Saturday, November 27, 2010

BCS Gets Lucky Once Again

(The Guru's Note: If you just found this post, be sure to read this also. Thank you.)

The BCS ought to cut Nevada a fat check, seeing the upset of Boise State saved it untold millions, not to mention a potential public relations nightmare. That, coupled with Auburn's Lazarus-like comeback against Alabama, is setting up a relatively controversy-free postseason.

The deal for the main event is now pretty cut-and-dried. It will be Oregon vs. Auburn. If either is upset next week, TCU, which has locked up at worst a Rose Bowl berth, will be the stand-in. The only potential for chaos now is if both teams go down next week - Oregon plays at Oregon State in the Civil War game and Auburn faces South Carolina in the SEC championship game.

The Cameron Newton saga actually isn't in play now. Even if the NCAA rules him ineligible, Auburn's victory will not be vacated by next week. Whatever the Tigers achieve this season may be erased later, but not before this season is over.

On the undercard, however, there's a whole lot going on ...

1) TCU: With its rout of New Mexico, TCU becomes the first team to complete an undefeated season. At worst, the Frogs will earn a Rose Bowl berth against the Big Ten champion. And with LSU's loss to Arkansas, their spot in the top three will not be threatened no matter what happens next week.

2) Rose Bowl: LSU's loss made the Wisconsin-Ohio State race much closer, because the Tigers were wedged between these two teams in the polls. So close that the Guru is calling Ohio State to edge slightly in front. Keep in mind that the Big Ten will send the highest ranked team in the final BCS standings to the Rose Bowl, so this won't be decided until next week even though the Big Ten schedule is done. The Rose Bowl will be rooting for an Auburn loss, because then it will be free to pick Stanford to replace Oregon.

3) Stanford: Losses by LSU and Boise State also have enormous meaning for Stanford, which is now in position to be guaranteed a BCS bowl berth. The Cardinal will be No. 4 in the new BCS standings, and by BCS rule, it will have to be chosen by one of the BCS bowls. It remains to be seen whether Jim Harbaugh will be coaching that game.

4) Big 12: Oklahoma's bedlam of a victory over Oklahoma State produced the dreaded three-way tie in the Big 12 South for the second time in three years. OU will gain enough ground to take the division but it just boggles the mind why conferences would choose to use a ranking system that's so easily manipulated by outside influences, or even the participants themselves. In the Big Ten's case, all three head coaches have a vote in the coaches poll; but in the Big 12's case, Mike Sherman has a vote but Bob Stoops and Mike Gundy don't. It's pure insanity.

5) The Biggest Loser: If it wasn't so important to the Broncos you'd think that they lost to Nevada just to spite the WAC, which stands to lose nearly $10 million by missing out on a BCS bowl. But Boise State lost its chance to play in its third BCS bowl, probably the Rose Bowl, and possibly a shot at the national championship. They won't even win the conference outright, and will be consigned to play in either the Kraft Fight Hunger or Humanitarian Bowl against some 6-6 team.

6) The Biggest Winner: Meanwhile, UConn, a team that was manhandled by a second-division Big Ten team (Michigan) and a fifth-place team in the MAC (Temple), is one win away from a BCS Bowl berth. The Big East is committing grand larceny.

7) Bowl picture: The Guru will have a complete breakdown on all the bowls next week, but on a quick count, we now have exactly 70 bowl eligible teams, filling all 35 bowl games, with four teams (Washington, Oregon State, Middle Tennessee State and Louisiana Tech) can still play their way in by winning their final game. Of those four, only UW is likely to win and get a bowl bid, and if it does, then Western Michigan is out.

This week's projected BCS standings: 1. Oregon, 2. Auburn, 3. TCU, 4. Stanford, 5. Ohio State, 6. Wisconsin, 7. Arkansas, 8. Michigan State, 9. LSU, 10. Oklahoma, 11. Boise State, 12. Oklahoma State, 13. Nebraska, 14. Missouri, 15. Nevada.

55 comments:

Anonymous said...

I don't see OSU passing Wisconsin. OSU's two best wins, Miami and @Iowa, both lost today. They've beaten nobody with a big computer profile and should take a computer hit big enough to keep the Badgers ahead.

Also, I see enough votes from LSU and Boise losing going to UW to keep them ahead. I wouldn't be shocked to see Wisconsin move ahead of TCU in one of the polls. They are riding a huge wave of momentum in the media right now.

Anonymous said...

You're *dead* wrong about Wisconsin-OSU.

