Chaos Rankings

Friday, January 27, 2012

Take That Deep Blue

Or Watson, or HAL, or whatever your preferred computer personification might be. When it comes to picking bowl games, it turns out that we humans still know better than computers. Or at least, I know better than the computer program I wrote. Which actually doesn't sound as impressive, and might even be somewhat damning. At any rate, here's how the Annual Bowl Catastrophe shook out:
My Gut Reaction Picks - 27/35 correct
Chaos Rankings Pure Rank Picks - 23/35
Chaos Rankings SOS-Scaled Picks - 18/35
The picks above are based solely on picking the winner, not on picking the correct spread (via Chaos Rankings) or picking with the Vegas spreads. That the SOS-Scaled picks did worse than the Pure Rankings picks I suppose isn't terribly surprising. The rankings already have an SOS component built in, so adjusting the actual on-field numbers by that amount is somewhat tantamount to double-counting the schedule strength values. Still, I'm surprised that my own first look picks did better than the Chaos Rankings inspired picks. Of the 8 incorrect picks I made, 4 games were decided by less than 1 score, and 1 was a 10 point differential. The remaining three were truly catastrophes - WVU mauling Clemson, SMU manhandling Pitt, and Northern Illinois running all over Arkansas State.


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