Category Archives: College Football

1 vs 2

Alabama hosted LSU yesterday in what was billed as number 1 versus number 2.  This is a great way to market a football game, but it completely ignores reality.  6 out of 7 BCS computer polls, which the BCS itself has selected to rank college football teams, had Oklahoma State ranked number 1 heading into the LSU-Alabama game, and the lone dissenting system had Oklahoma State ranked number 2.  That means there were 0 computer rankings that had LSU-Alabama as a 1 vs 2 game.  I guess it’s just harder to market a 2 vs 3 game.

Cheers.

One More Arbitrary NCAA Football Ranking Scheme for the BCS – 11/6/2011

Rankings as of 11/6/2011.  Previous weeks rankings are here.

What a game last night between LSU and Alabama!  #FieldGoalsAreAwesome

I’ll update the BCS ranks when the new ones come out.

 Team Rank Change Record BCS Rank
Oklahoma State 1 0 9-0
LSU 2 1 9-0
Oklahoma 3 2 8-1
Alabama 4 0 8-1
Kansas St. 5 -3 7-2
Texas 6 6 6-2
Arkansas 7 3 8-1
Stanford 8 0 9-0
Oregon 9 4 8-1
Clemson 10 -4 8-1
South Carolina 11 -2 7-2
Virginia Tech 12 2 8-1
Baylor 13 3 5-3
Texas A&M 14 -7 5-4
Auburn 15 4 6-3
Penn State 16 1 8-1
Georgia 17 7 7-2
USC 18 -3 7-2
Houston 19 6 9-0
Boise State 20 1 8-0
Iowa State 21 11 5-4
Georgia Tech 22 0 7-2
Texas Tech 23 -12 5-4
Nebraska 24 -6 7-2
Michigan 25 -5 7-2

BCS: My offer still stands…….if you want to contact me you can send me a tweet @StatsInTheWild.

Cheers.

One More Arbitrary NCAA Football Ranking Scheme for the BCS – 11/1/2011

Rankings as of 11/1/2011.  The previous week’s rankings are here.

I apologize for not getting these rankings out until today (Tuesday), but we’re likely without power until Friday or Saturday.  I’m currently in the Western New England College University Law School library, which has power and heat.  Anyway……

There are 5 teams in the SITW top 25 that are not in the BCS top 25 (SITW Ranking):  Texas A&M (15), Texas Tech (18), USC (19), Baylor (21), Missouri (25).

Likewise, the five teams in the BCS top 25 that are not in the SITW top 25 are: Arizona State (26), Wisconsin (30), Michigan State (31), West Virginia (32), and Southern Miss (39).

Based on the disparity between the SITW rankings and the BCS rankings, the most over-rated top 25 BCS team is Boise State, followed by Michigan State and Southern Miss.  The most under-rated team is Texas, followed by Kansas State, Auburn, Oklahoma, and Clemson.

 Team Rank Change Record BCS Rank
Oklahoma State 1 0 8-0 3
Oklahoma 2 3 7-1 8
LSU 3 0 8-0 1
Alabama 4 0 8-0 2
Kansas State 5 -3 7-1 9
Stanford 6 2 8-0 5
Clemson 7 -1 8-1 16
South Carolina 8 1 7-1 6
Arkansas 9 1 7-1 13
Virginia Tech 10 4 8-1 10
Texas 11 1 5-2 20
Oregon 12 1 7-1 24
Nebraska 13 5 7-1 7
Penn State 14 3 8-1 12
Texas A&M 15 -8 5-3 NR
Michigan 16 4 7-1 NR
Auburn 17 2 6-3 19
Texas Tech 18 -7 5-3 14
USC 19 -4 6-2 23
Georgia Tech 20 2 7-2 18
Baylor 21 -5 4-3 4
Boise State 22 -1 7-0 NR
Georgia 23 1 6-2 15
Houston 24 1 8-0 22
Missouri 25 5 4-4 17

BCS: My offer still stands…….if you want to contact me you can send me a tweet @StatsInTheWild.

Cheers.

One More Arbitrary NCAA Football Ranking Scheme for the BCS – 10/23/2011

Rankings as of 10/23/2011.  Previous weeks rankings here.

There are 3 teams ranked in the BCS top 25 who aren’t in my top 25.  They are Michigan State, Arizona State, and West Virginia.

There are three teams in my top 25 who aren’t in the BCS top 25.  They are USC, Baylor, and Georgia Tech.

 Team Rank Change Record BCS Rank
Oklahoma State 1 0 7-0 3
Kansas State 2 1 7-0 8
LSU 3 1 8-0 1
Alabama 4 1 8-0 2
Oklahoma 5 -3 6-1 9
Clemson 6 0 8-0 5
Texas A&M 7 1 5-2 16
Stanford 8 2 7-0 6
South Carolina 9 0 6-1 13
Arkansas 10 2 6-1 10
Texas Tech 11 4 5-2 20
Texas 12 -5 4-2 24
Oregon 13 7 6-1 7
Virginia Tech 14 2 7-1 12
USC 15 4 6-1 NR
Baylor 16 -5 4-2 NR
Penn State 17 1 7-1 19
Nebraska 18 4 6-1 14
Auburn 19 -2 5-3 23
Michigan 20 1 6-1 18
Boise State 21 4 7-0 4
Georgia Tech 22 -9 6-2 NR
Wisconsin 23 -9 6-1 15
Georgia 24 4 5-2 22
Houston 25 10 7-0 17

BCS: My offer still stands…….if you want to contact me you can send me a tweet @StatsInTheWild.