Wisconsin controls 2/3 of the BCS ranking with the Harris/Coaches polls. Wisconsin will likely *gain* ground, but even if they don't, they will lead OSU in 2/3 the voting. Wisconsin and OSU are very, very close in the computer rankings. Nothing on the field, in this post, or because of other games will change this. Remember, only 1/3 of the rankings, so even a slight OSU gain (charitable to suggest, at best) can overwhelm Wisconsin's human poll advantage.

Simple logic.

You're the *only* media outlet - BCS experts, especially - predicting OSU above Wisconsin. Literally, you're a man alone at sea.

Some "Guru". At 8:15 tomorrow, might want to be called, BCS "Failure".

Anonymous said...

I understand Stanford would go to a BCS game if they end up #4, but am reading/hearing conflicting projections of Orange/Sugar/Fiesta. Since the only bowl that TRULY wants them is the Rose - isn't there a way for them to "swap" TCU to the Fiesta or Sugar for Stanford and all would be better off? At least some type of backroom agreement during the selection process?

Anonymous said...

the swap thing for Stanford TCU would take paying TCU an extra million bucks. everyone wants to play Wiscon in Rose Bowl. no one wants to play ACC champ or Big EAst Champ or even Big 12 champ this yr.

TCU will never have this opp again. they aint trading. hopefully USC beats Auburn and everyone is happy sans Auburn. they're getting thier wins forfeited anyway in two yrs.

Anonymous said...

Guru will be apologizing for his ignorance tomorrow when wisco is ahead of osu. The question is if wisc will also be ahead of stanford. It will be close

Anonymous said...

Sagarin computers are in...

Wisconsin down 2 spots to 11.

OSU down 4 spots to 15.

More ammo for Wisconsin over OSU.

Anonymous said...

Not only are you completely wrong about Ohio State passing Wisconsin, but the title of this post - "BCS (and Bucky) Get Lucky Once Again", absolutely makes no sense. Back to the drawing board, BCS Guru.

Anonymous said...

The Guru must be looking at videos from the last 6 years if it thinks OSU is going to pass Wisconsin. But game for game this season, Wisconsin is in a league of its own.

Anonymous said...

I feel bad that so many of these people fail to recognize WHY you are saying The Ohio State could pass Wisconsin on Sunday. The fact that both polls already have Wisconsin ahead of The Ohio State by 2 spots in the coaches and 3 in the Harris (With LSU sandwiched between them in both) means that with Boise's loss Wisconsin can move up one spot, however with Boise AND LSU losing, The Ohio State gains 2 places in both polls, thus possibly making up the vote margin to surpass Wisconsin in the BCS standings. Your logic works for me, however I doubt that it will play out as you have predicted though I would love to see it. BTW, Ohio State RPI's at #4 currently, with Wisconsin #12. Just sayin'

madikee said...

wis beat osu so why would osu pass wis. i dont see why stanford is ahead of wisconsin either i think with an auburn loss in the sec championship game wis can move into the bcs title game

Anonymous said...

Michigan State beat Wisconsin so any Wisconsin beat Ohio State logic is moot.

Anonymous said...

"RPI"?

Why would any football fan quote an RPI? It is utterly meaningless in college football as it completely ignores the strength of the teams played to get wins and only looks at wins itself (ie, a team that went 2-0 vs S. Dakota Tech and Maine State would be considered to have a higher RPI than a team that went 1-1 vs LSU and Oregon AND a 10-2 sun belt record is considered better than a 8-4 BSC conf record).

It is obvious why Big 10 fan quotes it of course, since real SOS for their teams are a complete embarrassment. If you go by the Sagarin SOS, which is a true indicator of schedule strength, both Ohio State and Wisconsin played an easier schedule than Boise State. You don't get tough schedules playing your inter-state non-BCS directional schools, 8 homes games, only 8 conf games, and Minny, NW, Indiana, and Purdue.

So, Big 10 wonk, by all means get excited about your team playing in the BCS but don't quote Ohio State as playing the 4th toughest SOS.

Anonymous said...

For OSU and UW, the problem isn't in the analysis, it's in the explanation. It didn't make any sense for OSU to pass UW in the rankings until comment #9.

Anonymous said...

I'm an OSU fan, and it would be tough to justify passing Wisconsin imo. Wiscy deserves to be ranked higher. Period.

Anonymous said...

LSU was wedged between Wisconsin and OSU in the human polls, but so is Stanford in the Harris poll, and they were only 4 votes behind in the Coaches. Stanford will remain ahead of OSU in at least one human poll. Wisconsin will remain ahead of OSU in both. Wisconsin will remain ahead of OSU in the computers because both teams played teams of the same caliber at home and won, Arizona State won this week, and Miami lost again.

