Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Envelope, Please ...

(Late update added to provide more robust data, the analysis remains unchanged)

This is probably the most difficult projection the Guru has ever had to do. But here goes ...

No. 2 SHOULD BE Oklahoma.

But will it be? That's entirely up to the voters.

Logically, Oklahoma should be No. 2. But if the BCS is about logic, then it wouldn't even exist. And with all these voters - 175 in all, if they all vote - having foisted upon them a responsibility that they neither desired nor deserved, there really is no telling where they're going to go.

Nevertheless, they're asked to decide on the Big 12 tiebreaker, as the winner of the South Division will be determined by the BCS standings, among Oklahoma, Texas and Texas Tech. Whoever gets into the Big 12 title game will be the prohibitive favorite to beat Missouri and have the inside track to the BCS title game, against the SEC title game winner between Florida and Alabama.

Well, let's examine those three Big 12 South contenders, side-by-side:

1. Against Big 12 South teams:

Oklahoma Beat ...

at Baylor, 49-17
at Oklahoma State, 61-41
at Texas A&M, 66-28

Cumulative Score: 176-86
Point Differential: +90

Texas Beat ...

Baylor, 45-21
Oklahoma State, 28-24
Texas A&M, 49-9

Cumulative Score: 122-54
Point Differential: +68

Texas Tech Beat ...

Baylor, 35-28
Oklahoma State, 56-20
at Texas A&M, 43-25

Cumulative Score: 134-73
Point Differential: +61

Advantage: Oklahoma.

2. Against all other common opponents:

Only Kansas played all three and this is how it fared:

Lost to Texas Tech, 63-21
Lost to Texas, 35-7
Lost at Oklahoma, 45-31

Advantage: Texas Tech.

3. None-conference opponents:


Chattanooga (I-AA), 1-11
No. 16 Cincinnati (Big East Champion), 10-2
at Washington, 0-11
No. 14 TCU, 10-2

Cumulative Record: 20-15 (I-A only)
Bowl Teams: 2


Florida Atlantic, 6-6
at UTEP, 5-7
Arkansas, 5-7
Rice, 9-3

Cumulative Record: 25-23
Bowl Teams: 1

Texas Tech

Eastern Washington (I-AA), 6-5
at Nevada, 7-5
SMU, 1-11
UMass (I-AA), 7-5

Cumulative Record: 8-16 (I-A only)
Bowl Teams: 1

The Sooners did play at winless Washington, but they beat two teams expected to be in the top 15 of the BCS standings. In total, OU beat four teams ranked in the projected BCS top 15. Or put it another way, these 15 teams had a total of 18 losses, and OU is responsible for doling out four of them, twice as many as Texas, Texas Tech and USC, the only other teams with multiple wins vs. the top 15. Advantage: Oklahoma.

4. Head-to-head: Texas wants to talk about beating OU, 45-35, true, but this is not a pure head-to-head situation, it's a three-way tie and a circular argument. Texas Tech has to be included in every discussion because we're trying to break a three-way tie. That Oklahoma routed the Red Raiders is a credit to the Sooners, not an opportunity to dismiss Tech.

And just for logic's sake, the fact that Texas beat OU on a neutral field is a classic non-sequitur. One may deduce that Texas would've beaten OU in Austin, but nothing more - so essentially each team WOULD'VE won at home. The following is how these three teams did against each other, the research courtesy of our friends at Saurian Sagacity:


Points Scored: 100
Points Against: 66
Net Points: 34
Total Yards: 1060
Total Yards Against: 844
Net Yards: 216


Points Scored: 78
Points Against: 74
Net Points: 4
Total Yards: 812
Total Yards Against: 1014
Net Yards: -202

Texas Tech

Points Scored: 60
Points Against: 98
Net Points: -38
Total Yards: 985
Total Yards Against: 999
Net Yards: -14

Taken in its totality, it's rather obvious that Oklahoma is the most impressive in the head-to-head results. Advantage: Oklahoma.

