Massey has compiled a list of 114 different college football ratings for comparison. Go take a look at them. Now go to the bottom and look at the conference rankings. Scroll across the page and you’ll see that the SEC is literally the unanimous….wait, what? Only 110 of the 114 rankings have the SEC rated number 1.
This means there are four that rankings don’t have the SEC at the top. Which rankings are these? 3 of them are polls: The AP Poll, the USA Today Poll, and the College Football Playoff Committee. However, you rank college football teams this year, if you don’t have the SEC rated as the best conference, you’re ranking is absolutely meaningless in my book (and I think many people would agree). It’s absolutely insane that the three polls that get this wrong are 1/3 of the old BCS, a coaches poll, and the rankings that will determine the college football playoffs. (At this point, is it reasonable to assume the the NCAA is just messing with college football fans in an elaborate work of performance art?) It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that the SEC is the best conference in college football this year. If you’re rankings don’t reflect that, it’s simply hard to have any faith that you know what you are doing.
But wait, it gets worse. Something called FEI has the SEC ranked THIRD (?!?!) best conference in football this year behind the Pac-12 and the ACC. What in the world is the FEI? FEI is apparently and abbreviation for the Fremeau Efficiency Index. Apparently this is one of the two components that Football Outsiders uses in it’s F/+ ratings. Now I swear to you, I’m not actively going out of my way to pick on Football Outsiders for bad statistics, but it just seems to keep happening. (See for instance, former FO writer Bill Barnwell doing a terrible “study” and some of their “analysis” of place kicking.) Now add in that their overall ranking system for college football has the SEC ranked 3rd and it’s even harder to take their slogan seriously: “Innovative Statistics, Intelligent Analysis”.
There is a fine line between genius and insanity and Football Outsiders are either geniuses who see something in the Pac-12 and the ACC that literally no one outside of the media polls sees or they are living in a completely alternate college football reality.