurate is if there was more cross-league play - which as you pointed out is difficult at the moment.  I've also got a "good loss/bad win" algorithm which allows teams to get points for losing (for example Fort William would gain points for losing 0-1 to Brora, while Brora would lose points).

For the cases you mention, Lochee United beat Buckie 3-0 and drew with Ayr in their Scottish Cup run - which I think Stenhousemuir would do well to emulate.  BSC Glasgow did well to keep pace with Kelty and Bonnyrigg last season - when they met Forfar in 2018, they lost 2-0 away, but Forfar were 2nd in League 1 at that time.  Auchinleck have shown consistency that many League 1 and 2 teams would struggle to beat, even though their opposition has mainly been junior.  As for Fort William - I'm not sure - but they did recently lose a friendly against a local amateur team (South Lochaber Thistle)  and have been on the end of some thrashings in the Highland League.

All in all, it will provoke debate - the main purpose is simply for there to be some kind of way to compare all the teams due to the strange quirks of Scottish club football.  The main principle holds true though - good teams will rise, bad teams will fall.

 

Edited by mcruic

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16 minutes ago, gogsy said:

Raith Rovers finished 23rd in the SPFL ranks last season, Montrose finished 26th so not much difference from what actually happened. Montrose weren't far behind the Rovers with only six games to go, could have caught them up .

Anyway its just a bit of fun.

 

Montrose and Raith had an identical points record over the last 8 games of the season.  In the last mach between the sides, Raith won 4-3 at home.  So, the rankings show this - the teams are close.  In fact, Raith were above Montrose until the last game of the season, as they "only" beat Forfar 2-1 when they were expected to win by more.

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15 minutes ago, gogsy said:

Raith Rovers finished 23rd in the SPFL ranks last season, Montrose finished 26th so not much difference from what actually happened. Montrose weren't far behind the Rovers with only six games to go, could have caught them up .

Anyway its just a bit of fun.

They've been in the same league for the past two seasons and Raith finished above on both occasions. The other two seasons Raith were a Championship/League One side while Montrose were in League Two. Which also means they've played each other the last two years. With the record favouring Raith with 4 wins, 2 draws, and 1 loss.

Don't remember either being particularly great in cups in the last 4 seasons but at least Raith have made the Challenge Cup final for 2019-20.

With only 4 points between them to me it looks like a playoff season in 2016-17 in League Two for Montrose swings things compared to Raith's relegation season 2016-17 from the Championship.

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1 minute ago, FairWeatherFan said:

They've been in the same league for the past two seasons and Raith finished above on both occasions. The other two seasons Raith were a Championship/League One side while Montrose were in League Two. Which also means they've played each other the last two years. With the record favouring Raith with 4 wins, 2 draws, and 1 loss.

Don't remember either being particularly great in cups in the last 4 seasons but at least Raith have made the Challenge Cup final for 2019-20.

With only 4 points between them to me it looks like a playoff season in 2016-17 in League Two for Montrose swings things compared to Raith's relegation season 2016-17 from the Championship.

Things that happened in 2016-17 probably account for less than 0.1% of the total due to the nature of the ranking system.  It's mostly about current form, which shows Raith and Montrose as being pretty close.  Falkirk had a better league run-in than both, and that is why they have ranked higher (though why they are so much higher I'm not sure).

I'm open to criticism - I'm tweaking it a little to try and get something that might "feel" a bit more intuitive.  I've got this "losing points for winning" by a small margin against bottom teams - perhaps that has unfairly punished some teams.  "You can only beat what is in front of you" and all that.

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9 minutes ago, GNU_Linux said:

Electric Light Orchestra are pish.

Except elo (or better Élő) is a name, not an acronym 😉 

It's one of the better and more easy to understand systems that can be implemented without too much fuss and computational power.

 

But yes, I concur - ELO are pish.

Edited by mcruic

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1 minute ago, mcruic said:

Things that happened in 2016-17 probably account for less than 0.1% of the total due to the nature of the ranking system.  It's mostly about current form, which shows Raith and Montrose as being pretty close.  Falkirk had a better league run-in than both, and that is why they have ranked higher (though why they are so much higher I'm not sure).

I'm open to criticism - I'm tweaking it a little to try and get something that might "feel" a bit more intuitive.  I've got this "losing points for winning" by a small margin against bottom teams - perhaps that has unfairly punished some teams.  "You can only beat what is in front of you" and all that.

I looked up ELO once it was mentioned to try and figure out how it might of been done, and it went right over my head. So its not nitpicking not criticising. Having followed College Football over the years I was relatively happy over the switch to a committee for the Playoffs over the BCS system used. Although I would say a committee has a different set of flaws by favouring established teams reputation.

The .1% of a difference on 2487 for Montrose and .1% of a difference on 2483 for Raith Rovers. Could be enough to swing it back in Raith's favour.

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5 minutes ago, gogsy said:

 

Those results were from the 2008-9 Scottish cup, surely pretty meaningless nearly 12 years on?

Yes - as these results are not included in the calculation.  The point was just to illustrate what kind of level Lochee United (or the top of the current ERJFA Tayside league)  would be at, given the only data available to make such a comparison.

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38 minutes ago, FairWeatherFan said:

I looked up ELO once it was mentioned to try and figure out how it might of been done, and it went right over my head. So its not nitpicking not criticising. Having followed College Football over the years I was relatively happy over the switch to a committee for the Playoffs over the BCS system used. Although I would say a committee has a different set of flaws by favouring established teams reputation.

The .1% of a difference on 2487 for Montrose and .1% of a difference on 2483 for Raith Rovers. Could be enough to swing it back in Raith's favour.

If I use a straight elo system, with no punishment for "narrow wins against lower ranked teams", Raith is 23rd and Montrose is 26th.  But Auchinleck is 16th.  But I'm happier with that system overall, as it's easier to understand (if you win you gain points, if you lose you lose points) - new ranking is now online.

 

What it seems to show:

 

WoS League (Tier 6) is stronger than both LL and HL (Tier 5).
EoS Premier (Tier 6) is stronger than LL (Tier 5).  We've seen this in action with the progression of Kelty and Bonnyrigg.

Banks o' Dee would be a Top 3 side in the HL.  Other top teams (Culter, Hermes) would be mid-to-lower mid-table.
Top Tayside junior clubs could be Top 5 material in the EoS Premier (or indeed the HL).
Top North Caledonian League teams would struggle similarly to Fort William in the HL.
Some of the remaining Lothian junior teams would be at least good enough to win the EoS Tier 7 leagues and establish themselves in the EoS Premier.
 

Edited by mcruic

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Appreciate the effort put into this and if there is a system used widely elsewhere that's being applied then it's more than just some random fantasy list. Having said that though I'm not sure Albion Rovers winding up as low as 76th and Auchinleck Talbot as high as 16th means anything other than there being too small a sample of games played between SPFL clubs and nonleague teams to prevent strange outlier effects.

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