# Billingsley Report

The Billingsley Report is a college football rating system developed in the late 1960s to determine a national champion. Billingsley has actively rated college football teams on a current basis since 1970.[1] Beginning in 1999, Billingsley's ratings were included as one of seven mathematical formulas included in the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) rankings.[2]

Unlike the other mathematical formulas included in the BCS rankings, the Billingsley Report was not prepared by a trained mathematician or statistician.[3] Instead, the Billingsley Report is prepared by Richard Billingsley (born c. 1951), a lifelong college football fan in Hugo, Oklahoma.[3] Billingsley attended Texas Bible College, became a minister and later a consultant in the country music business. He began preparing his own weekly college football ratings as a hobby.[4][5]

Billingsley has also applied his ratings methodology retroactively to select national champions for each year from 1869 to 1870 and from 1872 to 1969. Since 1996,[2] the "Billingsley Report" has been one of the selectors of historic national champions recognized by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) in its Football Bowl Subdivision record book.[1]

The NCAA describes Billingsley's methodology as follows: " The main feature of his system is the inclusion of a unique rule for head-to-head competition, with the overall system consisting of a balanced approach to wins, losses, strength of schedule, and home-field advantage. A slight weight is given to most recent performance. The Billingsley formula does not use margin of victory, however, the Billingsley MOV formula does include margin of victory in the calculations.".[1][6] Analysis shows that Billingsley's ranking system typically strongly disagrees with other computer ranking systems and more closely resembles human ranking schemes,[7] likely due to the ad hoc and often self-conflicting nature of Billingsley's many ratings adjustments, such as weighting later season games as more important than early season games, adjusting win values by stadium attendance, forcing head to head victors to be ranked above their defeated opponents (but only until their next game), and discounting the value of wins by teams with more losses.[8]

Richard Billingsley is also the owner of the College Football Research Center.[9]

## National champions

Billingsley Report selections first appeared in the 1995[10] edition of the NCAA records book, listing champions since 1960. In the 1996[11] book these champions were joined with retrospective selections all the way back to 1869. This original set of champions was last printed in the 1999[12] NCAA records book.

In 1998 Billingsley adjusted his formula in order to participate as a computer poll in the Bowl Championship Series rankings. He re-ranked all past seasons with this new formula; these new champions were printed in the 2000[13]–2003[14] NCAA records books.

Prior to the 2001 season, Billingsley again changed the formula in order to remove "Margin of Victory" from the system's BCS calculations. This third set of champions appeared in the 2004[15]–2012[16] NCAA books.

Finally, beginning in 2013,[17] the NCAA records books profess to list both Billingsley's "No Margin of Victory" and "Margin of Victory" champions is cases where they differ. However, this list is not a simple superset of the previous two sets of champions.

The table below lists the 4 distinct sets of Billingsley Report national champions printed in NCAA records books since 1995. The selections are additionally sourced to the College Football Research Center website, where Billingsley made the same updates to his national champions after each change to the Billingsley Report formula.

