The Strength Index New Jersey uses to determine OSI – Opponent Strength Index – which accounts for 60% of the state playoff formula is calculated on a weekly basis.
And it can give us a pretty good idea of who’s having a good season, as well as who has improved.
The SI formula is simple. Each team is calculated on their results every week. Compare the two numbers of a pair of opponents, and how each of them does compared to the difference in that number determines how much a team’s Strength Index goes up or down.
If Team A is rated 87, and Team B is rated 80, the difference is 7. The expected result is that team A is 7 points better than Team B.
If Team A wins by 7, both teams stay the same.
If Team A wins by 12, they go up by 1/5 the difference against the expected result. The difference is 5, so Team A goes up by 1 point, and Team B goes down the opposite.
If Team B wins by 3, that’s a 10-point swing. They would go up by 2, and Team A would go down by two.
Knowing that, we can see who has made the biggest gains since the beginning of the year.
The Strength Index says St. Thomas Aquinas (4-0) has made the biggest gain, almost 20 points higher than it started the year. That means the Trojans have improved, and they certainly have. In three league games, they’re averaging 49.3 points per game, and they’ve won all four of their games by shutout. They’re coming off a 4-3 season last year.
Colonia also has gained a lot, 17.39 points to be exact. The Patriots were 2-6 last year, but are 4-1 heading into Week 6, their only loss coming in their opener, 21-14 to Woodbridge, one of the top teams in the league.
Here’s a look at the most improved teams in the Big Central in 2021, using Strength Index:
The top gainer from Week 5 to Week 6 with South Brunswick, picking up 7.01 points after handing Monroe its second loss of the season.
Roselle gained after a 42-point home win over Johnson, and Bridgewater-Raritan climbed after a road win at Phillipsburg, its first at Maloney Stadium since 2016.
Here’s the rest of the list: