One reason I question how seriously the CFP selection committee takes all the trappings surrounding its mission is because I’m not sure the committee itself will take that stuff all too seriously.
Take, for example, the role statistical analysis will play in seeding the semi-final pool.
“The real difference is we are going to pick four teams and it is going to be done by human beings and not by computers,” said Tranghese.
The hope is to avoid some of the controversies that plagued the BCS during its reign over college football, some of which were caused by those pesky computers. For example, the split national titles for LSU and USC in 2003 and an undefeated Auburn team left out of the title picture a year later. And let’s not forget the 2007 LSU squad that won a championship despite suffering two losses during the season.
Blaming the final selections in those controversial years on computers is so much happy horse shit, of course. (And it’s not like anyone’s quick to give the computers the credit for the years the BCS nailed the final two teams.) Computers are there to calculate the data that humans feed them. It’s up to the latter to prevent garbage in, garbage out situations.
But anyway, it’s not like they’re locking the computers out of the selection room now. Quite the contrary, there’s going to be a dizzying amount of data made available to committee members. The issue is how much understanding of statistical analysis do they have to make useful decisions based on the information they will access. Or, from the original Geek,
“The custom platform we built for selection committee was to their specifications and has approximately 100 million pieces of data, including those at the season, game, possession and play-by-play level,” SportSource co-founder Scott Prather said. “We put that into different tools that make it easy for the selection committee to compare and contrast teams.”
“We have statistics at every level of granularity,” Prather continued. “Using custom filters each committee member can determine the information important to them.”
Tranghese’s response manages to be both predictable and hilarious at the same time.
“I don’t think this is rocket science,” said Tranghese.
Yeah, there’s no reason to think it can’t work.