Originally Posted by TheGodInAGreyHoodie
I have concluded that “strength of schedule” is a really bogus measure of determining how difficult a teams schedule actually is, because the more a team wins the weaker the schedule becomes.
This is simply false. Perhaps one thing that perhaps hasn't occurred to you: the Pats schedule next year, on top of the 14 years-down-the-line-predetermined games, is rounded off by playing 1st place teams from the two other divisions in the AFC that they won't round-robin next year. OTOH, the 2nd place Bills will additionally play the 2nd place teams from those divisions, etc.
This is done because it is recognized that the better a team is, the easier their schedule gets if the schedule were a strict round-robin venture. In other words, the Patriots can't place a first team in their own division, whilst the Bills, Dolphins and Jets all have to do so twice. So they schedule other games against 1st place teams to make up for it.
Bottom line: next season, based on this season's results, ALL NFL teams will play four 1st place teams, four 2nd place teams, four 3rd place teams and four 4th place teams, no exceptions. This has been the case every season since 2003 (2002 was skewered by the change from 6 to 8 divisions). The only real irregularity about this setup is that you may sometimes have 3 home games and 1 road game (or vice versa) against the four 1st place teams, or 2nd place teams, etc.
First point being
, there IS currently "balanced scheduling" in the NFL (ie there are no advanatges to 4th place schedules, nor disadvantages to 1st place schedules). Any imbalance in SOS comes strictly from the random variances of good or bad teams in the various divisions.
Second point being
, considered logically, NONE of this has anything to do with SOS in a completed season; a .xxx winning percentage is a .xxx winning percentage, no matter whether those teams involved are all first place teams or all last place teams. The Pats in 2007 played teams that compiled a combined .450 winning perdentage, which was better than the sub .400 that the Fins in 1972 faced. In 2008, the Pats will apparently have an easy schedule, if all the teams hold to their 2007 form, all due strictly to the variances mentioned in the first point.