Cheers.

One More Arbitrary NCAA Football Ranking Scheme for the BCS

Rankings as of 10/16/2011.  Previous weeks rankings here.

 Team Rank Change
Oklahoma State 1 0
Oklahoma 2 0
Kansas State 3 0
LSU 4 1
Alabama 5 -1
Clemson 6 1
Texas 7 -1
Texas A&M 8 8
South Carolina 9 4
Stanford 10 4
Baylor 11 -3
Arkansas 12 3
Georgia Tech 13 -4
Wisconsin 14 6
Texas Tech 15 -5
Virginia Tech 16 5
Auburn 17 5
Penn State 18 7
USC 19 5
Oregon 20 6
Michigan 21 -9
Nebraska 22 1
Illinois 23 -12
Missouri 24 11
Boise State 25 11

BCS: If you want to contact me you can send me a tweet @StatsInTheWild.

Cheers.

One More Arbitrary NCAA Football Ranking Scheme for the BCS

I’ve been reading a little bit about the BCS computer rankings lately, and, while I’m a huge fan of ratings systems (I have my own for the NFL), the BCS computer rankings make me cringe.  The computer ratings, which account for only one third of the overall rankings, are made up of six seemingly arbitrarily chosen ratings systems that, in most cases, no one knows all of the details of how they work.  As one website puts it :

What do you know about the different computer rankings?

Not a whole lot. Most of the formulas are proprietary. Some are more forthcoming about what goes in than others. All of the systems use the same basic set of data (except where noted): Date of game, location of game, who played and who won. What distinguishes them is what they do with the data, how much they weigh certain factors, and what set of teams they rank.

That’s not comforting at all.  This means that there are 18-22 year old men out there who have spent their whole lives playing football and preparing to play in college, whose chance to play for a national title, will, in some small way, be affected by 6 almost completely black box computer rankings.  And sometimes they even leave data out of their black boxes.  (The fact the an FCS game between Appalachian State and Western Illinois can actually affect the ranking of a top ten FBS team is absolute high comedy.  It sounds like an Onion article: “Boise States top ten dreams rest in the hands of…… Appalachian State.”  Only the clowns that run the BCS could make this a reality.)

But even if the six computer rankings are all done perfectly every week, why these six? I found this to be an interesting explanation from Massey ratings website:

How did you get involved with the BCS?

I started working on college football ratings as an honors project in mathematics while at Bluefield College in 1995. Continuing this interest as a hobby, I developed a web page and helped pioneer the organization of college football rankings via my comparison. The BCS, which started in 1997, realized the need to expand its sample of computer ratings from three to seven. My web site became a central resource point as the BCS officials searched for quality, respected, and well-established computer ratings. I received a phone call from SEC commisioner Roy Kramer in the spring of 1999 to discuss the prospect of adding my ratings to the BCS formula. Mine were chosen because of their demonstrated accuracy and conformance to the consensus, and my personal expertise in the field.

Conformance to the consensus!?!  Massey states that a reason his computer model was chosen was because of its conformance to the consensus, which in this case I assume means the two polls which make up the other two thirds of the BCS rankings.  This makes it sound like the BCS went out and picked the 6 ranking systems that conformed most closely with the polls.  This would essentially render the computer rankings useless, as they would just be an elaborate extension of the polls.  (Note: I like the Massey ratings; I just don’t think they or any computer rating system should be used to determine a national champion.)

All of this has led me to produce my own rankings (which do not conform to the consensus).  Maybe if I post my rankings long enough, I will get a call from some big time conference commissioner, and they will add my totally black box ranking system to the BCS.  So anyway, here are my rankings.  (Some details: I’m only using data from 2011, all teams start on a level playing field (no preseason ranking is considered).  Strength of schedule plays a heavy role in my rankings (which the BCS should love because I’ll likely never put Boise State in my top ten.) I do not consider the location of the game, and I get my data from goldsheet.com.  So rather than using only FCS or FBS data points, I’m using only games that can easily be gambled on (I guess the NCAA BCS won’t be calling; they seem to frown on gambling.))

 Team Rank
Oklahoma State 1
Oklahoma 2
Kansas State 3
Alabama 4
LSU 5
Texas 6
Clemson 7
Baylor 8
Georgia Tech 9
Texas Tech 10
Illinois 11
Michigan 12
South Carolina 13
Stanford 14
Arkansas 15
Texas A&M 16
North Carolina 17
Iowa State 18
Arizona State 19
Wisconsin 20
Virginia Tech 21
Auburn 22
Nebraska 23
USC 24
Penn State 25

BCS: If you want to contact me you can send me a tweet @StatsInTheWild.

Cheers.