Thursday, December 07, 2006

Oh, that's right!

I was just reading a great post by Keltic Gator over at Orange and Blue Hue. First I'll admit that when the stuff I'm about to describe happened I was paying attention to the Gators and their games against FSU and Arkansas. My concentration was centered on rooting for Florida to win the SEC. At the time an opportunity for the Gators to get into the BCS Championship Game looked very remote.

Let's get in time machine and go back to the day after Michigan lost to OSU. The BCS poll came out and Michigan stayed at number 2. Like everyone else, I thought this was by virtue of the humans who had kept Michigan at number 2 because they had bought into the hype that Michigan was the second best team in the country. But Keltic Gator, reminds us that in fact Michigan dropped to 3rd (behind OSU and USC) in both human polls that are used by the BCS and it was by virtue of the computers that Michigan didn't drop to number 3.

Now it should be noted that the strength of schedule calculations for the computers change as each game is played. In other words with two games to play for both USC and Florida one could could not rule out one or both teams leapfrogging idle Michigan in those polls.

In week 14, USC continued to be at number 2 in the human polls but jumped Michigan in the BCS because of the computer polls, which now factored in a USC victory over Notre Dame. If USC beats UCLA there is no argument. But they didn't and we have this huge mess where people forget that Michigan never regained the number 2 spot in the human polls.

In the final week the computer polls were split on who is better between Michigan and Florida. 3 computers said Michigan is better, 2 said that Florida was number 2, and one even said that Florida is number 1.

The human voters thought Michigan was the third best team in week 13, again in week 14, and finally in week 15.

Anyway, I urge you to read Keltic Gator's take on it now.

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