Original formula BCS (Margin of Victory) BCS (No Margin of Victory) Billingsley & Billingsley MOV
BCS 19992000 20012013
CFRC 1997[18] 1998[19]–2001[20] 2001[21]–2010[22] 2011[23]–2020[24]
NCAA 1995,[10] 1996[11]–1999[12] 2000[13]–2003[14] 2004[15]–2012[16] 2013[17]–2022[25]
Season Billingsley Report National Champions
1869 Princeton Princeton Princeton Princeton
1870 Princeton Princeton Princeton Princeton
1871
1872 Princeton Princeton Princeton Princeton
1873 Princeton Princeton Princeton Princeton
1874 Princeton Princeton Princeton Princeton
1875 Princeton Princeton Princeton Princeton
1876 Yale Yale Yale Yale
1877 Yale Yale Princeton Princeton
1878 Princeton Princeton Princeton Princeton
1879 Princeton Princeton Princeton Princeton
1880 Yale Yale Yale Yale
1881 Princeton Princeton Princeton Princeton
1882 Yale Yale Yale Yale
1883 Yale Yale Yale Yale
1884 Yale Yale Princeton Princeton
1885 Princeton Princeton Princeton Princeton
1886 Yale Yale Princeton Princeton
1887 Yale Yale Yale Yale
1888 Yale Yale Yale Yale
1889 Princeton Princeton Princeton Princeton
1890 Harvard Harvard Harvard Harvard
1891 Yale Yale Yale Yale
1892 Yale Yale Yale Yale
1893 Princeton Princeton Princeton Princeton
1894 Yale Yale Yale Yale
1895 Penn Penn Penn Penn
1896 Princeton Princeton Princeton Princeton
1897 Penn Penn Penn Penn
1898 Harvard Harvard Harvard Harvard
1899 Harvard Harvard Princeton Princeton
1900 Yale Yale Yale Yale
1901 Michigan Harvard Harvard Harvard
1902 Michigan Michigan Michigan Michigan
1903 Michigan Michigan Princeton Princeton
1904 Michigan Michigan Minnesota Minnesota
1905 Chicago Chicago Chicago Chicago
1906 Vanderbilt Vanderbilt Yale Yale
1907 Penn Penn Yale Yale
1908 Penn Penn Harvard Harvard
1909 Yale Yale Yale Yale
1910 Auburn Michigan Harvard Harvard
1911 Vanderbilt Vanderbilt Princeton Minnesota
Princeton (Billingsley MOV)
1912 Wisconsin Harvard Harvard Harvard
1913 Chicago Auburn Auburn Chicago
Auburn (Billingsley MOV)†
1914 Illinois Illinois Texas Illinois
Texas (Billingsley MOV)†
Oklahoma (Billingsley MOV)†
1916 Pittsburgh Pittsburgh Pittsburgh Georgia Tech
Pittsburgh (Billingsley MOV)
1917 Georgia Tech Georgia Tech Georgia Tech Georgia Tech
1918 Michigan Michigan Michigan Michigan
1919 Illinois Illinois Texas A&M Illinois
Texas A&M (Billingsley MOV)
1920 California California Notre Dame Notre Dame
1921 Iowa Iowa California Iowa
California (Billingsley MOV)
1922 Iowa Iowa California Iowa
California (Billingsley MOV)
1923 Michigan Michigan Michigan Michigan
1924 Notre Dame Notre Dame Notre Dame Notre Dame
1925 Alabama Alabama Alabama Alabama
1926 Alabama Alabama Alabama Alabama
1927 Illinois Illinois Illinois Illinois
1928 Georgia Tech Georgia Tech Georgia Tech Georgia Tech
1929 Notre Dame Notre Dame Notre Dame Notre Dame
1930 Notre Dame Notre Dame Notre Dame Notre Dame
1931 USC USC USC USC
1932 USC USC USC USC
1933 Michigan Michigan Michigan Michigan
