Art Briles’ butt still hurts.

Which isn’t a real surprise, given what Baylor was denied.  (And it’s probably a precursor to future whining from coaches who just miss making the four-team tourney.)

But there’s a troubling part to his complaint.  As much as he tries to acknowledge that the fault lies on his end – “What we have to do is find a way to make sure when they’re voting that we’re giving them enough reason to vote for Baylor.” – he keeps coming back to the composition of the committee as suspect.

To that end, Briles likes the composition of the committee heading into 2015. He got his “Texan” — Texas Tech AD Kirby Hocutt (replacing West Virginia’s Oliver Luck) — and the return of Archie Manning. Hocutt is a Sherman, Texas native. Manning — that son of the South — intends to return if he can get over some physical issues that caused him to step down last season.

“What we’ve done now is really diversify the committee,” Briles said. “There’s people that represent all there is in the United States of America.

“I wasn’t really so much concerned about my needs. I just think it was the proper thing to do. If you have a jury, you have selected peers that qualify all across the levels. What we really have is a jury that needs to be qualified from all regions of the United States of America.”

Of course the process is subjective.  If anything, by ditching direct influence by computer rankings, the CFP folks have made the voting process more intensely human.  But subjective is one thing.  Alleging flat-out bias is another.  And that’s really the message Briles is sending.

And note that his solution isn’t to find ways to minimize bias  (*** approval voting *** cough *** cough ***).  It’s to introduce more bias in the hopes that it balances out in the end.  Coming from someone whose experience before this season has been with the effect of the Coaches Poll, I guess that’s to be expected.

But what’s the message being sent that such a level of bias is perceived to be built into the selection committee’s thinking?  I’d say that if we keep hearing stuff like this, it’ll wind up being another justification for enlarging the size of the postseason field.  The way most of these people think, the best cure for bias is wider inclusion.

19 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs

19 responses to “Art Briles’ butt still hurts.

  1. gastr1

    Sometimes the best cure for bias IS wider inclusion, but obviously not in this case when there are statistical models galore and other factors they are willfully excluding.

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  2. Uglydawg

    This is most likely a problem without a pure solution…because there usually aren’t four teams that are better than everyone else. Any one of those teams could have been replaced by a few others and the quality would have been the same, or maybe better. It’s always going to be subjective and unfair.
    It’s going to require either increasing the field of teams, or decreasing the bias..which can only mean decreasing the number of humans on the committee. If you could get it down to one knowedgeable, informed, unbiased entity, it could work…but He’s busy overseeing the Universe.
    The fact is the only unbiased way to do this is with computers.
    (and even if we find the totally, unbiased way…even if the Diety spoke the four teams from heaven, some people will believe and declare their school to have been mistreated).

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    • Someone has to program the computers, so there’s bias there as well. The closest we can get to an objective play-off would be to have 8 super-conferences, and those champions make the play-off in a format seeded by a committee with NO wild cards. It will never happen because the conferences would need to realign to produce more balance, and ND would have to join a conference as a football member to participate.

      1st round played on campus of the top 4 seeds
      Semifinals at 2 of the New Year’s 6
      Championship 1 week later

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      • Macallanlover

        +1 I also thought the computers would be the answer until I saw some of the totally ludicrous results due to the built in bias of each programmer. Afraid that will never be the solution after seeing decades of futile attempts to reach results that weren’t easily challenged. Inclusion is the only answer, the debate will always be amount of inclusion and the best result will be to have each conference (Power 5) send their best representative, and fill the balance out with consensus selections. Hard to blame Briles and Patterson, at least one of those teams deserved a shot to prove their worthiness; they certainly had as strong a case as ohio.

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        • … the totally ludicrous results due to the built in bias of each programmer.

          To be fair, a lot of that was built into their models by the schools’ insistence that margin of victory couldn’t be taken into account because of sportsmanship concerns.

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          • Macallanlover

            Many did not have to conform to that guideline because they were not a part of the BCS formula, Sagarin even shows rankings with, and without, that leveling factor, and he still has some head scratchers. While I understand why they didn’t want to encourage slaughters to run up power rankings, I didn’t know why they didn’t simply cap the victory margin at a reasonable number, say 21 or 24 points, to at least differentiate a commanding performance versus a 1-3 point win.

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        • Uglydawg

          If you get computer nerds from, say, Australia or Norway and give them the rules and stats, you could purge input bias. There’s NO way to un-bias these “committees” of people, (most of whom have been deeply involved or are vested in college football). Why everyone wants to hang on to polls, and especailly coaches polls, and then complain about bias and unfairness, I don’t understand.

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  3. Scorpio Jones, III

    If Art Briles really wants to get in the playoff he shudda taken the Florida job.

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  4. waterloodawg

    I think the selection should be needs based. I mean really, all four schools last year make plenty of money. Why not give a poorer school some exposure on the market?

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  5. The committee system IS biased. It has to be because the members know the identities of the schools. The old BCS system used computers that didn’t GAS about the “who” and only cared about numbers. The rules were set up in advance and the rankings were anonymous to the computers. Was there a human element? Sure, the polls supplied that. If they are serious about being impartial they need to go back to the old BCS computer system just pick the top four rather than top two. Last year’s result from the committee was embarrassing. TCU was 3rd in the next to last ranking, won its final game in a blowout and dropped to 5th. Tell us there wasn’t manipulation there. It stunk.

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    • I agree – if the play-off stays at 4, the BCS rankings were the way to go with the selection, but there’s still bias due to the programming of the models in both the BCS as well as the computer rankings. I knew from the day they announced this committee, this was going to become an absolute disaster and someone was going to howl about the process.

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  6. Art Briles is a taker. *drops mic**grabs popcorn*

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  7. W Cobb Dawg

    Shouldn’t he be complaining about his own conference’s selection process? Baylor was co-champ of the Big 12, not the outright undisputed champ. The 4 teams selected for the playoff were all conference champions – and all those championships were decided on the field. Seems to me these Big 12 people have a lot of nerve bitching about the playoff selection process.

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