Chaos Rankings

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Food for Thought

I'm sure all the poll votes are in and somewhere a computer is hard at work crunsing the final BCS numbers, so this is all rather moot, but you can see that my Ranking system places Michigan above Florida. Before Gator Nation starts flooding my inbox with complaints abotu how my strength of schedule component doesn't count for enough (which is probably why Boise is #2), let me point out that according to my system, Michigan plays a tougher schedule than Florida, not by much, but all it has to be is by more. The Wolverines come in at .8046 and the Gators come in at .7701, both good enough to be in the top 10 toughest schedules list. I will also point out that of the 6 stats that go into my formula, Michigan is ahead in 4 of them - points per game, yards allowed per game, turnovers comitted and turnovers forced. Florida leads them in points allowed and yards per game. But the points allowed per game is barely one point in UF's favor, so it's practically a wash. I'm not advocating for or against a rematch for the title game. I'm simply advocating for the BCS to do what it was intended to do, which is match up the 2 best teams to compete for a championship. I hope all the poll voters who will inevitably vote to move Florida into USC's vacant #2 slot are doing so because they honestly believe Florida is better than Michigan and not because of the retarded politics involved.


  • Obviously I'm a bit partisan, but let's look at it this way, courtesy of Mark Schablach at ESPN:

    1. Florida beat nine teams that are projected to play in bowl games. Michigan beat six.

    2. Michigan beat five teams that finished the season with losing records. Florida beat two teams with sub-.500 records.

    3. Florida's 12 Division I-A opponents had a combined record of 89-57. Michigan's 12 opponents had a combined record of 84-61.

    4. Michigan's best win is considered a 27-13 victory over Wisconsin on Sept. 23. The Badgers are 11-1 and have climbed to No. 7 in the AP Top 25 poll, despite having played only one ranked opponent -- the Wolverines -- the entire season.

    5. The 12 teams Florida defeated finished the season with 11 combined wins against opponents which were ranked in the AP Top 25 poll at the time the game was played. The opponents Michigan defeated claim just three wins against ranked teams (Notre Dame beat Penn State. Indiana beat Iowa. Vanderbilt beat Georgia. The Nittany Lions, Hawkeyes and Bulldogs, it should be noted, haven't been ranked in seven weeks).

    6. The Gators went 3-1 against ranked opponents, beating then-No. 13 Tennessee, No. 9 LSU and No. 8 Arkansas and losing at No. 11 Auburn. The Wolverines went 1-1 against ranked opponents, beating a highly overrated No. 2 Notre Dame team (that lost to Michigan and USC by a combined total of 46 points) and losing at No. 1 Ohio State 42-39 on Nov. 18.

    7. The Gators' average margin of victory against Division I-A teams was 13.5 points. They won seven games by 14 points or fewer, six by less than 10. The Wolverines' average margin of victory was 17.3 points. They won six games by 14 points or fewer, two by less than 10.

    8. The Gators played Western Carolina, a Division I-AA team, and won by 62 points. The Wolverines played Ball State, which should be a I-AA team, and won by eight.

    9. Since the Wolverines last played and lost at Ohio State, the Gators won at Florida State (The Seminoles are 6-6, but rivalry games are tough to win. Just ask USC coach Pete Carroll) and then beat the No. 8 Razorbacks, who defeated then-No. 2 Auburn and No. 13 Tennessee by 17 points each.

    10. Michigan didn't win the Big Ten; Florida won the SEC. Winning your conference should be a prerequisite for playing in the national championship.

    I'll add my own reason...

    11. If OSU and UM re-match and UM wins, who's the national champion? Both are one loss teams to each other. Does it come down to point totals?

    Obviously everyone is now thoroughly behind Captain Playoff, especially people in Michigan. Well, I'm not so sure about that. I think people in the "power" conferences that get a lot of media love (Big T(elev)en and Pac-10) are a little scared of a playoff system because it may show how weak those conferences are.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12/04/2006 8:39 AM  

  • Winning your conference championship as a prerequisite for playing in the title game does not make any sense to me. Some conferences (i.e. the Big Televen) don't have confernce championships. Until every BCS conference (at least) has a conference championship, this unwritten rule is ludicris.

    Wisconsin is a great team and is being belittled and overlooked because only two teams from each conference can be included in BCS games. Michigan's victory over them means more than most people believe.

    The Gators win over F$U means nothing. As stated, they're 6-6 and in a world of hurt. Despite it being a rivalry game, Florida should have wiped the floor with them, no question. USC is a great team but over-hyped; I personally am not surprised they lost to UCLA.

    If OSU and UM rematch in the national championship and UM wins, they're the champions. That tends to be how championship games work.

    By Anonymous Emily, at 12/04/2006 11:15 AM  

  • You end up with a situation like I said weeks ago where Michigan gets the BCS crown, but the AP, who's already shunned the BCS, would likely still crown OSU the champion.

