Below is the updated table through the games played on 1-Oct. If new to this post or you don't remember the methodology, you may want to drop down to the 'Premise' section further on. The following is the rank per this analysis, the team, their position on the standard table, and then their calculated point total per this analysis. To the results:
Newcastle's results pull them up a position because they have such a strong record and, on average, have played against quality opposition. Wins against Brighton, Bristol, Norwich, and Reading and even the loss coming to the first placed team limit the accrual of points in this system. Because Aston Villa is currently ranked so low on the true table, the recent road tie actually hurts NUFC's ranking about the same as each of the losses to Fulham and Wolverhampton.
The largest variances in this ranking versus the actual table are Ipswich (+10) and Brentford (-10). Based on Ipswich's traditional table placement, they have not had an upset yet this season. However, they have played more teams above them on the table and have scraped a few minor upsets themselves. They are getting extra credit in this system for having tied Brighton and Norwich and having beaten a team slightly ahead of them, Barnsley.
Brentford is mostly being penalized in this ranking for having lost to Rotherham. They have a solid win against Brighton but have mostly played lower ranked teams. Either they will continue to win as their schedule becomes more difficult or they will be found out as pretenders and their actual ranking will settle back towards the one calculated here.
Seeing how teams can be 'called out' in this system as potential pretenders, it is comforting to see that Newcastle appears to be earning their place on the table even at such an early stage of the season. They are neither the potentially significant 'pretender' or 'under-valued' squad.
Aston Villa and Cardiff have begun the coaching carousel for the season and their results have been earned from the context of this ranking. Both are ranked solidly in the bottom half of the normal table and their level of play with consideration to their opposition and whether the games were home or away suggests they have fully earned their rankings.
As a side note, considering how well Clark has played for NUFC and specifically the number of balls he has played off the goal line already in this season, it is interesting to consider/estimate the swing his move from AVFC to NUFC has had alone on the table and the fortunes of both clubs and the people associated with them.
Please add your thoughts, complaints, or contradictions in the comments. Thank you for your interest.
I thought it might be interesting to see how the table would look if it were weighted for results depending on the quality of the opponent and whether that game was played at home or away. I needed a methodology for measuring each result. I decided to use the following: each road win is worth 1 point, each home win is worth 2 points, a tie on the road is 3 points, a home tie worth 4 points, a road loss is assigned five points and for a home loss the team is saddled with 6 points. The points awarded from each game are multiplied by the current rank of the opponent on the table. As ranks on the table change throughout the season, the value of an outcome will change accordingly. The object is to have the lowest point total.
Think of this as an objective way to calculate a "Power Ranking" or "Level of Impressiveness." As games are played and I provide updates, the quality of the whole season to date is impacted. For instance, in any one week a home win against a 'cellar dweller' (not all that impressive) would actual flavor the winning teams seasonal average worse than the team with an away loss to a team at the top of the table (not all that unexpected). Over the course of the season though, every one plays all the teams so the week-to-week flux evens out.
Since teams have obviously played different opponents and at varying locations, this seemed a reasonable way to 'weigh' each outcome and get a directional idea of how each team is playing. My hypothesis was that teams will generally end up in a similar position as to where they are on the table but a few will have played harder/softer competition than the average and have an actual power rating that is better/worse than their actual position on the table.