Just another man's poll. Visit this link to see my poll and other numerical data. You will see my current ranking on the Sheet labeled Wk 6.
Boise State's dominating performance last Friday allowed me to bump them up to a 4th place ranking in my poll (tied for 3rd in OBNUG points). With no wins against "ranked" opponents (explained later), if Boise State played just another mediocre "well, we still have potential" game, I may have ranked them as low as 13th. So, as a biased fan, I was very pleased with their defensive dominance and their versatility on offense.
How I award points and rank
Kevan gave the bright idea of a points based system, so I took off with it from there. "OBNUG points" are awarded by base points, wins over ranked teams (WORT), and opinion. Beyond the points, I first rank by total points, win percentage, WORT, SOS and finally by team name.
Base points are determined by win percentage. I use an academic grading scale, 100%, >90%, >80%, and >70% for 4, 3, 2, and 1 points, respectively. You get no points if you don't have a 70% or a "passing" grade. As we are still early in the season, I have been negating 1-2 points from the base since a 5-1 team is only 83% and there would be too many points would be awarded above the 50 points OBNUG maximum.
A single WORT (wins over ranked teams) point is awarded for every win you have over a team that has been given a base point. I.e. If you've defeated a team with a win percentage over 70%, you've got yourself a WORT. These are dynamic points, so if Team A beats a 5-1 team now, but then loses 2 games in a row to be 5-3, then Team A loses that WORT point. So Oklahoma only has 1 WORT point, for winning 80% Texas and not 40% Florida State. Why call it WORT? Because WOTWAPWP (wins over a team with a passing win percentage) is too long and doesn't roll off the tongue.
No poll is unbiased. Even my straight up REAL rankings that I'll present later are biased because I chose the criteria upon which teams should be ranked. Thus, I have no guilt in offering Opinion points to allow the poll more common sense. As I mentioned before, Boise State would have been ranked 13th and with the same amount of points as Houston. And we all know that our current college football system has created some paper tigers. This is why Michigan is blown out in the Rose Bowl and the Big 12 champion goes virtually untested every year (possibly including this year). For the most part, I try to give the benefit of the doubt unless a team shows true weakness. But ultimately, opinion points make it much easier for me to find exactly 50 OBNUG points to disburse.
An explanation of Strength of Schedule (SOS). I've never been a big fan of SOS, for obvious reasons as a Boise State fan watching their team wander around conferences of pure mediocrity and/or suckiness. Regardless of my feelings, it is important to determine what a teams has accomplished this season. This is why I use it to sort tied points and rankings. Because I hate story problems, and reverse story problems are just as annoying, here is my SOS equation:
Sum of the win percentage of a teams Div 1-A opponents / Total number of games a team has played (including Div 1-AA opponents)
In other words, you will be punished for playing Div 1-AA opponents because they count as a game played, but you don't get their win percentage. For Air Force, Auburn, East Michigan, NC State, and Wyoming, it sucks to be you. Particularly Auburn. Don't you know this is why the Sun Belt Conference was invented?
This was as simple as I could make a SOS. No weighting of who teams you've played played. No initial rankings from previous years or conference favoritism. Just a simple win-loss record of the teams you've played.
SOS, REAL, and Predictor Rankings
Because I created my own version of SOS, I decided to rank them. As you can expect, Tulsa is ranked #1 in SOS, largely in part because they've played 3 opponents that remain unbeaten. Lou Holtz is extremely pleased that Notre Dame has a strong SOS at #3 and has won 2/3rds of their games. The best SOS among the unbeatens is Alabama at #23. And Texas at #12 is a large reason why I still included them in my OBNUG poll.
I've also created a 2nd ranking called my REAL rankings. This simply takes the product of a teams SOS and their win percentage to ranks them. I call them REAL because the rankings are as real as they can get. Like I said previously, though, the SOS and the criteria for this ranking are my own, thus, they are biased rankings.