If last week's poll results stay relatively stable - given that every team in the top 10 either won or was idle - this is how the computer rankings should break down:

1. Alabama (.970), 2. Texas (.960), 3. Oklahoma (.940), 4. Florida (.880), 5. Utah (.830).

And the BCS standings would look like this:

1. Alabama (.987), 2. Oklahoma (.926), 3. Texas (.921), 4. Florida (.909), 5. USC (.797).

The biggest loser this weekend, without a doubt, is USC. The Trojans not only don't have a shot at the BCS title game, their AP title hopes also evaporated with Oregon State's loss to Oregon. By being forced to play in the Rose Bowl against Penn State, there is little chance for USC to claim the AP title, as opposed to a Fiesta Bowl matchup against either Oklahoma or Texas.

So, assuming the voters actually do their homework and not go nuts or conspiracy-happy, here's the Guru's projection of the penultimate BCS standings:

1. Alabama, 2. Oklahoma, 3. Texas, 4. Florida, 5. USC, 6. Utah, 7. Penn State, 8. Texas Tech, 9. Boise State, 10. Ohio State, 11. TCU, 12. Ball State, 13. Cincinnati, 14. Oklahoma State, 15. Oregon.


Anonymous said...

Oklahoma beat OSU 61-41 at Stillwater and Texas beat OSU 28-24 at Austin.

That is a pretty good indication on which is a stronger team as well.

I would really love to see another Texas OU game. I guess it is not going to happen.

Adam said...

Not sure if I like that argument, because it kinda says that OU's defense is not too hot... Anyway, someone please tell me why Florida is guaranteed to jump Texas if they win SEC!!!! This is why I hate BCS and this is why sports center is F'ing clueless!

The two best teams are in the Big 12 South. How can polsters not want to see that rematch?!?

Anthony said...

OU has just delivered a beatdown of Texas Tech that is going to be tempting to use as reason for moving OU ahead of Texas on your ballots. This is a reasonable instant reaction. OU played well. Of course, Tech played terribly, and not all of that can be credited to OU. But I beseech every one of you human voters to stop, read this, and contemplate what you're doing before you do it. Because there is most definitely an excellent and convincing case to be made for Texas being ranked above OU and Texas Tech.

As you know, Texas, Texas Tech, and Oklahoma played a round-robin as they do every year and all three came out 1-1. Tech played 1 game on the road and 1 at home. OU played 1 at home and 1 on a neutral field. Texas played 1 on a neutral field and 1 on the road. Which one of these is harder than the other 2? Had Texas played Tech in Austin, would the Longhorns have won? I don't know because Texas didn't play Tech at home, just as they didn't play OU at home. That's got to be worth something. Advantage Texas.

So let's look at the losses. Tech lost in epic, blowout fashion tonight. OU lost by 10 points on a neutral field. Texas lost on a touchdown pass with 1 second left in the game (1 play after dropping a sure-thing interception) on the road. Advantage Texas.

Texas played the most epic 4-game stretch off teams in probably 20 years, in which they beat OU, Missouri and Oklahoma State, all top-11 teams at the time. And in the 4th game of that brutal stretch, on the road in a hostile environment at night, they didn't fold like Tech did tonight; they battled on their last, weary legs and lost on a last-second touchdown pass. Neither OU nor Tech had to go through even a 3-game stretch the likes of which Texas blew through on their way to Lubbock. Advantage: Texas.

Let's look at the wins. OU has not yet played Oklahoma State, which both Texas and Tech have beaten at home. Texas beat Kansas by 28 points in Lawrence (35-7), Tech beat Kansas by 42 in Lawrence, and OU beat Kansas by 14 at home (where all of OU's big games have been this year....well, except the one they TEXAS), giving up 31 points in the process. Advantage Texas over OU.

