Blogpoll Ballot Week 14 (Draft) Comment Count

Brian December 1st, 2008 at 12:17 PM
Rank Team Delta
1 Oklahoma 2
2 Florida 2
3 Alabama 2
4 Texas 2
5 Penn State --
6 Southern Cal --
7 Texas Tech --
8 Ohio State --
9 Utah 2
10 Georgia Tech 6
11 Oklahoma State 2
12 Cincinnati 1
13 Boise State 2
14 Oregon 4
15 Georgia 3
16 Missouri 6
17 Virginia Tech 6
18 Boston College 6
19 Oregon State 2
20 Michigan State --
21 Iowa --
22 Ball State 3
23 Northwestern 1
24 Florida State 10
25 Mississippi 1

Dropped Out: West Virginia (#25).


Oklahoma-Texas. I mentioned this last week, when Texas held a slight edge overall but I cautioned that an Oklahoma win over Oklahoma State would put them over the edge: I think you have to set aside the Tech-Texas-Oklahoma round-robin and go to the rest of the schedule. Setting aside common opponents and tomato cans, you get this:

  • Texas: Kansas State (5-7), Missouri (9-3), Arkansas (5-7)
  • Oklahoma: Colorado(5-7), Nebraska(8-4), TCU(10-2), Cincinnati(10-2).

Even if Missouri is the most impressive scalp on that list (which it may or may not be) that's a clear advantage to Oklahoma, and that's what I'm basing my decision on.

ALSO: obviously I have moved Oklahoma to #1, and Florida to #2. I am convinced by Dr. Saturday's arguments that Alabama's schedule is so far off the other two teams I've put above them that even with losses they've had better seasons.

Elsewhere… eh, I feel pretty weird about putting Georgia Tech #10, but not that weird; really struggling with the Oregon-Boise pairing, because Boise did beat Oregon but beat Oregon's fifth-string QB or whatever and since then Oregon has been playing actual opponents instead of the WAC.



December 1st, 2008 at 12:33 PM ^

This is my problem with solely using the schedule: Imagine that OU and Texas had not played, and were playing for the championship this weekend. Imagine Texas had the same record, and Oklahoma had beaten some patsy instead of losing to Texas and were undefeated. So, it's 12-0 Oklahoma verses 11-1 Texas for the Big 12 title. It sounds like a big game.

Using your logic, the outcome of this mythical game is completely irrelevant to who should be #1.


December 1st, 2008 at 5:50 PM ^

Your imagined scenario is missing a piece of information: Texas Tech, also 11-1, is the team that beat Texas.

In a two-way tie, head-to-head should rule. Obviously. In a three-way tie where the teams went rock-paper-scissors on each other, head-to-head can't rule by itself because it doesn't determine anything. And I don't see why it's any more legitimate to throw out one team and go back to head-to-head than it is to compare all three on the same scale and pick the top from that alone. That's not to say there isn't a case for Texas - I think there is if you factor in the increased degree of difficulty in having the OU-Mizzou-OkSt-TTU gauntlet all in a row. But there is a reasonable case for Oklahoma (which really wouldn't be there if Tech wasn't involved in the tie, because of head-to-head).


December 1st, 2008 at 12:40 PM ^

wait.....why is Alabama 3? Aren't you basing that on them losing to Florida? They haven't even played yet! Shouldn't you wait until next week to move them down? And, if they beat Florida won't they be the consensus #1 to bloggers and MSM folks alike?


December 1st, 2008 at 5:57 PM ^

It's based on them beating absolutely no one of consequence. Doc Saturday goes into this in a bit more detail, but suffice to say Alabama's schedule thus far is virtually equivalent to Utah's. The only real difference between the two is that Alabama's opponents are big names with no game instead of no-names with no game.


December 1st, 2008 at 6:04 PM ^

Didn't they beat the bajeebers out of Georgia in Athens? That doesn't count for anything? They won at Clemson too. Not that Clemson is amazing or anything, but still a decent non-conference opponent on the road.

I guess the fact that Georgia just lost to GT doesn't help much. It seems all the teams Alabama beat went into a tailspin. All of these teams were ranked when Alabama played them: Clemson (#9), Georgia (#3), LSU (#16)


December 1st, 2008 at 6:44 PM ^

Don't even get me started on using where teams were ranked when the game was played. The first two were early in the season, when the pollsters didn't know any better. The third was a team that was overrated because they also had an early win over a bad team that the pollsters didn't yet know was bad (Auburn, in their case). Right now, only Georgia is ranked in the BCS standings (although Ole Miss is in the polls), and that at 16th. Oklahoma and Texas both have at least two better wins than that (in fact, Oklahoma has four, and Texas has a third that's about equivalent in Missouri). For that matter, Utah has one better win (TCU) and one about equivalent (BYU).

