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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.
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
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.
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ARGH 2003 Power Ratings - Stewart Huckaby
YourLinx Ratings - Ray Waits
Gridmarks - Tom Benson
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