Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Humans Against the Machines

It was close.

Sure when you look at the final BCS standings with Florida 2nd at .9479, and Texas 3rd at .9289 the cushion looks comfortable. However, when expressed in percentages it is only a 2% margin (.9479/.9289-1). Oklahoma, by contrast, was 3% ahead of Florida.

When you look at the components, you can see how indeed it was the human element that prevailed over the machines (computers). While the rankings in the computers make it appear close between Florida and Texas (UF 3rd, UT 2nd), the margins tell a different story.


Harris Poll – Florida lead over Texas 6.1%
USA Today Poll – Florida lead over Texas 5.2%
Computer Polls – Texas lead over Florida 5.6%

In the computer polls Florida rated .890 to Texas’ .940. In fact our computer rating was far worse than I had guessed it might be at .890, as in my post entitled “It’s Not a Sure Thing” I guessed we would be .920, which was Alabama’s computer rating prior to the SEC Championship game. Texas, in fact, kept their exact same pre-championship game ratings in the computers of .940, while Oklahoma gained (.980 to 1.000).

I was correct in my guess that the Colley Matrix would place us third.

So in reality Florida can thank the voters of the Harris poll which propelled us to first place thus assuring the title game slot.

The computers really didn’t like Florida this year, and our rankings in the 6 computer polls that make up the BCS were –

Anderson & Hester – 4th
Richard Billingsley – 2nd
Colley Matrix – 3rd
Kenneth Massey – 5th
Jeff Sagarin – 4th
Dr. Peter Wolfe – 4th

Texas was ranked higher in every computer poll than Florida expect for Billingsley.

Put another way, it took BOTH of the human polls to get Florida over the top. If only the Coaches’ Poll and the computer polls were involved it would have been Oklahoma against Texas as illustrated thus –

Texas average USA Today/Computers - .9317
Florida average USA Today/Computers - . 9306

UPDATE: In regard to my post about Spurrier not voting us number one, his failure to do so actually cost us 1st place in the USA Today Coaches’ Poll, as we were a single point (1482 to 1481) behind Oklahoma.


Anonymous said...

If I was just an "outside" observer & didn't have a vested interest in the results, I would have hoped for a OK/UT rematch---NOT that I thought that it would be the best matchup, but in the hope that the resulting controversy would FINALLY lead to the demise of the BcS...

But the fat-cat suits in charge once again dodged a bullet.

Or did they?

As I asked in an earlier opine:
"if the humans are just going to vote however they need to to get the "right" matchup, why does the BCS even bother with the computers?"


Anonymous said...

RE: Spurrier's vote

Can you imagine the backlash that could have resulted if the OBC's vote has cost Florida a chance at another MNC?

Your "jealousy" point may indeed have some merit...


Henry Louis Gomez said...

I can't get worked up about Spurrier voting us number 2. It's not his fault we have a cockamamie system. He didn't vote us 10. Mergz Power ranking shows that OU and Florida are very, very close. Maybe in Spurrier's mind OU is actually a better team. In any case I'm glad we didn't get screwed but somebody is going to have to get screwed royally to get this thing to change.