Anonymous said...

3 errors in this post: 1) Wisconsin will not get passed, 2) Auburn will be #1 in the bcs this week and 3) even if Auburn loses to SC they will not put TCU in instead -- it will still be Oregon/AU. You heard it first here people -- from Mike M!

Corrie Trouw said...

It's also worth noting that the voters will probably "self-correct" next week if OSU passes Wisconsin this week (remember 2006, UM-Florida?). I think Wisconsin in the Rose is inevitable, even if OSU passes them this week.

What a stupid system.

ssopha said...

I don't the STANFORD fascination? Look at their schedule, they one victory over a ranked opponent. The best team in their conference not named Oregon is 7-5. The pac-10 was bad this year! I would take any of the big-ten champs of STANFORD.

Anonymous said...

The only thing keeping MSU out of the Rose Bowl discussion is perception. They have the highest SOS according to Sagarin of the three and beat Wisc head to head. That also means they are the only team to beat a top five team. OSU has not beat a ranked team all year according to the lastest rankings and have the weakest SOS yet they finish ahead of MSU? I concede that Wisc is playing the best to date but too much is based on opinion of voters as opposed to the facts according to each team's resume IMHO.

Anonymous said...

It's likely that voters want to see an OSU-TCU matchup after the OSU's Presidents comments.

Anonymous said...

So let me get this straight... in your myopic world all that counts is that Wisconsin beat OSU.... Well then, by that standard Wisconsin should be ranked behind MSU. Since Wisconsin beat Wisconsin...

LSU losing HELPS OSU. There was a two spot gap between OSU and Wisconsin in the Harris Poll. That will now shrink to 1. The 1 spot gap between the Wisconsin and OSU in the Coaches poll as a result of the LSU loss will no longer exist... the Buckeyes will make up serious ground as a result of narrowing the SPREAD Gap in the HUMAN polls.

Prepare to be really pissed badger fan...

Anonymous said...

Personally, as an OSU fan I don't want to play in the Rose Bowl if it's going to be against a nobody like TCU. I'd rather take on somebody from the SEC to shut their fans up.

Anonymous said...

I realize that the Badgers' human poll lead will shrink by clearing out LSU as a buffer team. And the idea is that this now slight edge will be insufficient to offset OSU's sizable advantage in the computers, right? But wait...aren't the Badgers AHEAD in the computers?

There was plenty of cause for concern earlier; OSU had Miami on the schedule and an Iowa win was to give them a SOS bump. But UW was still ahead after the Iowa game and now Miami lost again. This prediction made sense 3 weeks ago, but the events did not come to pass. How do you see it happening now?

CFB Fan said...

@ssopha.

Actually, Pac-10 is the strongest conference this year. Check Sagarin. Also, as a conference they have the best OOC wins vs. BCS conferences. Finally, ASU is currently 7th in Pac-10 and outplayed Whiskey. Stanford has had very impressive wins against their Pac-10 competition, so I'm pretty sure they would be favorite over OSU and MSU on neutral field, Whiskey might get the edge, they have been mighty impressive of late.

Anonymous said...

You guys realize that it is about points and not ranking when it comes to the human polls. It doesn't matter if OSU gains 2 or 3 spots on wisc. They need to gain in the POINTS.

Anonymous said...

Anyway, Stanford moved ahead of OSU in the Coaches Poll. Wanna change your predictions?

Anonymous said...

Leaving MSU(11-1) the team with same record as Wiscy(11-1), has a higher SOS, and beat Wiscy head to head is a joke. Perception > Reality. The sports media should be ashamed for allowing subjectivity to trump objectivity.

PeteP said...

I foresaw this problem for Wiscy with all the losses in the top 10. Both Wiscy and Ohio State have bad computer numbers due to very weak OOC schedules. Given the BCS computers (who like Michigan State the best of the 3), if all three are ranked closely in the top 10 (say 5, 6, 8 or so with the vote differences around 125 total), the Spartans could make a backdoor Rose Bowl over both, although this is not as likely as the Buckeyes...

All three better hope TCU gets a BCS CG berth, or they will get exposed...

Andrew said...

Given the BCS computers (who like Michigan State the best of the 3)

Not true. Michigan State has the worst computer ranking of the three.

Anonymous said...

Were you drunk when you wrote about the Rose Bowl? Maybe high? There is no way Wisconsin drops below OSU after blowing out NW and staying 2 ahead of them in one human poll.