1934 Alabama Minnesota Minnesota Minnesota
1935 Minnesota Minnesota Minnesota Minnesota
1936 Minnesota Minnesota Minnesota Minnesota
1937 Pittsburgh Pittsburgh Pittsburgh Pittsburgh
1938 Tennessee Tennessee Tennessee Tennessee
1939 Texas A&M Cornell Texas A&M Texas A&M
1940 Minnesota Minnesota Stanford Stanford
1941 Minnesota Minnesota Minnesota Minnesota
1942 Ohio State Ohio State Georgia Georgia
1943 Notre Dame Notre Dame Notre Dame Notre Dame
1944 Army Army Army Ohio State
Army (Billingsley MOV)
1945 Army Army Army Army
1946 Notre Dame Notre Dame Army Army
1947 Michigan Michigan Michigan Michigan
1948 Michigan Michigan Michigan Michigan
1949 Oklahoma Notre Dame Notre Dame Notre Dame
1950 Tennessee Tennessee Tennessee Tennessee
1951 Maryland Michigan State Michigan State Michigan State
1952 Michigan State Michigan State Georgia Tech Georgia Tech
1953 Notre Dame Notre Dame Notre Dame Notre Dame
1954 UCLA UCLA Ohio State Ohio State
1955 Oklahoma Oklahoma Oklahoma Oklahoma
1956 Oklahoma Oklahoma Oklahoma Oklahoma
1957 Michigan State Michigan State Auburn Auburn
1958 LSU LSU LSU LSU
1959 Ole Miss Ole Miss Syracuse Syracuse
1960 Iowa Ole Miss Ole Miss Ole Miss
1961 Alabama Alabama Alabama Alabama
1962 Alabama Alabama Ole Miss Ole Miss
1963 Texas Texas Texas Texas
1964 Arkansas Arkansas Arkansas Arkansas
1965 Alabama Alabama Michigan State Michigan State
1966 Notre Dame Notre Dame Notre Dame Notre Dame
1967 USC USC USC USC
1968 Ohio State Ohio State Ohio State Ohio State
1969 Texas Texas Texas Texas
1972 USC USC USC USC
1973 Oklahoma Oklahoma Notre Dame Notre Dame
1974 Oklahoma Oklahoma Oklahoma Oklahoma
1975 Oklahoma Oklahoma Oklahoma Oklahoma
1976 USC USC USC[dubious ] Pittsburgh
USC (Billingsley MOV)
1977 Notre Dame Notre Dame Notre Dame Notre Dame
1978 Oklahoma Oklahoma USC USC
1979 Alabama Alabama Alabama Alabama
1980 Oklahoma Oklahoma Georgia Georgia
1981 Clemson Clemson Clemson Clemson
1982 Penn State Penn State Penn State Penn State
1983 Miami Miami Auburn Auburn
1984 Florida Florida BYU BYU
1985 Oklahoma Oklahoma Oklahoma Oklahoma
1986 Oklahoma Penn State Penn State Penn State
1987 Miami Miami Miami Miami
1988 Notre Dame Notre Dame Notre Dame Notre Dame
1989 Florida State Miami Miami Miami
1991 Washington Washington Miami Miami
1992 Alabama Alabama Alabama Alabama
1993 Florida State Florida State Florida State Florida State
1996 Florida Florida Florida Florida
1998 Tennessee Tennessee Tennessee Tennessee
1999 Florida State Florida State Florida State
2000 Oklahoma Oklahoma Oklahoma
2001 Miami Miami Miami
2002 Ohio State Ohio State Ohio State
2003 LSU LSU
2004 USC USC
2005 Texas Texas
2006 Florida Florida
2007 LSU LSU
2008 Florida Florida
2009 Alabama Alabama
2010 Auburn Auburn
2011 Alabama Alabama
2012 Alabama
2013 Florida State
2014 Ohio State
2015 Alabama
2016 Clemson
2017 Alabama
2018 Clemson
2019 LSU
2020 Alabama
2021 Georgia