OU did beat TCU and Cincinnati, two decent teams. Have to give them that. Of course, they also played two of the worst teams in football. I would have said "two of the worst teams in D-1 football" except Chattanooga is actually one of the worst teams in Division 2 football, with a pathetic 1-11 record. Oh and the other team? Washington, which lost today to Washington State and is now 0-11. Tech played TWO division 2 teams. Texas played none, and actually played an SEC team. There's something to be said for not being able to take several weeks off to stay fresh for your later games by playing a D-2 team or the equivalent of one. Texas has not played one of those teams and has not had a week to take off. Oh, and beyond that, Texas beat the ever living crap out of Missouri, a top-15 team than neither Tech nor OU have beaten this year. Advantage Texas

Oh, and one more thing. If you're like most voters and you've moved Tech out of the equation after their terrible performance tonight, and you're deciding between Texas and OU, agonizing over who should be ranked ahead of who, let me remind you of one thing. On a beautiful October Day in Dallas--not Austin, not Norman, Dallas--Texas beat Oklahoma by 10 points. If you were ever thinking to yourself, "These two are close, I wish I had a some neutral, objective way of determining which of these teams was better," well, I think this might be it.

Think about this: if Texas and OU end up in a 2-way tie for the Big 12 South, Texas wins. But then, if they end up in a 3-way tie with Texas Tech, OU might win over Texas, not by virtue of doing anything different than what they already have, but simply by virtue of Tech having 1 loss in conference instead of 2. What Tech does or doesn't do should have nothing to with whether Texas or OU wins the Big 12 South. And only the BCS can make sure that it doesn't by ranking Texas ahead of OU. And that means you, human voters.

It's the Battle Cry of the University: Remember the Cotton Bowl! 45-35 on a neutral field. Advantage Texas.


Dave J said...

I think your a bit bias. Simply put, the nuber 2 team SHOULD be TEXAS, not Oklahoma. The fact that TT was blown ot late in the season takes them out of consideration, no matter their last second win at HOME against Texas. That leaves Texas and Oklahoma for the spot in the Big 12 and subsequent national title game....And gess what, TEXAS beat Oklahoma by 10 points. Thus, TEXAS deserves its shot in the Big 12 title gme, and most liikely the national title game. And just so you know, im not biased toward Texa. I have no affiliation with either school, I just simply believe that HEAD-TO-HEAD results must be a MAJOR consideration, and that is why TEXAS SHOULD BE #2. And if Oklahoma makes the big 12 title game i will rute of UM because then Texas will have a shot at the national title game. They deserve it more than Oklahoma because of their HEAD-TO-HEAD performance.

Anonymous said...

If Missoui wins the Big 12 Championship, Pac-10 Champion USC should play for the National Championship against the SEC Champion. USC is better than Missouri and it was just last week that everyone was arguing that no team should play for the National Championship that had not at least won their own conference.

Anonymous said...

So this is all about runing up the score.....O.U. lost head-to-head, no matter how you deconstruct it...

Anonymous said...

I don't think much of your analysis.

There is no reason to consider Kansas separately. You should just consider common and unique opponents. Kansas should be lumped in with the big 12 south opponents as they are all common. And what of Mizzou? And Colorado? And Nebraska? Just throw them out? Retarded. They should be added to the non-conference schedule.

Why did you throw out Chattanoga's schedule in OU's non-conference cumulative schedule. Logically you should add their contribution to the schedule AND put as asterics next to it saying *a quarter of these games were against a god awful DII team. By your logic, OU should have removed Washington from their schedule and added another DII team. In your fantastical accounting system that would make OU's noncon schedule even stronger because you "don't count DII". That is stupid.

The comparison here is not TT vs OU vs UT and you know it. It is OU vs UT. In your weird system where Kansas is as important as all the big 12 south Texas is the clear winner when just considering OU and UT. If you throw out the preposterous Head to Head to Head and cut to the case with just a Head to Head, again Texas comes out on top. Quit pussyfooting around.

Anonymous said...

Also, your analysis clearly rewards stoops for running up the score and leaving the starter in late into the game to roll up yards. Brown had the backup in at the start of the 4th against A&M and the 4th string/short yardage back got an 100 yard game because he played so much.

Anonymous said...

Taken in its totality, it is rather obvious that you are an idiot.

KushPhog said...

he was wrong last week too.

Jeff said...

