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Owned

Posted by Doug on October 26, 2006

During the footballguys.com podcast (mp3, rss), which by the way is a must-listen for fantasy football types, Sigmund Bloom pointed out that the Texans just seem to have Jacksonville's number for some reason. Not being a close follower of either team, I hadn't noticed, so I looked it up.

After Sunday's game, the Texans are now 5-4 all-time against the Jags. The Texans' overall franchise record is 20-50, which means they are 5-4 (.555) against Jacksonville and 15-46 (.246) against everyone else. During the Texan Era, Jacksonville has been exactly a .500 team. While it may or may not be significant in any official statistical sense (I didn't check), I think it's reasonable to say that Houston has had Jacksonville's number, at least relatively speaking.

I decided to take a look through the archives to find similar (or even more dramatic) pairs of teams and stretches of years where one team was better in general but the other owned the series (again, I consider "relative" ownership to be within the spirit of the query).

I looked at five-year stretches starting in 1960. I didn't know exactly how to quantify what I was looking for, so I just played around with some ad hoc formulas involving the teams' overall 5-year winning percentages and the series record during those same five years. I did require that one team had a better overall winning percentage while the other took the majority of the games in the series.

What you see here is a list containing each franchise's best five-year run of relative ownership. They are roughly ordered by their "surprisingness." To get a feel for the chart, take a look at the first line. From 1978--2002, the Seahawks and Jets played five times and the Seahawks won all five. During that stretch, Seattle was 32-41 overall while the Jets were 36-36. So a 5-0 series record would appear to be fairly unexpected. What must that have been like for Jet fans?


5-yr records
TM1 TM2 Years TM1 TM2 Series
=======================================
sea nyj 1978-1982 32-41 36-36 5- 0
dal was 1997-2001 34-46 40-39 9- 1
ram nyg 1988-1992 35-45 49-31 4- 1
nyj mia 1998-2002 48-32 50-30 9- 1
gnb min 1984-1988 29-49 38-41 8- 2
phi pit 1962-1966 25-42 28-38 5- 1
hou kan 1990-1994 44-36 51-29 4- 1
was pit 1962-1966 27-41 28-38 5- 1
pho atl 1989-1993 25-55 30-50 4- 1
det tam 1995-1999 37-43 42-38 8- 2
atl min 1966-1970 16-51 39-27 3- 2
tam was 1992-1996 29-51 31-49 4- 1
rai den 1988-1992 43-37 44-36 8- 2
ind nyj 1989-1993 29-51 30-50 8- 2
bal ten 2000-2004 48-32 48-32 4- 1
nwe ind 1988-1992 23-57 34-46 7- 3
nyg stl 1963-1967 28-39 37-29 5- 2
buf nyj 1966-1970 21-46 39-28 6- 4
den nyj 1965-1969 21-48 40-26 4- 3
cin pit 1977-1981 34-44 52-26 6- 4
car stl 2000-2004 33-47 51-29 3- 2
sfo det 1962-1966 25-42 33-32 4- 2
kan den 1980-1984 34-39 42-31 6- 3
min gnb 1992-1996 47-33 51-29 7- 3
nor tam 1998-2002 35-45 50-30 3- 2
mia bal 1968-1972 42-25 47-21 4- 2
chi min 1966-1970 26-41 39-27 5- 4
pit cin 1968-1972 25-44 27-42 4- 2
sdg kan 1996-2000 26-54 45-35 5- 5
cle cin 1971-1975 33-35 40-30 6- 4
jax pit 1999-2003 38-42 44-35 4- 3

[The bolded line is comment fodder for two particular commenters.]

Some of the teams at the bottom are interesting. Cleveland and San Diego, for instance, have been around for a long time, and the best stretches of unexpected ownership they can claim are these?

I guess we should keep in mind that this was just a rote database query, and there is the potential for some loopholes. It is possible that some of these seemingly surprising results are not so surprising when you look at them closely, and it's also conceivable that there have been some much more surprising stretches that my naive query did not pick up for one reason or another.

Finally, here is each franchise's most surprising five-year stretch of being owned by someone else. Obviously there is some overlap between the two lists.


5-yr records
TM1 TM2 Years TM1 TM2 Series
=============================================
sea nyj 1978-1982 32- 41 36- 36 5- 0
dal was 1997-2001 34- 46 40- 39 9- 1
dal nyg 1962-1966 31- 36 33- 34 5- 0
nyj mia 1998-2002 48- 32 50- 30 9- 1
gnb min 1984-1988 29- 49 38- 41 8- 2
phi pit 1962-1966 25- 42 28- 38 5- 1
hou kan 1990-1994 44- 36 51- 29 4- 1
sea cle 1977-1981 33- 45 39- 39 4- 1
pho atl 1989-1993 25- 55 30- 50 4- 1
det tam 1995-1999 37- 43 42- 38 8- 2
atl car 1999-2003 30- 49 34- 46 8- 2
dal gnb 1993-1997 52- 28 55- 25 4- 1
atl dal 1986-1990 23- 55 25- 54 4- 1
rai den 1988-1992 43- 37 44- 36 8- 2
bal ten 2000-2004 48- 32 48- 32 4- 1
nwe ind 1988-1992 23- 57 34- 46 7- 3
sea oak 1976-1980 29- 47 53- 23 4- 3
nyg stl 1963-1967 28- 39 37- 29 5- 2
car stl 2000-2004 33- 47 51- 29 3- 2
sfo det 1962-1966 25- 42 33- 32 4- 2
nyj nwe 1973-1977 20- 50 35- 35 6- 4
sfo chi 1962-1966 25- 42 39- 27 3- 2
car sfo 1999-2003 34- 46 39- 41 4- 2
bos buf 1966-1970 21- 46 21- 46 7- 3
kan sea 1981-1985 32- 41 39- 34 5- 3
pit cin 1968-1972 25- 44 27- 42 4- 2
stl phi 1980-1984 34- 38 36- 36 6- 3
ram nor 1993-1997 27- 53 31- 49 6- 4
pit bal 1999-2003 44- 35 47- 33 6- 4
rai sdg 1994-1998 36- 44 37- 43 6- 4
bal jax 1998-2002 43- 37 44- 36 5- 4

This entry was posted on Thursday, October 26th, 2006 at 4:03 am and is filed under General, History. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.