Thursday, October 16, 2008

As for my BlogPoll…

Brian (now the “BlogPoll Editorial Guy”) called me out for several votes in my ballot.

The main point of his disagreement with me seems to be that I place a higher value on who you lose to than who you have beaten, while he feels the opposite. At this point in the season, I couldn’t disagree with him more – who you have lost to says everything to me about your program after only 7 weeks.

The way I look at it, every team worthy of top ranking by the 7th week should have won all of their games against whoever they have played. Top team should beat good teams – that what makes them top teams, and I expect nothing less. However losing to a bad team by only the 7th week is unforgivable, to me, in the context of where we are currently. And I can’t stress that enough – where we are currently.

Look at it this way when we consider USC, about who I have major disagreement with most pollsters now. The Trojans have played only 5 games, so at this point each game equals only 1/5th of the Trojans total resume. The current fifth’s are –

-Beat 3-3 Virginia
-Beat 6-1 Ohio State
- Beat 5-2 Oregon
-Beat 2-4 Arizona State
- Lost to 3-3 Oregon State

Wins over teams with a cumulative 15-10, and lost to a 3-3 team. But I EXPECT a team that would be top ranked after 5 games to beat all comers, and not have come remotely close to losing to a .500. At this point, 1/5th of USC record stinks to high heaven.

Or look at this way - if the Trojan's current resume was their total resume (if they only played 5 games), the chance of USC playing for a BCS title would be zero.

Now consider USC if they go undefeated the rest of the season. At that point they will be 11-1, with some other impressive wins. Only 1/12th of their resume will be that bad loss. At that point, to my thinking, the loss will be significantly diminished against their entire body of work. Under those circumstances, against who they have played, I will rank them higher than, say an undefeated Boise State, who has played nobody.

On the other hand, if they lose another game, they will be essentially out of it. The point is – and I can’t reiterate this enough – where they are now DOESN’T MATTER. We only know 42% of what will be USC’s final body of work (5 of 12 games). To rank them 4th overall (as the Coaches do) gives them too little criticism for where they are now, and gives them far to much credit for what they might be.

And if we have seen or learned anything this year, expectations of what might be are dashed on a weekly basis.

PS - Upon further consideration, I may have "over estimated" Boise in my most recent poll. That said, undefeated still carries great weight at this point.

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