Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Unmasking the frauds in the BCS standings

Reader and friend of the blog, Brandon Thompson, has submitted for your review a closer look at the BCS top 25 and the competition they have played to date.

The six teams at the top of the chart (click to enlarge) are the undefeateds. As you can see, Ohio State has achieved its top ranking by beating Division 1A teams with a cumulative record 0f 17-23 18-23. Number 3 Boston College has also feasted on weak competition. In fact, the only undefeated team in the BCS top 25 that has played a schedule of Division 1A opponents with a combined winning record is USF.

Of the remaining teams in the BCS top 25, the ones with at least one loss, there are 8 that have played competition with cumulative sub .500 records.

The SEC has 7 teams in the BCS top 25 (the most of any conference) and guess what? All 7 teams have played opponents with cumulative winning records. This lends even more credence to Mergz' argument that intra-conference play in the SEC is reducing the conference's chances at having a representative in the much-ballyhooed but ultimately unimportant "national championship" game. This is exactly what makes the bowls and polls system unfair. It penalizes teams that play tough schedules and rewards those that don't.

By the way, for our PAC 10 fans out there, the PAC 10 has 4 teams in the BCS top 25 and only Oregon has played a schedule of Division 1A opponents with a cumulative winning record.

For those of you that are interested, here's the back up to Brandon's work. Feel free to post comments. I'm sure he'll be reading them.


Anonymous said...

No one should be demanding a playoff system more firmly than the SEC.....except, perhaps, the SEC West.

Year2 said...

Starting last week, I've been keeping track of Strength of Schedule (SOS) via a statistical method. I did this because going solely by wins and losses forces a black-and-white view of how games turn out, rather than allow for the continuum of quality that actually exists to come out. Is a win over 4-2 Auburn the same as a win over 4-2 Wyoming? I say no. I just updated for last weekend's games.

The BCS-ranked teams in the bottom quintile are as follows:

West Virginia - 103rd ranked SOS
Ohio State - 107th
Arizona State - 109th
USC - 111th
Texas Tech - 112th
Boston College - 113th
Kansas - 116th
Hawaii - 119th

For reference, USF has played the 56th ranked schedule, LSU the 21st, Oklahoma the 39th, South Carolina the 50th, Kentucky the 28th, and Oregon the 35th. Basically, I agree with the conclusions, but just looking at wins and losses doesn't tell the real story.

For an explanation of the calculations, a complete table of all 119 teams and their rankings, and a nice chart showing the correlation between schedule strength and losses, click the link above.

dtensor said...

Uh, speaking of fraud you might want add up the numbers again. Looking at Ohio State (and assuming that the table is correct which now seems doubtful), I don't see how it adds up to 17 and 23. The 23 looks correct but not 17.

Henry Gomez said...

We stand corrected. OSU's D1A competition actually has actually totaled 18 wins vs. 23 losses not the 17 that were reported in the post. We deeply regret the pain this error may have caused Buckeye fans.

Obviously that completely invalidates the entire post. OSU is number 1 and has played the toughest schedule in football, including the pros.


An error is not a fraud.

Anonymous said...

Can the SEC fans stop crying? If LSU wins out, they will be in the championship, loss and all. These computer rankings and pollsters only really start to make sense towards the end of the year. Last I checked, LSU and Florida both won BCS championships with one loss. Also, why talk about the number of wins of teams that you lost to? How about the cumulative record of only teams you beat. My high school team can lose to the entire top 25, it doesn't mean they are great. By the way, look at the record for the remaining schedule of the unbeatens:

OSU: 23-9
BC: 24-12 (plus ACC champ game)
Az st: 24-12
Kansas: 22-17 (plus Big 12 champ game)

I won't even check Hawaii because they won't even pass a two loss SEC team. So once the four unbeatens finish the year, they will have either earned it or will have a loss (except maybe Kansas, but even they don't have an easy road) If the season ended today, sure, the standings would be BS, but it doesn't.

By the way, if the SEC wants more respect (which I don't understand because everyone calls them the best conference), they need to win some decent nonconference games. Last I checked, LSU beat VA tech, but Auburn lost to USF and Tenn lost to Cal, so they only beat one top 25 team out of conference. I am sure WVU, Oklahoma, South Florida or Ohio state could play any schedule that an SEC team has played and have two losses at this point as well, maybe three tops. Which leaves us with the only conclusion that LSU is the only SEC team that deserves consideration for the BCS championship, which they most certainly will get.

Henry Gomez said...

A little touchy aren't we? Of course that was only halfway through the season. We'll see what's what as the season progresses.