As I’ve noted, we’re in the period between Selection Sunday and the start of the basketball tourney, so there are lots of posts and articles comparing the selection process between March Madness and the BCS.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch takes a look at how much the selection committee uses RPI to determine who gets in the field of 65. It concludes not enough, at least depending on perspective:
… The committee simply has no “magic formula,” Walters said, not even the omnipresent RPI, which essentially is composed of a team’s winning percentage (25 percent), its opponents’ winning percentage (50 percent) and it’s opponents’ opponents’ winning percentage (25 percent).
“If you torture the numbers long enough,” Walters likes to say, “you can get them to confess to anything.”
Instead, the committee does its tortuous work by way of an imperfect but largely successful system that incorporates not only numerical considerations such as RPI, strength of schedule, road record and record in last 10 games but also substantial, nuanced discussions about the capabilities and flaws of teams themselves.
“Understand that we’re looking at a series of different issues,” Walters said. “And they’re not just quantitative, they are also qualitative.” [Emphasis added.]
To what degree they’re quality, of course, often depends on who’s affected…
Meanwhile, The Washington Post‘s Michael Wilbon vents about the unfairness of the selection committee, but then reserves a little of his ire for the college presidents blocking a football playoff.
And then there’s this piece, by the Los Angeles Times’ Chris Dufresne, which looks at a world in which the conference commissioners run college basketball the way they run college football. It’s a damn funny read. My favorite part:
… The BCS replaced the AP with the ill-fated and short-lived Nike Poll, comprised of a panel of sneaker executives.
Who couldn’t have guessed that would end with a lawsuit filed by Sonny Vaccaro?
(h/t The Wizard of Odds)