Sunday, November 23, 2008

BCS Remains Complete Joke

How can a team that loses by 44 stay ahead of a team that won by 31 (and who's only loss is by 1 on a last-second FG)? Only in the BCS. The Big Ten slap-fest continued in the latest iteration of the BCS standings, which were released tonight. The 2008 Big Ten Champions stayed in 8th place overall. All but one of their victories was by 14 or more points. They trashed an Oregon State team that beat USC. They went to Columbus and beat Ohio State. There was one hiccup; one misstep. A 1-point loss to a resurgent Iowa team. But Big 12 teams forget how to play defense yet they are perceived as better? What a joke!

I'm not saying Penn State should be #1. They may or may not be Top 5 right now. But they aren't 8. No lower than 6, I say. In front of an OVERRATED Texas Tech team and Utah. Utah squeaked by Michigan (hardly a tough game this season), narrowly escaped Air Force, beat Oregon State by 3, and struggled mightily againts New Mexico. Their wins over TCU and BYU are nice. But can you really tell me they are better than Penn State? They deserved to be in the Top 25. I'd say between 12-18.

The real culprit is those damn computers they use. Penn State is ranked 7th (Anderson & Hester), 10th (Billingsley), 7th (Colley Matrix), 9th (Massey), 8th (Sagarin), and 11th (Wolfe). What a joke. 11th? Wolfe's updated rankings haven't been published yet but last week we were still behind Georgia and Oklahoma State.

The sad truth about computer rankings is you can manipulate the statistics and numbers until you get what you want. I'm not saying these gentlemen have done that. I'm saying that I could make a computer ranking system that would look much different than this using the same underlying inputs.

I have tried making my own in the past. Perhaps I'll revisit that to demonstrate what I mean. Through week 8 of this season Penn State was ranked #1 in my computer model - and by a large margin. That would obviously be different now. I wonder where they would be?

BCS still is crap, we need a playoff. On any given Saturday, any team can win. Let them figure this out on the field, not through computers.

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