Sagarin gives Alabama's SOS as 73rd in the nation - not Hawaii territory, obviously, but one spot BEHIND Utah and within 30 spots of only Penn State and Missouri among the top 15 BCS teams. That is a MWC-like schedule (no hyperbole involved - six out of nine MWC teams have tougher schedules!). Among BCS conference teams, only Louisville (84th) and Arizona (75th) played worse schedules.


December 1st, 2008 at 7:50 PM ^

Hmmmm..well, you've convinced me. That makes sense. I guess it depends on how much weight you put into being undefeated. Perhaps the BCS weights that too heavily? Perhaps more 1 loss teams should be ahead of Alabama (as Brian has in his poll). Also, this way you wouldn't have weak undefeated teams like Hawaii getting so highly ranked.

I still think 'Bama's got to be pretty damn good. I guess we'll see on Saturday! I can't wait.

Enjoy Life

December 1st, 2008 at 12:49 PM ^

Hey, the BCS worked so well for the Big12 championship game we should use it universally:

Vote on the top 2 college basketball teams and just have them have a best 3 out of 5 championship series.

Vote on the top 2 college hockey teams, .....

Vote on the top 2 pro football teams, .....

Well, you get the idea.

Electron Erectshon

December 1st, 2008 at 1:05 PM ^

When very intelligent people find rationale to weigh other factors ahead of the head-to-head results it's obvious we need a playoff immediately. If two teams are 11-1, and one beats the other on a neutral field, how can you let any other more subjective factor outweigh the obvious?

Texas got screwed. It's really that simple.


December 1st, 2008 at 5:59 PM ^

Texas Tech beat Texas (not on a neutral field, but you can't throw it out just because of that). Both are 11-1. Plenty of "subjective" factors are "outweighing the obvious" there.

This isn't a two-team tie, and I wish people would quit pretending it is. There is a case for Texas; "45-35" is not that case (unless you want to hear "39-33" and "65-21" in response).


December 1st, 2008 at 8:44 PM ^

Tie-breakers usually try to eliminate the worst team in a tie until a winner can be determined, not flat out determine a winner. A lot of people feel that Texas Tech is the worst out the the 3 teams. If you eliminate them, then you have Texas and Oklahoma left, of whom, Texas is the better team based on head-to-head.


December 2nd, 2008 at 1:03 AM ^

That's generally not the case, actually - if one team gets eliminated, the remaining teams usually start over, but it's (usually) possible for one team to take the tiebreaker outright at any given point. For instance, in the Big Ten, assuming that head-to-head doesn't break the tie, if team A played no 1-AA opponents, team B played 1, and team C played 2 (which is identical to the situation in the South, oddly enough, though irrelevant there), team A would win the tiebreaker immediately - they wouldn't just eliminate C because they were the worst. If this only eliminated one team (either because B also played none or A played one), then it would revert to the normal two-team tiebreakers (starting at head-to-head) because there's still a two-team tie to break, but if there's no tie at one particular step, why insist on artificially re-creating one by only eliminating the worst team instead of everyone that isn't the best?

If at some point in your tiebreakers Texas and OU are tied (not just close, but dead even) and Tech is behind, then there is clear justification for dropping them and going to head-to-head. But if the criteria you choose have OU ahead, even a little bit, in the same step where Tech falls behind, it makes perfect sense to take OU there.

As an aside, I wonder if people would be making the same argument if OU beat Tech 35-21 instead of 65-21. It would certainly be harder to justify tossing Tech out immediately (not necessarily impossible, mind, but harder), in which case your argument effectively boils down to "OU smacked these guys around so badly that they shouldn't even get credit for it", which is downright silly.


December 1st, 2008 at 1:21 PM ^

Brian this seems to fly in the face of your usual ranking style: if two teams have played head-to-head and have the same record, the loser should not be ranked ahead of the winner.

I cannot understand why Texas is rated below OU. There are no hypotheticals here.. Texas played OU and won by 10 pts!

capt kong

December 2nd, 2008 at 9:29 AM ^

Brian. Brian. Brian. Have you lost all decency? Have you lost your marbles? I live in Philly, root for PSU, and even I can see idiocy in your "logic." You are only comparing two teams, not three.

You compare SOS between Tex and OK.
Tex - Mizzou, Kansas (not KState) and Ark; AND OKLAHOMA!
OU - Kansas, TCU, Cincy, AND TTECH.

There is no question who should get the nod in this scenario. If you were only comparing 2 teams, and they were Tech and Tex, then Tech should get the nod.

You must not be a proponent of playoffs. Because obviously you do not care about results on the field.

Other Andrew

December 1st, 2008 at 1:49 PM ^

I guess I feel like "setting aside" the round robin and going with the rest of the schedule is a cop-out because it means you're eliminating the best two opponents from each team's schedule. Certainly, it makes it all confusing, but that's where style points come in. Just my two cents (and yeah, I'd have Texas over OU with the greatest reason being that their loss was a razor-thin, road, night game).


