DunkelIndex.com
About The Index
In explaining the concepts behind the Dunkel Index, my father, Dick, Jr., wrote this in 1998. It probably captures better than anything else what considerations go into the Dunkel formulas.
Bob Dunkel
August, 2004
“Six years before the very first Associated Press College Football Sportswriters Poll, Dick Dunkel, Sr., created the most accurate "yardstick" for college football teams in existence.
The Dunkel Index is a progressive statistical formula that has historically proven to be an accurate measurement when applied to the performance of an organized group of athletes versus another organized group of athletes. It is the one of the few known formulas to incorporate the strength of one team’s schedule against another’s. The Index basically reflects all the intangibles that can affect the performance of any team, on any given day, regardless of the circumstances.
The keys to the Dunkel Index are found in knowing that it is a "statistical"
formula with an emphasis on a team’s recent performance. Most mathematicians and
statisticians will support the fact that the larger a "sampling" is, the more
accurate the projections that are derived from that "sampling" are. The Index is
now enjoying an almost 70 year history in College Football and a 62 year history
in Men’s College Basketball.
Another factor that also applies to statistics is a margin of error. In the case of the Dunkel Index, a 3 to 4 percent is enjoyed in College Football and Men’s College Basketball. In the other sports that are also rated by the Index the percentage is slightly higher...This is because the history is not as extensive as the other two. As time progresses, these ranges will also fall.
The last factor to be evaluated by the consumer is a concept that encompasses human emotion. It is known as the "Upset Factor". The Upset Factor can be found when one team arrives to play a game in a stateofmind condition commonly known as "UP". This condition has time and again proven to be a determining factor in the results of many a contest. It is applicable to all sports and is the most elusive to predict. To be fair, please keep in mind when reviewing the Index pairings that the upset factor can apply to any game regardless of what the rating difference may be. However, our studies of this phenomenon have revealed the following scenarios. When viewing football pairings, games that have a Rating Difference between 6 and 1, the probability that the lower rated team will win the game increases proportionately as the Rating Difference decreases. When viewing basketball pairings, the Rating Differences that apply are between 4 and 1. In any given game, in any sport rated by the Index, when a Rating Difference is 0, it’s absolutely anybody’s best guess as to which team will emerge with the win.
Lastly, one should know, that when reviewing the Index, the Upset Factor can apply to from ten percent to as many as thirty percent of the games that are rated on any particular day.”
Dick Dunkel
January, 1998