Who the hell thinks MSU will backdoor into the Rose Bowl? Are you also drunk? Let's see what the Rose Bowl committee is thinking: "Hmmm, let's not take the highest BCS ranked Big Ten team, hell, let's not even take the 2nd highest BCS ranked team, let's take MSU instead." Michigan State has as much chance of backdooring into the Rose Bowl as Iowa does.

DaveO said...

Interesting insight about Wisconsin/OSU. The coaches' poll is out and Wisconsin went from a 95-point lead over OSU to a 69-point lead. That means that OSU closed 0.0176 points on Wisconsin in the coaches' poll portion of the BCS, equivalent to about 0.0059 BSC points. Wisconsin started the day 0.0540 ahead of OSU, so their lead has just shrunk to 0.0481.

In the Harris poll, Wisc went into the week with a 164-point lead over OSU. Let's say OSU gets half that (trails by 82). Then they will have closed an additional .0288 on Wisconsin in the Harris poll, equivalent to about 0.096 BCS points. Wisconsin's lead is now down to 0.0385.

To catch Wisc in the BCS, OSU would need to win the computer average by more than 0.12 points (translates to 0.04 BSC points). Wisconsin led by 0.04 coming in to the week. Okla St was wedged in between Wisc and OSU in three of the computer polls, with Wisc to benefit in one and OSU to benefit in the other 2. Alabama was wedged in between them in another poll (benefiting Wisc). So OSU looks to gain on Wisc in 3 polls, and Wisc looks to gain on OSU in one poll. None of the other teams wedged in between either OSU or Wisc lost. Thre's always a chance some team could drop down or rise just enough to wedge in between Wisc and OSU anew, but that's difficult. OSU will likely gain slightly more in the computers than Wisc will, but not enough.

I just don't see OSU pulling of a 0.16 point swing there.

Anonymous said...

Yea, I don't see why you're hyping OSU either. Wisconsin seems to have this all sewed up. I'm not a fan of either team, but you sound a little biased to me.

Anonymous said...

Big Ten tiebreaker for many years until last season was record between three tied teams. The records betweek MSU, UW, and OSU this year is MSU 1-0, UW 1-1, and OSU 0-1. MSU should get the Rose and forget any polls.

Andrew said...

Harris poll's out. Wisconsin is 140 points up on Ohio State.

Anonymous said...

There is no way Ohio State moves ahead of Wisc. The newest Coaches poll has Wisc #4 and OSU #6. Last week it was #5 and #7 they are still separated by 2 spots. The Harris poll will probably show similiar results and the polls make up 2/3rds of the BCS. Wisc was ahead in the computer component last week and each team beat teams with identical records this week so there is no reason to get a coputer bump for OSU and Wisc won really by ton too.

Anonymous said...

Stanford if they finish 4th will go to the Fiesta Bowl. Everyone thinks b/c they have 3rd pick they will get a Big east team. But, the Orange has 2nd pick and has knows Stanford doesn't have a fan base in the region and doesn't travel well. So the Orange will pick a Big East team with more regional base possibly and the Big east fans have a much shorter trip to Florida than the west coast Stanford fans who don;t travel well.

Of course all this could blow up b/c S. Carolina has a good chance of beating Auburn b/c they needed some luck to get by them the 1st time.

Anonymous said...

Well with both the Harris and Coaches' out, Wisconsin is at .5752 and OSU is at .5432. That's a lead of .0320. So OSU needs: 1/3 x computer advantage = .0320, or a computer advantage of .0960. The computer rankings translate to .0400 per rank, so OSU must have an average computer rank in the 4 the BCS uses (throw out highest and lowest) 2.4 spots higher than Wisconsin. And Wisconsin had an average rank of +1 on them last week, so OSU needs to climb 3.4 spots relative to Wisconsin this week.

I think the math on that's good (anyone?) and I just don't see it happening.

The Guru said...

As per my Tweets, with both polls and Sagarin information available, it appears that Auburn will be ahead of Oregon by .0002 for No. 1, and Wisconsin will be ahead of Ohio State for No. 5.

Please keep in mind the projections are based on mathematical modeling and more unpredictably, forecast of voter behavior. They have nothing to do with my personal opinion.

Anonymous said...

Yes, the Guru is correct to assume that voter unpredictability is actually a BIG DEAL. Anything could have happened before today's polls came out.

Anonymous said...

Msu would embaress the big ten in the rosebowl. Lets look at different games. Although wisconsin did lose to msu that was 8 weeks ago and this is obviously a better team now. 1st game wisconsin and osu both beat iowa while msu lost by 30 points!!!! Wisconsin beat NW by 47 msu barely snuck it out. Ohio st beat penn st 38-14 msu almost blew it. Lastly wisconsin over purdue 34-13 osu 49-0. Msu would embaress the big ten in any bcs game and shoulda lost at least 3 games. Msu is clearly the worst of the three but u still gota feel for them.