December 1st, 2008 at 1:58 PM ^

I can't stand the head to head arguments...enough!!!! TT beat Texas you can go round and round. The season is 12 games long the head to head is 1 game in that season. The head to head is importaan but not all encompassing. I addressed this in anticipation of this in a diary 2 weeks ago. So what if 1 team had a bye week before the game played it at home when the other team had played a top 10 game the week before and had several players injured. Blah, Blah Blah. There are a million factors, but how can these Head to Head people argue than just throw out Texas Tech like they don't count.

Electron Erectshon

December 1st, 2008 at 4:32 PM ^

The reason I feel like TT has to be moved down in the H2H discussion is they're the only team to have gotten embarrassed by one of the 3 teams in play. Also, their victory over Texas was a home night game and via a last second touchdown.

An OT win against Nebraska (in Lubbock) and a nail biter against 4-8 Baylor (also in Lubbock) in a statement game also should be considered.

Other factors that favor Texas for me personally are that Oklahoma's defense was terrible against Ok St, giving up 41 points. The game was much closer than the final score indicated and this was Oklahoma's chance to make a statement. The Texas D has done a much better job down the stretch. Oklahoma has been running up the score to compensate for the obvious, a glaring loss to a team that would finish with the same 11-1 record. Texas was not in the same position.

Also, should recent BCS failures count for absolutely nothing?

2003: LSU 21, Oklahoma 14
2004: USC 55, Oklahoma 19
2005: DNQ
2006: Boise 43, Oklahoma 42
2007: WVU 48, Oklahoma 28

All of this is really crappy logic, I admit. But the system requires the best crappy logic to pick the winner. To me that's Texas.

EDIT: Hypothetical here. If Texas and Oklahoma would have played their annual rivalry game this past weekend, instead of 10/11, and all results in the Big 12 were exactly the same including Texas beating Okla 45-35, would people still put Oklahoma ahead of Texas? Probably not. Sadly it's people with a poor memory, fascination with final scores (e.g. perceived style points) and empathy for outgoing legendary coaches (see Nebraska 1997) that decide the MNC.

MI Expat NY

December 1st, 2008 at 2:16 PM ^

Why the Iowa and MSU movement above Northwestern? Not that I disagree, but just curious, you know, with the whole not playing thing.

As for Oklahoma/Texas debate... here's my problem with the argument of going straight to head to head. If Oklahoma had merely beaten Tech by 14, most people would still consider all three as being more or less tied. Then Oklahoma's advantage in non conference schedule would obviously carry the day. So Oklahoma is being punished for clobbering tech by 41 or whatever.

Also of note, If you look at the computer rankings they go Okla 1, UT 2, and TT 4, roughly tied with UT getting the bump over TT by having played Missouri. In my mind there's only two reasons for TT being completely eliminated from the conversation: Polling bias early in the year against TT and Oklahoma's outstanding game. Neither reason is good enough in my mind to eliminate TT from the comparison and thus turn to TT-Okla head to head results.


December 1st, 2008 at 5:11 PM ^

in the 2nd paragraph. The head-to-head argument punishes OU for beating Texas Tech by too much.

It's not like Texas Tech is 8-4 and happened to be 7-1 in the conference standings. They won 11 games and had the best win over Oklahoma State (by far) and Kansas than the other two--looking at 2 of their 4 common opponents. I'd argue Nevada is better than any team on Texas' non-conference schedule as well.

I think Texas Tech is simply being punished for losing late (like most teams are in the polls). If they had lost by 44 to start the year, but finished with the defining win over Texas and then a torching of Oklahoma State, where do you think they'd be ranked? I bet it's higher than 7th. As you mentioned, they are still 4th in the computers.


December 1st, 2008 at 6:12 PM ^

And had Nebraska won the tiebreaker instead of Missouri in the North and Texas in the South, Texas Tech would be able to say the same thing. Would anyone think that was ludicrous then?

Ordinarily I'm sympathetic to the argument that with equal records, the winner should be ahead - but that's impossible here because three of them split the round-robin and beat everyone else. That Texas is the team that winds up watching the team they beat play in the title game does not make it any more unfair than if it were OU or TTU.


December 1st, 2008 at 5:49 PM ^

Is there a reason Rice was left off? I would argue that they could hang with TCU this year. They are 9-3 at least.
Both teams played Colorado.


December 1st, 2008 at 7:39 PM ^

Rice is 9-3 for the first time in 55 years and deserves a lot of accolades for their season (Chase Clement is, bar none, the most underrated player in America). They wouldn't come within 3 TDs of TCU.


December 1st, 2008 at 10:11 PM ^

Granted I really don't watch either teams, even though I live in Texas, but what has TCU really done? They beat BYU, who should of lost to a 0-11 Washington team, and lost Utah, who struggled with a Nick Sheridan and Threet combo. While I know both these games were early and Rice hasn't beaten anyone either, I personally think Rice could hang.


December 2nd, 2008 at 9:17 AM ^

So let me get this straight... Ball State finishes their season 12-0 and with two wins over teams ranked in the Top 30 including one of those wins on the road and they drop three spots? Yeah... that makes sense.