I've also included end-of-season hypothetical rankings for SOS and REAL rankings called the Predictor. Essentially, the SOS Predictor includes the win percentage of all teams past and future. The REAL predictor takes that SOS predictor and calculates it with a teams current win percentage .. assuming that they'll keep that win percentage all season. Obviously, Alabama and LSU will not remain undefeated as they play each other. But it's interesting to look at where a team will be if they continue at their current W/L pace (the only way I've seen reason for someone to rank Oklahoma #1).
I have also included SOS, REAL, and Predictor for conference rankings as well. Stupid MWC...
What this means for Boise State
Up to Week 6, Boise State is ranked 72 in my rankings with a 46% opponent win percentage. Sadly, this is not as bad as what is likely to come for Boise State. Including our future opponents, Boise State's SOS is ranked #98, Just above the likes of San Jose State, Idaho, and BYU. Blech! Yet, there is hope. We already saw that Tulsa had the #1 ranked SOS. Nevada also comes in ranked at #14 and both Toledo and Georgia are tied for the #26 ranking and both teams seem to be trending upward. Our last non-conference opponent lies at #49 Fresno State, who's SOS is right at 50%. What this means for Boise State is that although our SOS is below 0.500, the teams we've played had a much more rougher going. It is more likely that those teams will continue to win more games as their SOS levels out. And while this is just my SOS rankings, other computer rankings use additional weights for opponents opponents SOS, too. We can only just hope that our opponents play less like Pat Hill in important games.
Luckily, the REAL ranking helps me feel even more better. Although Boise State is ranked #8 right under 4-2 Notre Dame, being ranked this high means that Boise State can overcome the weakness of it's schedule on it's own. *cough* *cough* Just don't look at the REAL predictor...
BCS Bowls, The Wetzel Plan, and Coach Pete speak
Lastly, I've included BCS bowl projections based on my current OBNUG poll standings.
With this years selection order, the Sugar Bowl gets the first selection since it has two teams in the BCS (yes, the title game can have two teams from the same conference in it, I checked). But since the SEC doesn't have any other team in the top 14 (too bad, because this is the only time they're allowed to have 3 teams from one conference in the BCS) and they had no problems taking violation prone Ohio State last year, they'll be happy to take the next available Big Ten team, Wisconsin (although I wouldn't put it past them to select Michigan instead). I figured the Fiesta Bowl would love a Boise State/Oklahoma rematch since the Sooners were left out of the title game. Sadly, for that same reason, if Boise State wins it will be discounted because OU "didn't show up.' The Rose Bowl continues with it's traditional selections since TCU's admittance lasts year gets them off the hook of taking an at-large. The Sugar Bowl will take the non-Big East leftover and closer proximity Ok State, and the Orange will get the dregs of the Big East again.
The Wetzel Playoff plan continues to prove every year and week to be the far superior post-season plan. With this plan every conference champion gets in, three Big 12 teams are included, and Michigan gets properly snubbed out based on performance and not tradition and fan base (don't tell Darth P).
Boise State will have to play not just 1 ranked team (assuming Georgia is ranked end of year) but 4 in a row if they want to contend for the UNC (undisputed national championship). Along the way, they would have played at home vs. West Virginia, in the Rose Bowl vs. Oklahoma State, in the Sugar Bowl vs. Alabama, and the Sugar Bowl again vs. LSU. Who wouldn't want that December vacation!?
In either case, Boise State is taken care of. We may not be in national championship contention by BCS terms, but regardless of what happens, if Boise State takes care of what it can, it will land in a favorable position. So, while I enjoy playing with numbers and polls, in the end it doesn't matter by whose method is used to determined to rank college football teams, as long as Boise State does what it needs to do.
Please provide your feedback. Although I like the system I've created, I'm all for changes if it looks good (especially if it gets Boise State to #1).
This post will be, by far, the longest in this series. I made a simple fan shot last week, but it was brief. This will include the explanation of what things are. Next week and beyond will just show you snippets of what I find interesting or nerdy.