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Who Should Really Go to the Big Bowls?

 

My BCS Solution

What teams should really go to the big bowls? I have a simple solution.

I used to toy around with making imaginary ratings with the odds - that is, if the oddsmakers published ratings, how would the teams rank? It was interesting to me but I'm not really sure that anyone else grasped the importance of such a list. I dropped it eventually.

The idea has come to me that there could be a simple system by which you could truly determine teams that are up to the demand of great bowl games. It's very simple.

Method

The purpose of retrodictive ratings is to place the teams in the most perfect order using a complicated system like mine and dozens of others around the Internet and beyond. Why not have a simple system that everyone can follow?

Using the theory behind my "odds" ratings, here is the solution. The problem with polls and ratings is that the typical sports fan doesn't understand how they work. This system is easy to understand and is fair to all teams, whether they have soft schedules like TCU or tough ones like USC and LSU.

Here is the simple method I used.

I began by assigning a numerical rating to all the teams which just happened to be the same number. When two teams played, I simply moved their ratings apart so that their ratings (to keep it simple) would match the margin of victory within one point. For example, if team A (rating 70) beat team B (rating 70) by whatever number of points, I spread the ratings out to 20-22 points. (I considered the ideal margin to be 21. You might see it differently.) Thus team A now has a rating of 80 and team B has a rating of 60 - a difference of 20 points. Thus

Team A   49   old rating - 70   new rating - 80
Team B   16   old rating - 70   new rating - 60

When week two's games are played, the ratings are updated and teams that are 2-0 continue to move up, teams that are 0-2 continue to move down, thus "spreading out" the teams. A team with a high rating can continue to increase their rating as they beat teams with higher ratings. Upsets are what make it tick. A team can move ever upward but once they lose a game their rating drops dramatically. If they continue to play well, their rating continues to rebuild upward.

If a team has a strong schedule, it can afford to lose a game or two and recover. For example, USC has recovered quite well. What about TCU, undefeated as of this writing? They have just as much of a chance as anyone if they play as little as one strong opponent. Once they lose a game, however, having a weak schedule, it would be very difficult to recover. But once a team has built up a strong rating, assuming it doesn't lose, who can say they don't belong in the BCS mix?

And, now, here is the final progress report.
01/09/2004
Final Tally

1 USC 129
2 Ohio State 117
3 Maryland 114
4 LSU 112
5 Miami FL 111
6 Michigan 109
7 Utah 109
8 Miami Ohio 108
9 Boston College 101
10 Clemson 101
11 Georgia 100
12 Kansas State 97
13 Iowa 97
14 Mississippi 97
15 Boise State 96
16 Bowling Green 94
17 Virginia 94
18 Washington State 94
19 West Virginia 93
20 Oregon State 93
21 Florida State 91
22 Oklahoma 91
23 Arkansas 91
24 Southern Miss 89
25 Nebraska 89
26 Minnesota 89
27 Louisville 87
28 California 86
29 Auburn 85
30 Georgia Tech 85
31 Connecticut 84
32 Washington 84
33 Arizona State 83
34 Tennessee 81
35 Colorado State 81
36 Purdue 80
37 Texas Tech 80
38 NC State 80
39 Hawaii 80
40 Syracuse 79
41 Toledo 78
42 Marshall 78
43 Florida 77
44 Fresno State 77
45 Northern Illinois 77
46 Oklahoma State 76
47 TCU 76
48 UNLV 76
49 Duke 75
50 Memphis 75
51 Northwestern 74
52 Texas 73
53 New Mexico 73
54 Pittsburgh 73
55 Nevada 72
56 Rice 72
57 W Michigan 71
58 Rutgers 71
59 Missouri 70
60 San Diego State 70
61 Oregon 69
62 Michigan State 69
63 La-Lafayette 68
64 South Florida 68
65 Tulane 67
66 BYU 66
67 Akron 66
68 Colorado 65
69 Wisconsin 65
70 Virginia Tech 65
71 Tulsa 64
72 NM State 63
73 Arizona 62
74 South Carolina 62
75 Stanford 61
76 Vanderbilt 60
77 Middle Tenn 60
78 Notre Dame 59
79 Houston 59
80 Kansas 59
81 Navy 59
82 Texas A&M 59
83 Kent State 58
84 Wyoming 56
85 E Michigan 56
86 UCLA 56
87 Wake Forest 56
88 North Texas 55
89 North Carolina 55
90 UAB 53
91 Louisiana Tech 52
92 San Jose State 52
93 Penn State 51
94 Troy State 51
95 Air Force 50
96 Temple 48
97 Iowa State 47
98 Mississippi St 47
99 Alabama 46
100 East Carolina 46
101 C Michigan 45
102 Baylor 45
103 Idaho 45
104 Ball State 44
105 Indiana 44
106 Cincinnati 44
107 Arkansas State 40
108 Kentucky 40
109 Buffalo 38
110 UTEP 35
111 Central Florida 35
112 Illinois 32
113 Army 32
114 SMU 29
115 Ohio 27
116 Utah State 25
117 La-Monroe 18


 

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