Lets stay within the confines of "logic" while trying weigh the merits of each Big 12 South Team. While your arguments are certainly factual, in order to qualify as logical we must consider the entire body of work without omissions. You only considered common opponents from the North division (Kansas), however if you are also going to consider non-conference opponents which there are none in common among the respective teams, you must also consider conference opponents that are not common to the three. In this case, Texas has the most dominant and impressive win (Missourri). They led 35-0 at half and were up 42-0 when they started pulling starters, very similar to the OU win over Tech. Tech and OU do not have comparable conference wins. Thus logic would dictate the addittion of non common conference opponents to your argument or the ommision of all noncommon opponents nonconference or otherwise. FYI: If OU is chosen to represent the Southern division, Texas will have wins over both teams competing for the conference titles by a combined 35 pts.

Anonymous said...

I am so sick of UT fans and the head to head argument, it's like they forgot about that night in Lubbock. If you want to talk about H2H I like your 3-way H2H analysis. I don't like this system either, but if you look at the facts, OU has the edge.

Anonymous said...

Tech getting blown out by OU disqualifies them according to Texas fans. If that is the case, then OU is clearly the best team since they were the team to make Tech irrelevant in the 3-way tie scenario. If OSU had won last night, it would be the Red Raiders and not Texas in the Big XII title game. Despite UT's pathetic attempts to make this a two-team argument, OU will rightfully represent the South.

Anonymous said...

You can't look at scores alone. Texas, in their typical classy style, played almost the entire 4th quarter against A&M with their 2nd string. Stoops, in his typical class-less style, could have taken a knee with under 30 seconds left to end the game, but instead chose to score a meaningless touchdown just to increase the number of offensive points scored. It seems everyone has forgotten than Texas played 4 top-10 teams in a row and only fell short in the last second out of the 16 quarters of top-10 play.

texasflood said...

Wow! That was some lame-assed copy and paste “analysis”! Since you stole the concept from an SEC based school at least acknowledge that if SEC tie-breaker methodology were employed in this situation Texas would be going to the BIG 12 Championship game – no questions asked.

Anonymous said...

I think you've done a good job of presenting half the story and I don't disagree with much of what you've said - but there are some factors you've left out that make the case for Texas somewhat better - for instance, the Closest Loss factor.

Not that it makes a huge difference, but since you're counting up bowl-bound opponents let me point out that 6-6 FAU, a Texas victim, is almost certainly bowl bound as well.

You say it's a non-sequitur that Texas beat OU on a neutral field and that all it proves is that Texas could've beaten OU at Austin as well, which would just give all three teams a 1-1 record in the series, each with a home win. Sorry, but that's not all it proves. For one thing, home field is usually considered to be worth 3-4 points (implying the difference between a home win and a neutral one is less than two points). Texas won by 10 at a neutral site, so they can plausibly claim that they might well have won at Norman, not only in Dallas and Austin.

To look at it another way, Texas was 1-0 Neutral, 0-1 Home; TT was 1-0 Home, 0-1 Road, and OU was 1-0 Home, 0-1 Neutral. OU had the easiest set-up of the three, and UT the hardest.

Still another way: Texas has only a very close road loss, the closest loss of the three. TT has a blowout road loss, and OU has 10-point neutral site loss, a worse loss in two respects than UT's loss.

And the way many are looking at it: TT's resume is the least imnpressive of the three, especially the two FCS opponents. So knock them out of consideration, and it's a two-team race, with the decision going to the winner of the OU-UT game. That's the way several other conferences would resolve it, almost all in UT's favor. The SEC would use the BCS rankings to eliminate TT and then UT would beat out OU. The ACC would reward UT for having the toughest B12 North slate of the three. The BigTen would punish TT for those two FCS opponents, and again UT would beat out OU in the final step.

Anonymous said...

The Coaches Poll needs to be made public every week. There is zero accountability until the final vote.

Florida blasts #20 on the road and drops.

OU tears through #12 on the road and drops.

Texas beats the worst team in the Big XII at home and moves up.

Texas Tech eeks out a victory over Baylor at home and moves up big.

