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One BCS computer still has Notre Dame ranked ahead of Alabama

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Ah, yes, the joy of the BCS system where we have human and computer elements deciding that Notre Dame not only belonged in the national championship against Alabama, but that it also should be ranked ahead of the Tide after the Tide’s rout 42-14, according to one poll.

The Colley Matrix poll is one of the six computer elements that make up one-third of the BCS rankings. Here’s a description of the poll:

Colley’s matrix method for ranking college football teams is explained in detail, with many examples and explicit derivations. The method is based on very simple statistical principles, and uses only wins and losses as input—margin of victory does not matter. The scheme adjusts effectively for strength of schedule, in a way that is free of bias toward conference, tradition, or region. Comparison of rankings produced by this method to those produced by the press polls shows that despite its simplicity, the scheme produces common sense results.

This method focuses more on “deservedness” to play in the national championship game than it does predictiveness, per se, which may be of more interest to some fans and bookmakers, who often consider margin of victory, injuries and other factors in assessing the possible outcome of a particular game.

“The scheme produces common sense results” – as in not using the common sense of the actual winner in Alabama? Similarly, the poll doesn’t account for margin of victory, and this just puts an exclamation point on the flaw of the ratings that don’t account for margin of victory.

Yes, the playoffs are coming in 2014, but the controversy of a 15-18 person committee will be just as controversial as the BCS, if not more. Nonetheless, everyone is happy this system will be no more in just two years. Computers and polls will no longer have an impact on selection of the four playoff teams in ‘14, unless committee members choose to use them.

Come soon, playoffs – you sexy thing, you.

[H/T CBSSports]

Photo Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports


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Comment 1

  1. A computer can’t WATCH a football game, clearly.