Monday, September 27, 2010

Somebody Stop this Crazy (Polling) Train

Yesterday morning I was listening to ESPN analyst Robert Smith opine that, based on the current poll positioning, Boise State is in position to play for the BCS if they run the table.

This seems to be a pretty uniform opinion among the sports chattering classes. It’s also totally asinine.

The following is the current top 25 in the Coaches’ Poll with the remaining strength of schedule (games yet to be played). The SOS is broken down into a percentage of wins and losses of teams yet to be played on each team’s schedule. It is arranged by best to worst.

Boise’s remaining schedule is the 2nd worst among top 25 teams, behind only Nevada’s (they are, after all, in the same conference). The Bronco’s rank 87th in the nation by this metric, as their remaining opponents have a record of only 10-18. Notably, 4 of those 10 wins belong to Nevada.

This is the essence of the idiotic inflexibility of traditional poll voting. What the current poll is saying is that teams like Missouri and Oklahoma State – both currently unbeaten – have no chance to play for the BCS title if they would win all their remaining games, even though their opponents have winning records more than twice as good as the teams Boise plays (0.7916 and 0.7857 to 0.3571).

Not to mention the following –

Nevada – 5th best Scoring Offense, 38th best Scoring Defense, 4-0 record.

Boise State – 13th best Scoring Offense, 49th best Scoring Defense, 3-0 record

Yet Boise is ranked 3rd, and Nevada 25th, per the Coaches. Where is the logic in that?

Some adult needs to step up and stop this crazy train before it trashes this season.

1 comment:

Trader Rick said...

There are many, many factors that go into a coach's analysis of the relative strength of teams. Some of those are intangible, not measurable.
What they are saying is, among other things, that there are 24 teams, that on any given Saturday should beat Nevada.