There is obvious manipulation of the polls this week, and since they're not made public until after the conference championship games, coaches like Mack Brown and Mike Leach may have voted themselves better bowl games.

Anonymous said...

Peter Wolfe also has OU number 1 and Texas 2.

Henry Louis Gomez said...


Because Florida has 1 loss by 1 point. Florida will have beaten the number 1 team in the country. OK defense must suck because national champions don't give up 41 points.

Anonymous said...

You make excellent comments. I must agree with your prediction. It will be close, but OU Sooners should be above Texas.

Anonymous said...

Sure looks like a lot of Texas fans on this site as well. Your coach and alum were e-mailing and calling to try to get your team above Oklahoma. Your team knew the tie-breakers going into the season, so quit whining and let it play out.

neutralfan said...

I knew texas fans are dumb but i didn't know they a
were that dumb? why don't they let the oddsmakers in vages tell you who's the best team is. my prediction they would have OU a 8 to 10 point favorate. and they have something at stake. If all you dumb longhorn fan want to put your money up and have them at a pick'em get after it because there would be a ton of oddsmakers in vages wanting to gamble with you

Anonymous said...

OU is the best team in the country.
They had the hardest strength of schedule.

Head to head matchups DO count. But texas fans want to cherry-pick one game of the three way tie and ignore the other two. Honesty demands you look at all three which turns into a circular argument. Texas fans want to say Tech isn't part of the equation. They want to punish Oklahoma for destroying a team they lost to. Had OU won on a last second field goal, then they couldn't argue that Tech isn't part of the equation. Fairness and honesty says they are.

Texas lost to tech. Face it. It matters!

OU is simply better and deserves the right to go to the Championship game.

Anonymous said...

Hey "neutralfan"...

The oddsmakers in Vegas don't PICK games...they set a line that they think will bring in equal money on both sides, thus insuring them a payday on the vig.

The lines don't mean jack with respect to how much a team "should" win's all about balancing the money.

So, basically, it's you who are the idiot.

Anonymous said...

5 pm EST
It's down to the computers as Texas leads OU by a micron in the human polls, probably 1/1000th of a point. Based on last weeks polls and shifts in schedule strength, etc., these computer results seem likely:

A&H: TX 24, OU 22
JS: TX 24, OU 25 (already available)
PW: TX 24, OU 23
CM: TX 25, OU 24
RB: TX 23, OU 24
KM: TX 24, OU 25

Throw out the high and the low and you get, yes you guessed it, another dead heat at .960 average each. The 6 point lead Texas has in the harris poll versus the 1 point lead OU has in the USA poll therefore gives the big 12 to.....TEXAS.

Anonymous said...

And if you think there's a difference between setting and picking a winner, DOH!!!!

Francis said...

5:01 PM much for projections, lots more change than I anticipated in PW and RB....

Anonymous said...

Is there a significant chance for a UT/OU re-match if UF beats Bama. The computers seem to have little love for the Gators.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who thinks Tech should be thrown out of the equation should realize that Texas lost to this "terrible" team, therefore by this crooked logic, Texas should be thrown out of the equation.

Boyds116 said...

Women have taken over college football. It's a beauty pagent with judges deciding who's the prettiest!

Men, let's take back our sport where victories on the field determine who is the best.

BCS System is a fraud. Who cares anymore about what the BCS wusses think?

Anonymous said...

When Texas beat mizz. their bcs score was .9979, after they beat ok st. their score went up to .9981 only .0002 of an increase. Ok st. was the #6 team in the country at that time. When Tex. Tech played the now #9 OK ST.Tech bcs score was .937 after the win it went to .971 a increase of .034. Oklahoma's bcs score was .912 prior to playing the now #12 Ok st it is now .935 a increase of .023 these teams got more credit for beating a lessor ranked opponent that Texas played give the Longhorns the credit they deserve for beating the #6 ranked team. thay should be #2 period.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't say that USC "locked up" a Rose Bowl berth, since losing to UCLA would cost them that berth (it would create a 3-way tie that Oregon State wins). Yes, it's unlikely, but USC was going to easily beat UCLA two years ago as well to make it to the BCS Title Game and they lost that. So, almost certainly not going to happen, but for a second it looked like Baylor might beat Texas Tech as well this weekend.

