Alabama was a fraud, and the top-2 in the BCS will be?

I wrote several blog entries last week first predicting OU would move to #2 in the BCS and then asking if the BCS should drop the polls where I also listed some of my computer's predictions for this weekend.

I'm pleased to say the computer picked the "upset" by Florida over Alabama as I wrote about a month ago saying Alabama was a fraud (and Alabama lost by more than I predicted so my computer having them #7 may have been high!) and now the question is who will be in the top-2 of the BCS come Sunday evening? The media would have us believe that OU vs Florida is a foregone conclusion, but I'm not so sure.

Coming into this week, Florida was #4 in the BCS trailing #3 Texas by 0.0372 which trailed #2 OU by 0.0128. In the polls, the 3 teams were virtually identical with OU totaling 1.825, Texas 1.827, and Florida 1.835, the deciding factor being the computers where OU was at 0.980, Texas 0.940, and Florida trailing at 0.820. With Florida beating Alabama, they will improve in the computer ratings but my guess is that they will still be #3 behind OU at 1.000, Texas at 0.940, and Florida at 0.900.

To make up the gap in the computers, Florida will have to be a combined total of at least 175 votes ahead of Texas in the polls. This is 142 votes more than the gap last week. For this to happen, voters will have to either a) in dropping Alabama, give many more of their #1 votes to Florida than to OU, or b) those that had Florida behind Texas last week will have to swap them.

Correction: Given Florida was already #2 in the Harris poll ahead of Texas but #4 behind Texas in the Coaches poll, I'm estimating they'll need to extend the lead in the Harris poll to 88 points and take a lead of 14 points in the Coaches poll to overcome the deficit in the computer ratings.

While one or some combination of both may happen, it will be because voters are manipulating the system to get the championship game they want. I fail to see the logic in why Florida should get more of Alabama's #1 votes than OU given OU's dominating win over Missouri, and if last week a voter had Texas ahead of Florida and the team Texas beat just walloped Missouri, why does Florida beating an overrated Alabama justify changing that?

Another way of looking at it is that we have 3 1-loss teams so lets look at which one has the best or worst loss. OU lost to Texas so that would seem to be the "best" loss which confirms them being #1. Texas' loss was to a 1-loss Texas Tech which would seem to be a better loss than Florida's loss to a 4-loss Ole Miss. By that logic USC should be being considered as their loss was to a 4-loss Oregon State.

So the voters will likely vote to make it happen because the media says it should happen, but watch closely to see how close it is and don't be surprised if honest voting ends up having OU and Texas in the BCS championship game.

Comments:

It should be OU and Texas.

Posted by Sean on December 06, 2008 at 05:52 PM PST #

Your analysis is pretty good, especially the part about the 1-loss teams. If you take into account location of the game where the loss took place, you also have to notch another tick in the negative column for Florida for losing at home, while Oklahoma and Texas lost at neutral, and away games.

The most damning evidence for me is the number of ranked teams Texas and Florida have faced. Texas played 4 teams in the top 25, and went 3-1. Florida went 3-0 against their low ranked Top 25 opponents. (Oklahoma went 5-1 against their 6 ranked teams.)

Here's the thing though:
ESPN's stats hold the ranking at the week the game was played. So looking at ECU, they got a shocking win over #8 WVU, when WVU was obviously horridly overrated. So that win should not be quite as quality as it was. Using the roster of teams Florida faced with their opponents BCS standing as of last week, Florida only faced Alabama (1), Georgia (16), and FSU (24). Texas faced Oklahoma (2), Texas Tech (7), Oklahoma State (14), and Missouri (20).

These are rankings based on a whole season's work, instead of ESPN's flawed logic method of tracking. Via computer rankings, I think Texas easily beats Florida. However, Texas will lose to Florida in the eyes of the voters in the Harris and Coaches polls. They want to see a game that hasn't already been played, and pit two conferences against each other.

Personally I think this does a disservice to the public in determining a single best team in the land, and essentially creates one more "regular season" game for the Florida and Oklahoma rosters.

If these two teams play each other, there will be no way to determine who is the best team in the land, especially if Oklahoma wins, as all the Longhorn fans will cry "well we beat them, so we should be national champions."

Really an 8-team playoff should be in effect with the following teams: Utah, Boise St., Oklahoma, Texas, Florida, USC, Texas Tech and Alabama. Penn State becomes the 9th team that misses out in this grouping, and given they only played Ohio State and Michigan State (at 10 and 21) this seems ultimately fair since Alabama only played Georgia and Florida (at 16 and 4)

Posted by scott on December 06, 2008 at 08:41 PM PST #

half of yall must have DS... Oklahoma Texas

Posted by jewsse on December 06, 2008 at 08:50 PM PST #

Well even as a florida fan, I do see where you are coming from with UF losing at home to a 4 loss team... But "disservice to the public in determining a single best team in the land"? I dont think that putting 2 big 12 teams, that have already played, in a NC game decides the best team in the land... and saying that alabama is overrated is to be determined by how UF plays against OK. If UF wins the NC, is AL still overrated? If OK wins in a landslide victory, then i will agree that AL is in fact overrated, as well as UF and the rest of the SEC. But i think we will just have to wait and see...

Posted by matt on December 06, 2008 at 09:06 PM PST #

I agree with you, but it will happen. It might not make sense to put Florida before Texas if you didn't do it last week, but most voters will because Florida beat #1 while Texas didn't play. It is the same problem Big 10 has had for a while, last impressions and the team that played last gets the last impression in the voters minds.

Posted by steve on December 06, 2008 at 09:41 PM PST #

Why does everyone care so much about quality of loss? I like to look at quality of wins. I will give OU and Texas the nod on this one for sure, and will argue all day that texas should have went to the Big 12 championship. OU went to championship based on style points alone. Style points are no way to measure a team. FL didnt play Tebow in the fourth quarter most of the season and could have blown out teams as well. I think that OU offense looks great cuz they played weak defenses and FL def looks great cuz (a) the offenses weren't as good as SEC offenses in previous years and (b) FL was always playing with the lead, causing the offenses to be one-dimensional. We will see on Jan. 8th if the sec really is weak this year, or if the teams just beat up on each other.

Posted by pat on December 07, 2008 at 01:05 AM PST #

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