Atomic Football


Special thanks to Ralph Wallace at College Sporting News and the folks at I-AA.org for making our football rating part of every Gridiron Power Index since 2003.


"The top non [Vegas] line system was Atomic Football"
- Todd Beck, 2018

"Atomic Football was ... the second best non [Vegas] line based system"
- Todd Beck, 2018

"Ashburn's Atomic Football finished a half game behind but had one missing game. Looking at this game it was one of the rescheduled games ... otherwise I would have named them co-winners."
- Todd Beck, 2017

The "best overall predictive system ... that is the most well rounded".
- Todd Beck, 2015

"The lowest [deviation from actual game scores] for any computer system was Ashburns's Atomic Football at 12.85."
- Todd Beck, 2008


Special thanks to Amy Langville and Carl Meyer for their reference to our paper in their book, "Who's #1? The Science of Rating and Ranking."
- 2012, ISBN: 9781400841677


Here are some newspaper articles that have been written about AtomicFootball. See what others are saying about our rating system.

  • 22 October 2006 PDF
  • 8 July 2007 PDF
  • 9 July 2007 PDF


Please check out our site and let us know what you think. Comments and suggestions are welcome.

contact us

Jim Ashburn

After graduating valedictorian of his high school class in 1982, Jim Ashburn enrolled at the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH). As an undergraduate, he began his work as a laboratory assistant in the areas of superconductivity and microgravity-processed materials. To further his research, he continued at UAH as a graduate student under a NASA Fellowship. In 1987, he formulated and tested the first material to superconduct above the temperature of boiling nitrogen, bringing worldwide attention to the university. The paper resulting from this achievement was the most cited technical paper in the world that year and the sixth most cited of that decade. It was recently listed as the second most cited paper in the history of Physical Review Letters, the highest journal in physics.

In 1988, Jim was recognized with a resolution of the UAH Board of Trustees for "distinguished service to UAH and the community." In 1997, a historical marker was erected on his behalf at UAH recognizing the 10th anniversary of his superconductor discovery. In 2002, Jim was inducted as one of UAH's "Alumni of Achievement."

Upon graduation from UAH in 1990 with his Ph.D. in physics, Jim joined the senior technical staff at Nichols Research Corporation. He rose to the level of Fellow before leaving NRC in 1999. He then joined a small company called ELMCO Inc., an Inc 500 company of about 200 employees where he served as Chief Scientist.

Jim lives in Huntsville with his wife Greta and their five children -- Christopher, Matthew, and triplets Kathryn, William, and Laura Grace.

Paul Colvert

After graduating from high school in 1986, Paul Colvert enrolled at the University of Central Arkansas (UCA) where he majored in Physics with a minor in Mathematics. Upon graduation from UCA in 1990 with his B.S. in Physics, Paul joined the staff at Nichols Research Corporation (NRC) in Huntsville, Alabama. It was during his time at NRC that Paul first met and became friends with Jim Ashburn.

After leaving NRC in 1991, Paul continued to work Jim on various projects and programs even though they were with different companies. Eventually, Paul went to work for a small company called ELMCO in 1995 and Jim joined the company just a few years later.

Paul lives near Madison, Alabama with his wife, Jeanette, and their two daughters, Lauren and Sarah.


Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional   Valid CSS!