I thought that myself when I read that article that talked about a Data Scientist(tm)
I dumped Massey Power into a bracket generator, added the autobids, tweaked it the minimum amount necessary to split teams in the same conference, and here's what came out:
There are probably some surprises here to anyone that hasn't been following any of the computer rankings: Iowa and Baylor in, Stanford in over Cal, Miami barely a 4 seed.
Michigan's a 4-seed, in a pod with Davidson, Marquette and the winner of a Colorado/Oklahoma play-in game.
The projected last 16:
- Indiana/St. Louis
- Kansas/Michigan St.
- Ohio St./Pittsburgh
- Georgetown/New Mexico
That top region is something else, if you think the ACC is a good conference this year. The computers don't--Sagarin has the ACC a distant fourth, barely better than the MWC.
Of course things might change a bit this afternoon, but (1) none of the computer sites will update their rankings until tomorrow and (2) my sense has been that the committee tends to ignore the late Sunday games because it's too late in the day to mess around with the bracket unless you're exchanging teams from the same conference. Sometimes they assign the two spots to the two teams and let the championship game decide which one goes where, but I'm pretty sure OSU > Wisconsin and Miami>NC and Florida>Mississippi regardless of what happens today.
I like that computers are part of the BCS rankings. They're objective. That doesn't mean they're smart, though, since any computer ranking is only as smart as the people writing the ranking algorithm.
I'll pick on Jeff Sagarin, since his rankings are the best known and he's the most extreme with the Big 12. Here are the Big 12 teams in his BCS rankings:
2. Oklahoma State (10-0; AP#2)
6. Oklahoma (8-1; AP#5)
7. Kansas State (8-2; AP#16)
9. Baylor (6-3; AP#25)
12. Texas A&M (5-5; no AP votes)
13. Texas (6-3; AP#31)
17. Missouri (5-5; no AP votes)
26. Texas Tech (5-5; no AP votes)
28. Iowa State (5-4; no AP votes)
66. Kansas (2-8; no AP votes)
For reference, he has Michigan at #27 and his top ranked Big Ten team, Michigan State, is #22. In other words, he believes that 70% of the Big 12 has had a more impressive season than every single Big Ten team. Every Big 12 team but Kansas has been better than Wisconsin.
It seems like these rankings are far too kind to teams struggling in conferences that perform well in a few nonconference games. The Big 12 performed relatively well, granted, but here are all of their games against AQ conference teams:
Wins (6): Arizona (OSU), Florida State (OU), Miami (K-State), UCLA (Texas), Iowa (ISU), UConn (ISU) [note: they also had a few solid wins against TCU, Tulsa, etc.]
Losses (3): Arkansas (TAM), Arizona State (Missouri), Georgia Tech (Kansas)
This is a trivial thing to get worked up about, but these rankings make a big difference in determining who plays in BCS games and the championship game. Problems here can have major consequences.