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A guide to ESPN's SPI ratings

Updated: December 7, 2009, 11:28 AM ET
By Nate Silver | Special to ESPN.com

Objective

The SPI rating is designed to provide the best possible objective representation of a team's current overall skill level. In particular, the SPI ratings are intended to be forward-looking: They measure a team's relative likelihood of victory if a competitive match were to be held tomorrow. This concept may differ somewhat from a retrospective or backward-looking ratings system. The SPI ratings are not trying to reward or punish teams based on their past results; rather, they ...

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