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Consistent franchises (the other kind)

Posted by Doug on April 6, 2007

Last week I posted this collection of data that I thought characterized the consistent and inconsistent franchises of the 16-game-schedule era.

A few readers remarked that the word "consistent" implies some sort of year-to-year consistency. I hadn't intended to measure that with the previous post but it's equally interesting to look at. A reader named Yaguar proposed the following methodology:

Now, what you measure is win difference over each 2 year period, and then average them. So take the 1999-2000 Colts, who regressed from 13-3 to 10-6. That’s a win difference of 3 for 1999-2000. (Note that you’re taking absolute value, so there can’t be negative changes in wins.) For 2000-2001 and 2001-2002, they have win differences of 4 both times, going from 10-6 to 6-10 to 10-6. So from 1999-2002, the Colts have an average win difference of 3.33.

I think that hits the spot pretty well, so I'll just run the numbers.

Since 1978, arranged from most consistent to least:

      Avg    10  9  8  7  6  5  4  3  2  1  0
==============================================
crd   1.8                    1  3  6  5  7  6
phi   2.0              1  1  1  3  3  6  8  5
dal   2.1                 1  1  5  4  4  6  7
mia   2.1                 1  1  4  3  7 10  2
gnb   2.1                 2  1  4  3  9  2  7
sea   2.1                    2  4  4  8  6  4
min   2.3                 2  2  2  3  9  8  2
rai   2.4              2        5  4  6  9  2
oti   2.4     1        1  1  4  3     3  7  8
was   2.6                 1  4  4  5  5  5  4
pit   2.6        1           1  6  7  4  8  1
cle   2.6              1  2     5  2  6  7  1
kan   2.6                 3  1  6  3  6  7  2
tam   2.6              2  1  3  4  3  4  7  4
nor   2.7              3  1  1  2  7  3  8  3
cin   2.7           1     4  1  4  3  4  6  5
jax   2.7              1     1  2  2  1  2  2
buf   2.8                 1  4  5  6  5  4  3
rav   2.8              1        1  4  2  2
chi   2.9        1  1     3  2     5  8  4  4
det   2.9              3  1  4  2  3  4 10  1
den   2.9           1  1  2  3  3  4  5  5  4
sdg   3.0           1  2     3  4  7  2  7  2
nwe   3.0           1  1  1  4  5  2  5  6  3
htx   3.0                    1  1     1  1
ram   3.0        1     1  1  3  4  4  5  9
nyj   3.1           1  1  2  1  8  3  5  4  3
clt   3.1     1     1  1  3  2  3  2  5  6  4
nyg   3.3           1     2  7  4  3  6  4  1
atl   3.3        1     1  3  3  4  5  6  3  2
sfo   3.4           2  1  1  4  6  4  4  4  2
car   4.1                 2  2  4  2     1

The first number is the average win difference that Yaguar explained. The following string of numbers are the number of times the given team has had each given win difference. Take the Cardinals, for instance. Six times, their record stayed constant from one year to the next, seven times it changed by one game (one way or the other), five times it changed by two games, and so on.

As could be expected, there are some similarities between this list and the other one. The Cardinals show as the most consistent on both lists, and Miami, Seattle, and Minnesota are near the top on both as well, while the 49ers, Colts, and Rams look inconsistent either way.

The Cowboys are an interesting case, though. They rank as one of the least consistent franchises by the other method and one of the most by this one. This means that they've experienced some high highs and low lows, but that they have transitioned gradually between them. Denver represents the other side of the spectrum: a team whose win totals have generally stayed within a comparatively narrow band over a long period (24 of their last 29 seasons have been between 8 and 13 wins inclusive), but have jumped around a lot within that band from year to year.

This entry was posted on Friday, April 6th, 2007 at 4:54 am and is filed under History. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.