Sunday, October 19, 2008

What to do with USC?

Or Florida for that matter?

The majority of teams have now played 7 games, but top ranked USC and Florida have only played 6.

The resumes –


The Good

Destroyed 6-1 Ohio State
Beat 5-2 Oregon

The Fairly Neutral

Beat 4-3 (and increasingly good looking) Virginia
Beat 2-4 Arizona State
Destroyed hapless 1-6 Washington State

The Bad

Lost to 4-3 Oregon State, who hasn’t beat anyone worthwhile but USC

My problem with USC, from a resume ranking standpoint, is the absence of that 7th game. I can look at the other 1 losses like Oklahoma, Georgia and Ohio State and have that 7th game for comparison. How to compare to that which hasn’t happened? How to compare unequal resumes?

I have the same problem with 5-1 Florida.

My instinct is to give credit to the teams with 7 games – where deserved – over those with only 6. This may lead to more volatility in my poll, but what else is really fair?


Anonymous said...

USC fan here but it makes sense. 1/12th less games to compare.

However, you state you are doing a resume ranking. Rank their current resume. If a team had one game completed and it was a beat down of a team that you consider elite, wouldn't you put them close to the top? Similarly, if another team had 5 games (impossible scenario but using it for exaggeration purposes), were 5-0 but hadn't beaten a high or mid tier team, would you rank them higher than the 1-0 team?? Possibly, but that is up to you and how you want to base your ranking.

Statistically, the 8 or 7 game teams are that much closer to not losing a game. However, I think you are projecting beyond their resume at that point.

Do you consider a 2-0 team with wins of mid level competition = to 1-0 with a win over a elite team?? You decide, your poll

Jesse W said...

I would personally rank teams based on who I think would when, thats the reason I would have USC in the top 5 myself!

Jesse W.

Henry Louis Gomez said...


I personally would rank a 2-0 team with wins over what are considered to be mid level teams higher than a 1-0 team with a win over what's considered to be top level team. The reason is that with only 1 game that team that's considered top level may not actually be so. But a resume poll in week 2 is going to be very different than in week 7 than in week 12.


That's exactly the philosophy that we're NOT using here. You could say that USC can beat anyone in the country and have no way of proving it. I can tell you that USC lost to Oregon State and you have to accept it. We're trying to take speculation out of the picture.

Andy said...

Also trying to rank college teams that don't travel out of their region OOC lacks credibility. The whole idea of ranking teams on a national basis that never travel or schedule teams out of their region will always be suspect. How does Alabama get ranked 2nd with that schedule, amazing..squeaking by teams like Kentucky and Mississippi. It virtually begs the question if they could even score if they played in Southern California but hey I know that's pure speculation. At least Texas we know has a difficult schedule. Wish the Gators could have scheduled an elite OOC team.

Caffeinated Crocodilian said...

I'd argue that Virginia still isn't good looking... sure, they're doing better now that they're in ACC play, but look at the ACC. It's in shambles. NOBODY looks good in the ACC.

I say don't penalize teams for having two bye weeks already, though. Each game should make up an equal fraction of the resume. 1/6th of USC's record is embarassing. 2/6th is impressive. Put a point value for each game, add all those together, divide by the number of games. For instance, if you think the win over Ohio State was 8/10, the win over Oregon 6/0, win over Virginia, Arizona State, and Washington State 5/10, and the loss to Oregon State 2/10, all together they have 31/60, then their resume is 5.1667/10. (Use whatever point system you feel like... it's your blog, just giving an example). Giving weight to a particular win or loss is the same error in power polling... which games are the "real" team.

Rate each game, then aggregate. It's the fairest way.

Anonymous said...

What to do with USC?

Let 'em join the SEC for a year, so we wouldn't have to see Pete Carroll's Gruden-esque visage after mid-October.


did you mean "in regards to your poll"?

Oh answer STILL stands.