    I think winning your conference is important, but until every conference has a similar method to do that, it's not fair to make that a requirement. Let's take this potential scenario: Florida loses to Auburn in the regular season. Both teams win all their other games and their divisions and play again in the SEC championship. Florida beats Auburn this time around. Which team gets selected to play against, I dunno, Oklahoma or USC or Michigan for a national title. Florida won the conference, but both teams have one loss. Let's say that back in October, Auburn throttled Florida 38-10. Florida wins in Atlanta 21-20. All else being equal (strength of schedule, rankings, etc), isn't Auburn the better team?

    Also, the BCS is supposed to match the 2 best teams, regardless of what conference or a rematch or anything else. Is Florida better? Maybe. Is Michigan better? Maybe. I think (like most other people) that they're both so close that it's just a matter of personal choice. You can rattle off stats and records and whatever else all day long, but in the end, both teams are equally deserving.

    The BCS only works when there are 2 undefeated teams from difference power conferences. You shouldn't need an elaborate system to tell you which two teams get to play for the national championship at that point. In short, the BCS is useless. A playoff system makes infinitely more sense. Obviously, the logistics are mindboggling and (like March Madness) there is bound to be squabbling when the 4 or 8 or 16 teams to play in a tournament get selected and how they get seeded and everything. But a playoff tells you what no one else can possibly tell you right now - which team is better. In a 4 team playoff, you'd get to see UF play Michigan and LSU play OSU. Those would both be awesome games. And no one could possibly say and the end of it that the team who beats two of those teams is not the best team in college football.

    For the record, I think Michigan is a more complete team than Florida. I think on a neutral field, the Wolverines beat the Gators. That's my personal opionion, and one I'm sure many people share. But I'm sure just as many people think the exact opposite. And enough of those people vote in the Harris poll and the Coaches poll and were inclined to change their votes.

    Controversy in the BCS is nothing new, and I don't expect said controversy to ever stop. Of course, a playoff system is not the panacea of all the problems; it will certainly introduce its own fresh set. But it seems like a system that forces top teams to play each other to determine a champion is the most logical solution to the current myriad issues.

    By Blogger Adam, at 12/04/2006 12:43 PM  

  • All that being said, congratulations to the Gators for a great season and best of luck in the Championship game. I will personally be rooting for UF due to my own hatred for OSU and because they will come into the game as an underdog. I had a momentary lapse in judegment where I thought I might pull for the Buckeyes since I felt they should be playing Michigan instead of UF, but that's stupid. Florida is certainly deserving of a chance against OSU, and now they've got it, so I'll be rooting for them to make the most of it. Besides, there's always an (very very) outside chance that a slim UF victory and a crushing defeat of USC could hand Michigan the AP crown. Florida and Michigan can be co-champions! This won't actually happen, but it's fun to pretend. ;)

    By Blogger Adam, at 12/04/2006 2:46 PM  

  • The Gator Nation thanks you for your support. I'm sorry my support for the Ramblin' Wreck didn't pan out so well.

    You wrote a line that I've heard multiple times elsewhere: "Also, the BCS is supposed to match the 2 best teams, regardless of what conference or a rematch or anything else." That is true. However, doesn't something like 2/3 of the BCS' weight come from voting polls? And aren't those polls completely subjective?

    My point is that as much as people would like to (or do) believe the BCS is completely scientific and techperfect, it's still largely just a combination of polls. If a coach, writer or whoever wants to vote Duke number one, they can, and that factors into BCS results. A six-team playoff with a first round bye for #1 and #2 is the way to go.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12/04/2006 5:57 PM  

  • First of all: Adam, you had better become more of a Florida fan due to all your friends down here. No one in the Midwest loves you, and there is nothing there to love.

    Second, I think you should include penalties per game and field goal kicks made. That would put Florida #237 behind I-AA Western Carolina.

    Third, I think your rankings are the best because they include numbers in scientific notation. It gives an air of professionalism to the entire thing.

    By Anonymous Tim, at 12/04/2006 9:04 PM  

  • Absolutely I agree with Matt. Poll voters are morons with personal agendas. And since two thirds of the BCS score comre from those polls, obviously vindictive morons can have a large impact on the standings. The BCS is supposed to match the 2 best teams, but with so much emphasis placed on two polls that consist of what, maybe 250 total people, obviously your sampling margin is outrageous. At least that's what I assume, I didn't do very well at statistics. Computers aren't subject to any bias, they process all numbers the same way. Any given day when you put in a certain set of data, you're going to get specific expected outcome. However, the people who come up with the formula are biased, and though it may be somewhat less intentional, the way a formula is designed may give too much weight to certain aspects and not enough to others (e.g. Boise State). I forgot what my point was, but with two thirds of the outcome resting squarely on the shoulders of a very very small number of people, the results are always going to be somewhat subject. If you want more "scientific" results, you need a much larger sampling size. I promise you that there are plenty of people like me who probably watch more football week after week than anyone voting in those polls.

    By Blogger Adam, at 12/04/2006 10:21 PM  

  • In case anyone's interested, you can apparently sign up to be part of the Harris poll by going here: That link didn't work for me, but I got it off of Harris Interactive's website, so maybe it's just been overloaded with people the last couple days that they took the link down.

    By Blogger Adam, at 12/04/2006 10:26 PM  

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