Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Who has the toughest schedule?

One of the arguments the sports media likes to promote in favor of USC in the BCS title game is the “difficulty of their schedule”. They point to computer based ranking systems, like Jeff Sagarin, to show the purported strength of schedule of the USC team.

However Sagarin, like the other computer ranking systems, does not reveal the methodology behind his system. How are we to know, then, that his system is without bias? That it is without error? The answer is we don’t.

One system for ranking the toughness of schedules that is transparent to all involved is available though – and that system is created by the NCAA itself. It is based on a pretty simple system – the cumulative win-loss records of the opponents a team has faced. Who does the NCAA think has had the toughest schedule this year?

The Florida Gators.

Yeah, that’s right kiddies – regardless of what the Mark May’s of the world say, regardless of the arcane computations of computer rankings, on a win-loss basis, per the NCAA, your Florida Gators have the toughest schedule in Division I-A football.

NCAA Strength of Schedule

After playing Arkansas, the win loss record of Florida’s opponents will be 81-45, for a 64.29% average.

Now, USC’s schedule is nothing to belittle, as they come in 5th with a 75-48 record, for a 60.98% average. However, it is unfair, as well as inaccurate, to claim their opposition has been superior, as we are hearing so often in the sports media.

Michigan has also played a tough schedule, coming in at 3rd. And Steve Spurrier’s Game Cocks faced a pretty rough road too, with their strength of schedule at 4th overall.

Where is Ohio State, you ask? Well, all the way down at 39th, with a 66-57 total opponents record.

So, win or lose against the Razorbacks, Florida’s schedule this year has been the toughest in the nation per the NCAA. As we stand now, at 11-1, this team and coach deserve immense praise for that accomplishment.

1 comment:

Henry "Conductor" Gomez said...

Did you see Notre Dame?