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Who is the most exciting team in college football? A statistical analysis of excitement

The folks at SBNation's analytics department have gotten out their calculators in an attempt to tabulate the most (and least) exciting teams in college football. So what, exactly, makes for an exciting college football team?

Everyone's opinion on this varies. Chances are Dana Holgorsen and Woody Hayes would have quite differing views on this subject. But for purposes of this study, the College Football Entertainment Index (CFBEI) takes into account total points per game, margin of victory/defeat, pace and F/+, a Football Outsiders metric. Each team was ranked 1-124 in each category and then had their respective scores added up to get a CFBEI ranking. The lower the total, the more exciting the team. Score lots of points, play close games and win, and you'll shoot up the rankings. Do the opposite, and fall your ranking does the same. 

CFBEI Top 10
1. Oregon - 166
2. Arizona - 193
3. Clemson - 205
    Texas A&M - 205
5. Oklahoma State - 211
    West Virginia - 211
7. Nebraska - 214
8. Baylor - 215
9. UCLA - 222
10. Ball State - 230

Obviously, this formula is far from fool proof. Look no further than Sept. 22, 2012, when CFBEI No. 1 Oregon hosted CFBEI No. 2 Arizona. In theory, that should have been the most exciting game of the season. In reality, it was a 49-0 Ducks win. It doesn't take a statistics degree to know that game wasn't very exciting. 

Now let's look the other way.

CFBEI Bottom 10
1. Idaho - 646
2. New Mexico State - 639
3. Illinois - 630
4. Massachusetts - 628
5. Kentucky - 617
6. Southern Miss - 607
7. Auburn - 593
8. Colorado - 591
    Tulane - 591
10. Wake Forest - 581

Anybody have any objections with that list?

For future reference, the projected 2013 top 10 is the same as the 2012 group, with the exception of No. 10 Ball State falling out and Kliff Kingsbury's Texas Tech squad moving in at No. 7.

View the full rankings here. 

Author: Zach Barnett
Zach Barnett is a native of Denton, Texas and a graduate of the University of Texas. He joined FootballScoop in 2012 after two years at the National Football Foundation. His hobbies include watching college football, reading about college football and writing about college football.