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Ivy League Elo IV

We are now in our fourth week of Ivy League Elo ratings and this week we have added the 1968-1972 seasons. So far, we have compiled 17 years of historical data and are on our way to completing the entire history of Ivy League football. Also, check out past Ivy League Elo articles to see more analysis of the formulas and past years.

First,  let’s draw attention to Cornell’s first Ivy League title in our Elo ratings thus far! In the 1971 season, led by All-American and Heisman runner-up Ed Marinaro, Cornell went 6-1 and entered into a tie for the Ivy League Championship with Dartmouth. Cornell also reached a rating of 1601 — their highest yet — and finished second in Elo rating in 1971. Marinaro had a profound effect on the team and helped raise its Elo from 1439 to 1601 in his three years on the team.

As for the other teams in the Ivy League, there are two that clearly stand out, albeit for very different reasons: Dartmouth and Brown. Dartmouth continued its dominance of the Ivy League, winning the official Ivy title four out of these five years and the Elo title three more times. The Big Green finished several seasons with a gigantic Elo lead over all of the other teams. Most notably they won the 1971 Elo crown by 116 points. Dartmouth also set a new record for Elo ratings, peaking at 1735 at the end of their undefeated 1970 season. On the other side of the standing is Brown. Brown finished last in Elo rating all five years. They also set a new record low of 1254 after an losing 1968 season.

In championship totals, Dartmouth has a clear lead with more than double the championships of most other schools. It is interesting to see that so far only three schools have managed to win an Elo title. Even though only one Elo championship is given out per year (unlike Ivy League Titles) the titles seem to be heavily concentrated. Elo focuses on consistent winning during a season, but also across many seasons, which means it takes a while for a team to gain enough points to claim an Elo title.

In terms of accuracy, Elo was again perfect over these five years. The Elo champion also won a share of the Ivy title every year. Additionally, in years with ties the top-rated Elo teams were the only teams to also win a title. The ratings are running smoothly and we will continue to release more historical Elo ratings every week.

CORECTION: Last week’s complete Elo summary graph incorrectly listed the year as 1956-1962, the correct range displayed was 1956 – 1967.


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