The Dunkel Index FAQ

We know our loyal followers have lots of questions about the Dunkel Index. Here are answers to a few of the most common inquiries.

  • How did the Dunkel Index get started?

    In the early days of college football, debates raged across the nation over which team was the strongest. And because travel was difficult, teams on the West Coast rarely played teams on the East Coast. Dick Dunkel, Sr., used his background in advertising and the metrics that were used in that industry to create his own formulas that would help settle the debate. The popularity of the Dunkel Index, which was started in 1929, grew rapidly.

  • Who runs the Dunkel Index today?

    The Dunkel Index was run by Dick Sr. until 1972 when his son, Dick Jr., took it over. Dick Jr. continued to run the Index until his death in 2002. Today, the Dunkel Index is run by Dick Jr.'s son, Bob, with the help of his son, Ben. Four generations of Dunkels and still going strong!

  • Can the Dunkel Index be used to predict outcomes?

    The Dunkel Index has proven to be a valuable tool for analyzing sporting events. Because the Index produces a point spread and game total for each game, those metrics can be used to compare with the Vegas lines. Dunkel also makes a recommended play for each game based on whether the Index numbers are over or under the Vegas numbers.

  • What’s the difference between the Dunkel Index and other rating services?

    History and attention to detail. No other rating system has been around as long as the Dunkel Index, which actually predates even the AP Poll. That provides Dunkel with an incomparable data base of analytics. In addition, Dunkel is continuously updating the numbers and fine-tuning the algorithms to ensure continued accuracy across generations and sports leagues.

  • What is a team’s “rating”?

    The “rating” is the power number given to each team. The higher the rating, the better the team. The ratings have been calculated to easily interpret the relative strengths of teams. For example, a team with a rating of 70.0 (Team A) is 10 points better than a team with a rating of 60.0 (Team B). In other words, according to the Dunkel Index, Team A should beat Team B by 10 points if they were to play at a neutral site.

  • How does the Dunkel Index work?

    The Dunkel Index relies on a set of algorithms that measure various data points to produce a mathematical rating for each team. Those ratings then become the basis for the game picks and score totals that are produced daily. Dunkel's ratings are updated after every contest to ensure greater accuracy.

  • What is the Dunkel Index?

    The Dunkel Index is an analytical system that is used to rate sports teams. It was created in 1929 by Dick Dunkel, Sr., as a way to measure the relative strengths of college football teams without ever having to play each other. The accuracy and popularity of the Index led to its expansion into other sports. Today the Dunkel Index produces ratings and picks for football (NCAA and NFL), basketball (NCAA, NBA and WNBA), MLB, NHL, English Premier League, NASCAR and PGA.

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The Dunkel Index is a family-owned enterprise started by Dick Dunkel, Sr., in 1929.

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