Sending out an SOS

The debate I’m seeing about which schools are worthy to play for the MNC and which aren’t seems to be swirling around relative strength of schedule. WVU and OSU, in particular, seem to be getting smacked around pretty good on this front.

I thought I’d take a look at the strength of schedule for the top 10 ranked schools. I looked at four computer rankings (Coffey, Colley, Massey and Sagarin) and took an average for each team. For a suckiness baseline, I’ve compared them to a program that everyone in the western world agrees has a horrible strength of schedule this year, Hawaii.

Here’s what I got:

School*****Coffey***Colley***Massey***Sagarin***Avg.

Missouri………36…………….51…………..42………………34………….40.75

West Va……….38……………44…………..41……………….35…………39.50

Ohio State……59……………67……………55………………56………….59.25

Georgia………..9……………..20…………..13………………22………….16.00

Kansas………….85…………..89…………..71………………90………….83.75

Va. Tech……….43…………..38…………..28………………45………….38.50

LSU……………..25……………23…………..17………………26………….22.75

USC……………..39……………61…………..46………………33………….44.75

Oklahoma…….62……………64…………..54………………67………….61.75

Florida…………..2……………..1……………..1………………..5…………….2.25

Hawaii………..119…………..127………….132…………….142……….130.00

Keeping in mind that we aren’t looking at how close the wins and losses were for each of these teams, (or who the wins or losses were against, for that matter) what do those numbers tell us?

  • Starting with the one loss group – Missouri, West Virginia, Ohio State and Kansas – only the latter’s SOS seems truly sub-par.   OSU’s number is basically average.
  • Taken together, the two loss group – Georgia, Va. Tech, LSU, USC and Oklahoma – sports stronger SOS numbers than does the one loss group.
  • Three loss Florida’s SOS average is impressive, no?
  • No school on this list has a Hawaii-bad strength of schedule. Even Kansas’ weak number is some 50 slots above the Warriors.

Bottom line, based on SOS considerations alone, what I’d conclude from looking at these numbers is that Kansas is ranked too high, LSU too low and Mergz is spot on when he argues that USC is being taken more seriously than it should be. As for the others, you can nit pick over who should be ranked where, but I don’t see any school in the top 10 other than Kansas that should be disqualified from consideration for the BCS title game purely on the basis of its schedule strength.

(For another point of view on this, have a look at CFN’s Pete Fiutak’s piece on how the BCS teams would perform on Missouri and WVU’s schedules.)

I’ll do a follow up post looking at the schedules more closely after today’s games play out.

About these ads

7 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs, College Football

7 responses to “Sending out an SOS

  1. Another reason USC shouldn’t be getting as much attention: Of the top 12 BCS teams, USC is tied for last in # of bowl teams defeated (3). For comparison, UGA and West Virginia are tied at the top of the list with 7 each.

  2. DirkDawggler

    Dang, son. That’ some mighty fine statistical analysis right there.

    I’m predicting a very large number of blow-outs during bowl season as some of these teams are ultimately exposed.

  3. Ally

    I read last week where Hawaii had the 3rd worst sos. Should be interesting to see how they fare in the Sugar (assuming they get the bid).
    How hard can it be to get ready for 1 big game/season?…especially when you’ve done nothing but play 12 cupcakes.

    And, is it the 1 game (at LSU) that makes the difference in UF’s sos? I’ll concede their schedule was SLIGHTLY better than ours considering we didn’t play LSU & got UK at home, but I don’t think it warrants that big of a difference.

    I’m surprised Kansas’s wasn’t higher quite frankly.

  4. kckd

    LMAO, the computers screwed it up in 2003, so they got less control. Now you’re falling back on them to prove your point.

    OSU lost to the one team that might be worth a hoot that they played.

  5. Six Major conference champions, two minor conference champions at large. Three week playoff.

    Can we get on with it already?

  6. Pingback: Is a good win more important than a bad loss? « Get The Picture

  7. Pingback: Hawaii: first snapshot « Get The Picture