Anonymous said...

Well if you want the best school in rankings USC is the only school that has been in the top 5 in the Polls in last 7 years. Here is how the rest of the top teams have done oklahoma-4 Alabama-1 Florida-2 Texas-3 Texas Tech-1 LSU-3 Ohio State-5 Too bad they dont go by how you have done in the past

Anonymous said...

All three teams in the South all have a cliam to play for the big 12 crown and I agree the BCS should not come into play for a tie breaker period. So the question is do you look at who had the best loss or who had the best win? OU by far and way had the best win against Tech. I would then argue that Tech might have the second best win because they were dominating Texas only to loose their big lead and then come back at the end in drametic fasion to win. No question the TX win over OU was impressive but they tralied most of 3 qtrs and were able to take advantage of a defense that lost their play caller and heart and soul. The other question you have to ask is if both OU and Texas were to go play again who would win the game? From what I have seen OU is playing much better than it did 2 months ago and Texas might have peeked early....
Enough with this crappy system lets go settle it on the field. Give us a PLAYOFF!

Anonymous said...

So the big 12 championship game is between OU and Mizzou. Texas Beat them both Texas should be in the big game BCS sucks ass

Howard said...

Everyone is talking how to tweak the system and to me its pretty simple. Have a stipilation that if there are 2 teams in the same conference both ranked in the top 5 (BCS) then they play in the confernce championship game regardless of who wins the North or South. It should have happened last year in the SEC also with Georgia playing LSU instead of Tennessee, and it should happen this year also with Texas. Imagine Texas/Oklahoma and Florida/Alabama playing this weekend for the right to go to the BCS championship game? Missouri has no business in that game if there are other teams in their conference with National championship hopes.

Anonymous said...

Texas pulls their starters much earlier than OU, therefore the slight difference in the stats.Mack Brown plays the#2 and 3players when Texas has dominated the game.Even when Texas beat OU head to head, Texas could have scored once more, but sat on the ball instead, I would have rather won by 17 but for whatever reason Mack wont run up the score like OU does.

Anonymous said...

It appears to me that there's a lot of misperceptions. The facts are that the human polls had a slight preference for Texas, but the computers had a decidedly preference for OU, which pushed them ahead of Texas overall.

My question is: "why do the computers favor OU so much?"

None of the computers consider point differential in games, so the magnitude of OU's wins are moot.

The conventional wisdom answer is that OU had the tougher non-conference schedule, and therefore got the nod from the computers. However, I've visited each of the 6 computer's websites, and they don't support that conventional wisdom. The "strength of schedule" or similar parameter is provided by the Anderson/Hester, Colley Matrix, and Sagarin. Each of these show Texas had the harder schedule. A/H and Colley had Texas over OU. But Sagarin had OU over Texas (even though Tx had the better strength of schedule).

The remaining 3 computers favored OU. Billingsly emphasizes "recent performance" and strongly penalizes the team who had the most recent loss. Not surprisingly, of the three, OU was ranked highest, followed by Texas, then Tech (in the chronological order of their losses).

Massey had OU #1, Tech #2, and Texas #3. I've read that Massey weighs strength of schedule (SOS) only second to overall record. So SOS is clearly an important factor for teams with the same record. The Massey SOS for these teams isn't clear on the website, but have a hard time believing Tech's SOS is better than Texas (based on the other models who did publish SOS).

Finally, Peter Wolfe computer had the same results as Sagarin (OU #1, Texas #2, Tech #3), and from what I've read, they use similar criteria. Again, no SOS is provided.

In short, A&H and Colley rankings make sense given their criteria and calculated SOS. Massey makes sense given it's emphasis on recent performance and penalizing teams with recent losses.

But, can anyone explain why Sagarin, Wolfe, and Massey rank OU above Texas when it doesn't appear to be based on a better SOS?