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When I was in high school in the mid-fifties, the metropolitan dailies’ rankings of the football team reflected recognition of their quality opponents. Periodically since, I have been interested in systematic methods of ranking teams by combining team records with this recognition.
In the early seventies, experiments with an adding machine led to discovery of the calculation process at the core of the rankings now on this site. They also demonstrated the practical requirement for a computer.
Eventually, Texas Instruments marketed the programmable SR-60 calculator and I was in business. In 1977-1979, a suburban daily published rankings of high school teams—football, basketball, and baseball—based upon my calculated results from the SR-60.
I programmed an Apple II to do the same calculations and to automatically format and print everything. In 1982 and 1983, a weekly local sports tabloid published high school football and basketball rankings copied directly from my Apple II-driven print-outs. They often included my “verification” samples. As a promotional item in a Feb 83 issue of the local sports tabloid, they printed my pre-playoff rankings of the NFL.
In the spring of 1983, the same publisher launched a second weekly tabloid, for pro football, dedicating full pages to my weekly rankings of the 12-team USFL. The publisher’s investment in publicizing the last place team in the ill-fated USFL did not go well for either publication.
In 2001, I graduated to a new PC with Windows and a laser printer. Microsoft Excel replaced the homemade software that, running 15-30 minutes, previously calculated my team rankings. Absent an outlet, I went into hibernation again until this opportunity to go on-line.