† Teams chosen solely by Billingsley amongst NCAA-designated "major selectors".

## References

1. ^ a b c National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) (2015). "National Poll Rankings" (PDF). NCAA Division I Football Records. NCAA. pp. 105–106. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-05-21. Retrieved January 3, 2016.
2. ^ a b "An Interview with Richard Billingsley". Playoff Guru. SC Publications. October 15, 2009.
3. ^ a b O'Keefe, John (September 17, 2001). "Top Billingsley". Sports Illustrated. p. 26. Retrieved May 14, 2023.
4. ^ Klein, John (August 24, 2003). "Billingsley's report a labor of love". Tulsa World.
5. ^ Carlson, Jenni (November 27, 2013). "The Okie inside the BCS machine". The Oklahoman.
6. ^ Billingsley, Richard (October 21, 2001). "As the game changes, so do the formulas". ESPN.com. Retrieved July 22, 2023. Over the years the formula has been modified four times. At the inception of the poll in 1970, the formula was heavily weighted in margin of victory. In 1975, I recognized that fact and took steps to minimize the impact scoring margins had on the results. In 1980, I modified the formula to handle tie games more effectively, which is a moot issue now with our overtime rules, and in 1998, I once again diminished the margin of victory and extended the decimal range to three digits. The most recent — and most prominent change — came in this offseason when I decided to take the scoring margin out completely.
7. ^
8. ^ "In search of a national champion". College Football Research Center.
9. ^ "Billingsley Wins Two National Awards". College Football Research Center. August 16, 2015. Archived from the original on September 8, 2015. Retrieved January 3, 2016.
10. ^ a b 1995 NCAA Football Records Book. National Collegiate Athletic Association. 1995. pp. 54–58. Retrieved July 15, 2023.
11. ^ a b 1996 NCAA Football Records Book. National Collegiate Athletic Association. 1996. pp. 54–59. Retrieved July 15, 2023. Billingsley Report (1960–present), a mathematically based power rating system developed by Richard Billingsley of Nashville, Tennessee. His work is published annually as the Billingsley Report through his own company, the College Football Research Center. In 1996, he finished his three-year research project ranking the national champions from 1869–95. Predated national champions from 1869–1959.
12. ^ a b 1999 NCAA Football Records Book. National Collegiate Athletic Association. 1999. pp. 58–65. Retrieved July 15, 2023.
13. ^ a b 2000 NCAA Football Division I-A Records (PDF). National Collegiate Athletic Association. 2000. Retrieved May 10, 2023.
14. ^ a b Official 2003 NCAA Football Records (PDF). Indianapolis: The National Collegiate Athletic Association. August 2003. pp. 73–80. Retrieved May 10, 2023. Billingsley Report (1970-present), a mathematically based power rating system developed by Richard Billingsley of Nashville, Tennessee. His work is published annually as the Billingsley Report through his own company, the College Football Research Center. In 1996, he finished his three-year research project ranking the national champions from 1869-95. The research is located on the World Wide Web at www.CFRC.com. Predated national champions from 1869-1970. Member of 2002 BCS.
15. ^ a b Official 2004 NCAA Football Records (PDF). Indianapolis: The National Collegiate Athletic Association. August 2004. pp. 81–88. Retrieved May 10, 2023. Billingsley Report (1970-present), a mathematically based power rating system developed by Richard Billingsley of Hugo, Oklahoma. The main feature of his system is the inclusion of a unique rule for head-to-head competition, with the overall system consisting of a balanced approach to wins, losses, strength of schedule, and home-field advantage. A slight weight is given to most recent performance. The 2004 publication represents an updated list of champions based on his 'no margin of victory formula,' and supersedes any previous reports. Member of 2003 BCS.
16. ^ a b 2012 NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision Records (PDF). National Collegiate Athletic Association. 2012. Retrieved May 12, 2023.
17. ^ a b 2013 NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision Records (PDF). National Collegiate Athletic Association. 2013. Retrieved May 12, 2023. Billingsley Report (1970-present), a mathematically based power rating system developed by Richard Billingsley of Hugo, Oklahoma. The main feature of his system is the inclusion of a unique rule for head-to-head competition, with the overall system consisting of a balanced approach to wins, losses, strength of schedule, and home-field advantage. A slight weight is given to most recent performance. The Billingsley formula does not use margin of victory, however, the Billingsley MOV formula does include margin of victory in the calculations.
18. ^ Billingsley, Richard (1998). "National Champions of The Billingsley System". CFRC.com. College Football Research Center. Archived from the original on May 7, 1998. Retrieved July 20, 2023.
19. ^ Billingsley, Richard (1999). "Billingsley's National Champions". CFRC.com. College Football Research Center. Archived from the original on November 28, 1999. Retrieved July 20, 2023.
20. ^ Billingsley, Richard (2002). "Billingsley's National Champions". CFRC.com. College Football Research Center. Archived from the original on June 12, 2002. Retrieved July 20, 2023.
21. ^ Billingsley, Richard (2002). "Billingsley's National Champions By Year". CFRC.com. College Football Research Center. Archived from the original on October 11, 2002. Retrieved July 20, 2023. These Champions were Derived Using The Current "No Margin" Formula.
22. ^ Billingsley, Richard (2011). "Billingsley's National Champions". CFRC.com. College Football Research Center. Archived from the original on September 12, 2011. Retrieved July 20, 2023.
23. ^ Billingsley, Richard (2012). "Billingsley's National Champions". CFRC.com. College Football Research Center. Archived from the original on November 13, 2012. Retrieved July 20, 2023. Billingsley MOV column
24. ^ Billingsley, Richard (2021). "Billingsley National Champions". CFRC.com. College Football Research Center. Archived from the original on September 20, 2021. Retrieved July 20, 2023. Billingsley MOV column
25. ^ 2022 NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision Records (PDF). National Collegiate Athletic Association. 2022. Retrieved May 12, 2023.