Monday, August 31, 2009

Notes on Preseason BCS Standings

At last, the Guru has published the 2009 BCS Standings, preseason edition. There are a few items of note that may impact the standings throughout the season.

But first, the methodology. This is the third season I'm running a simulated preseason standings, and this model isn't all that different from the '07 and '08 versions. The AP Poll is used in place of the Harris Poll, and as I noted in painstaking detail previously, this is a no-brainer.

Three of the six computers release preseason rankings - Massey, Sagarin and Billingsley. Their ratings are used in the standings. Three others - Colley (mid-September), Anderson & Hester (late September) and Wolfe (mid-October) - don't release theirs until later in the season, so I used the median ranking of each team, from 29 computers, in their place.

Now, onto the observations:

* The top of the standings fairly resembles the two human polls, with Florida well ahead, followed by Texas, Oklahoma and USC. It's worth noting that the computers are already favoring the Trojans over the two Big 12 rivals. USC is barely behind Oklahoma (.0044) and not too far back from Texas (.0160), either. A victory at Ohio State will probably be enough to vault USC into #2 in the BCS standings.

* Ole Miss, the early darling of the human polls, is getting no love from the computers (not to mention the BlogPoll). While Houston Nutt's Rebels are in the top 10 in the Coaches (#10) and AP (#8) polls, it's only #13 in Billingsley, #23 in Massey and #43 (and therefore no points) in Sagarin. Since they don't play anyone of consequence until Oct. 10 against Alabama, it'll stay that way for a while.

* The three highest rated non-BCS teams - Boise State, TCU and Utah - are clustered at #15-#17, roughly corresponding their places in the human polls. Utah is getting a bit more computer juice, as residuals from its undefeated 2008 season, ranking as absurdly high as #3 in Billingsley. It will be a tall order, as usual, to work from this position into any sort of a run at a spot in the BCS championship game.

* Notre Dame is given a modicum of respect by the human polls, at #23 for both. The computers just spat on the Irish - #59 in Billingsley, #51 in Massey, #48 in Sagarin and a median ranking of #47 for all computers. In order to make it into a BCS bowl game, Notre Dame will have to either beat USC or go no worse than 10-2.

* The initial standings include a ridiculous 62 teams, more than half of Division I-A teams. Tulsa rounds out the standings with its single vote in the AP Poll, which trumped the single votes for Michigan (even with all that extra practice time) and Minnesota in the Coaches Poll.


Ute Fan said...

Well as we are definitely a different team from last year, we can't complain about preseason rankings too loudly. But somehow I think that just returning more seniors wouldn't have made much of a difference.

BTW, I think BYU is capable of the upset against Oklahoma thursday. Certainly worth watching.

utesfan100 said...

Florida has a solid lead right now, but only plays 5 teams that finished ranked in the final BCS standings over the past 4 years.

Oklahoma plays 8, USC 7, Texas 6 and Ohio State 5. Georgia plays 8, including Florida.

With USC playing Ohio State, could they pass Florida if they both win out? What about the winner of the Red River Shootout?

Does Florida control their own NCG destiny with their solid opening lead?

Mo said...

Thankfully, USC and Ohio State play early enough that we'll be able to shut-up one set of fans before the season really gets underway.

Of course given how cursed the BCS has been, I'm sure it will be a very close game, both teams will run the table the rest of the way, and one set of fans will be able to legitimately cry at the end of the year. From past experience that team is more likely to be SC.