As a few have pointed out, this guy gets it (the BCS)

Discussion in 'The Tiger's Den' started by tirk, Jul 15, 2004.

  1. tirk

    tirk im the lyrical jessie james

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    I emailed him telling him it was nice to see someone who finally gets it.

    http://collegefootballnews.com/2004/Columnists/Fiu/NewBCSformula.htm

    The New BCS Formula----Setting itself up for more problems

    By Pete Fiutak
    No, no, no, no, no. Get a backbone you BCSers; you actually had it right before caving to the pressure, and all you're doing is setting yourself up for more failure and worse, a potentially unfair national title game.

    The BCS formula will change yet again to make it more fan friendly, and also try and keep whiny media types from blasting the system when it doesn't go their way. The formula will be a simple plan with the AP poll, the coaches poll, and the make up of six computer systems each counting for 33%. While this new system is easier to digest, the BCSers are now pulling college football further away from what's right and fair and putting it in the hands of the last people who should be voting in a college football poll; the coaches and media.


    Sorry that you've probably heard this rant before, but it bears repeating; AP writers and college football coaches don't watch a wide enough range of college football games to be able to cast a qualified vote. Coaches spend all of their time on their game and don't have a second to spend watching other teams, and AP voters spend their time on the games they're covering and trying to reach deadlines. That's why the computers and, more than anything else, the schedule component, were a great counterbalance to even things out.

    Ah the scheduling component. I have a feeling I'll be beating my head against the wall on this until the end of time. You can have a great record and NOT be a great team, and you can have a mediocre record and be a fantastic team. This is where the humans completely screw up and they do it every single year, and this is where the BCS was right on the money in 2003.

    TCU had a good team in 2003, but anyone who saw or followed the Horned Frogs knew that this wasn't one of the ten best teams in America. Even so, as late as November 17th, TCU was ranked as high as ninth in the AP poll and tenth in the Coaches' poll. (Granted, the computers were even worse averaging TCU out at 6.17; more on that in a minute.)

    Try to stay with me here; the Horned Frogs had the 90th best schedule in America at that point. Boise State was ranked 20th in both polls (and 23rd in the BCS) with the 113th best schedule in America. By comparison, Florida was tied for 13th in the AP poll and was 14th in the Coaches', while Miami was 13th in both human polls. The Gators had the ninth toughest schedule in America and Canes the seventh. Miami was 12th in the BCS and Florida 13th. How do you think TCU and Boise State would've done with the Florida or Miami schedules? Exactly.

    Before I rail against the humans again, don't discount how important the computers, as wacky as they might be, were in the 2003 race. The computer polls aren't in place to come up with a formula for the regular season, they are there to wait until the end of the year before becoming operational looking at the entire year taking into account game one through the conference titles. Human pollsters seem to forget about the September losses and only focus on the end of the season. If you really look at the whole 2003 season, like the humans failed to do, the computers were more than fair.


    Five of the seven computers had Oklahoma number one and one had the Sooners second. Six computers had LSU number two with one ranking the Tigers in the top spot, and five had USC number three. Schedule strength? OU 11th, LSU 29th, USC 37th. If you aren't going to balk at a one-loss Miami University, Boise State or TCU not being in the national title because of an average schedule, then you can't whine about USC getting snubbed for teams that did just as well against better slates.

    Did the humans take into account that OU averaged more than 50 points per game against the seven bowl teams they faced in the regular season? Of course not, they only saw the shellacking by Kansas State in the Big XII title game and do you know why? It was one of the only Oklahoma games that most voters actually saw because it was the only game going in front of a nationally televised audience. Coaches and AP voters weren't worried about their jobs, they had time to sit down and actually watch the Sooners play for once. Obviously, things didn't turn out well for OU. The voters also saw LSU win the SEC championship game impressively, and their minds were made up.

    According to the humans, Oklahoma got penalized for playing an extra game in a championship and losing to a great Kansas State team, while USC got a pass for losing to an above-average Cal squad in a game that almost no one east of the Rockies saw. What if LSU had lost the SEC title game? Then you would have had a USC - Michigan national championship helped by the Pac 10 and Big Ten winners not needing to play an extra championship game. Is that really fair? That's why you need the computers to help soften the recency effect that affects so many voters.

    Was USC the best team in the nation going into the bowls? I certainly thought the Trojans were in the top two, but that's not the point. Over the course of the season, Oklahoma and LSU did more to earn their way into the Sugar Bowl (even though I also believe that you have to win your conference title to play for the national championship. Once again though, that's not the point.) The new system won't take that into account and won't come close to solving the problem of another three-way finish.

    I've got news for you, the same thing could very well happen this year. USC will most likely go unbeaten with a much easier schedule than most top teams are going to face. For purposes of this argument, say Georgia goes unbeaten with a nasty SEC schedule and Florida State goes 11-0 navigating its way through the brutal ACC. If the Trojans are ranked number one by the humans, how do you tell the Dawgs or Noles that they don't deserve to play in the title game despite playing a tougher schedule? Worse yet, say USC goes unbeaten and Georgia and Florida State each end up with one loss. Would you really be so sure that USC is better? Would the Trojans go unscathed in the SEC, ACC or Big XII? That's what computers and schedule strength would figure out and what the humans will completely ignore.

    A solution: there's enough money at stake to put together a seven-person committee whose job it is to do nothing for four months but watch college football games. Pay these people, college football experts, a full-year salary to watch tapes of college football games six days a week for 10-12 hours a day for four months so they can actually know what they're talking about. Then at the end of the year, have this committee, sort of like the one for NCAA basketball tournament, do the seeding for the BCS games with some guidelines and restrictions.

    All the BCS did with this latest round of changes was set the table for more controversy, more arguments, more frustration and more changes for the future. Just have a four team playoff already and let's all move on with our lives.
     

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