Anonymous said...

It is amazing to me how many people don't understand that the predictions posted are based on the numbers, not on personal opinion except for guessing where teams will stand in the human polls. The Guru's initial prediction of Ohio State over Wisconsin didn't suggest that he felt Ohio State deserved to be in more. It's simply a function of predicting OSU would gain ground on Wisconsin in the polls and how they would stack up in the computers.

Even then the voters will have more and more say in terms of who goes to which bowl games. If Auburn loses the voters might still be able to put them in over TCU simply by manipulating the polls. Same goes with the Big 10 championship which apparently will become campaign based at this point. I bet we'll see some very interesting polls with some voters throwing a 1st place vote toward the team they want in the top bowls.

Anonymous said...

Nobody said it was personal opinion. I just don't think it was a very sound projection based on the Badgers being basically guaranteed to stay ahead in total votes in both polls (2/3 of the BCS calc) and OSU taking a computer hit with Miami, Iowa, Ohio, etc... all losing. There didn't seem to be a reasonable way to justify the position.

Anonymous said...

Self proclaimed Guru.. good call on Wisconsin.

Anonymous said...

nice "you heard it here first" post about Wisconsin-OSU. You just lost a reader. The sole purpose of this blog is to do BCS projections. When you get such a big projection totally wrong, it shows that you don't know what you're actually talking about.

Anonymous said...

I understand that you thought the voter gap would close more than it did, but before that even matters, to predict OSU over UW you had to be thinking OSU would come out on top in the computers. With Wisconsin ahead last week, two 7-5 opponents this week, many common opponents, and a Miami loss, what exactly was the thinking there? I'm really genuinely curious, because it seems all signs pointed to the status quo, and that's what happened.

Anonymous said...

If the guru actually understood how the number of the BCS were calculated, he would have known there was no way OSU could pass Wisky. Time to rename the blog...BCSCrapshoot sounds pretty good, and I think the domain is available.

Work on your math skills.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree that projecting Ohio State ahead of Wisco was dunderheaded. There had to be some sort of personal bias factoring in there, because the math simply never supported it.

Anonymous said...

WI's gap over OSU actually INCREASED this week. Dumbas$...you were literally the only person in the country that thought OSU would jump WI, and you call yourself a "guru".

Anonymous said...

yeah i always came here figuring he was crunching the numbers so i don't have too.
Clearly if its true the Badgers actually not only didn't get jumped but rather INCREASED there lead over Ohio state, plus the guru's complete silence on why he thought otherwise, leads me to believe he don't really know much!

DaveO said...

Actually Ohio State DID close the gap on Wisconsin.

Last week, gap was 0.0540, this week it is 0.0443.

Anonymous said...

No DaveO, Ohio State did not. They are down .553, last week was .540.

Anonymous said...

@ssopha

Not sure what you define as a tough conference, but Sagarin has the Pac 10 WELL ahead of EVERY conference this year, and especially well ahead of the Big 10. Hard to claim you have a tough conference when the highest SOS of the 3 winners is in the mid 60's in the country when the Pac 10 has 8 of the 10 toughest schedules (and had their 7-8th best team need a complete meltdown not to win by 2-3 TD's vs Wisky on the road). My guess is everyone in the Big 10 would be dogs to Oregon and probably everyone but Wisky would be dogs to Stanford. Let's not even get into how bad the bottom of the Big 10 is. The bottom 5 of the Big 10 don't even sniff a victory vs the bottom 5 of the Pac 10. Seriously, is it the water in the midwest? Why are Big 10 fans so delusional and myopic?

Anyway, congrats to Wisky for the Rose Bowl they certainly looked like the best Big 10 team to this outsider.

Anonymous said...

So much for the BCS Guru title. Wisconsin's lead only increased. How'd you get this job anyway?

Anonymous said...

Nice math DaveO...

Last week's BCS difference, .7688 to .7148 which equals .0540.

This week's BCS difference, .8185 to .7632 which equals .0553.

Last I checked .0553 > .0540. Nice try on the basic math though.

Anonymous said...

I was right: "3 errors in this post: 1) Wisconsin will not get passed, 2) Auburn will be #1 in the bcs this week and 3) even if Auburn loses to SC they will not put TCU in instead -- it will still be Oregon/AU. You heard it first here people -- from Mike M!"

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