Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Chaos Illustrated

Even though I've posted the top 15 of my regular season rankings to the left, I'm going to be posting the whole list as well as my thoughts on it in the next day or so. Also coming up is my non-conference breakdown, which should shed some different light on the bowl matchups. That'll be sometime next week.

Until then, I present a visual aid to go along with the carnage we witnessed in the rankings this year. These are the Top 15 in the BCS Standings charted out by weeks, showing who was in what position and where they finished the season. (Pay attention to the upper-right corner of the graphs - that's where the top 5 in the last weeks of the season are.)

For instance, in 1998 we can see UCLA's downfall in the last week of the season from #2 to #5, but other than that the top 4 remained exactly the same for basically the whole month of November. Ho-hum.

Moving to 1999, there's some movement in places 2-3 in the middle towards weeks 2-4 of the standings, but not much thereafter. The top 3 stayed exactly the same for the last 4 weeks of the season.

VERY stable over the last 3 weeks of the season, all the way down the board. The rankings didn't so much as wake up when the Florida State - Miami earthquake was going on.

This looks like a lot of chaos, and in the media it was, but not so much in the rankings. All that happened was Florida & Texas lost in the 2nd to last week (and everyone moved up a spot), then Tennessee lost in the last week (and everyone moved up a spot). Nebraska was ahead of Colorado and Oregon every single week this season. Pretty simple.

Other than the loss by Oklahoma in week 6, this was a relatively calm year as well. It's almost pretty, isn't it?

The switch from USC to LSU was big, but everyone saw it coming. All other spots remained relatively the same for the last few weeks. A lot of jumbling in the middle in weeks 3, 4, & 5, but that's just the ranking's stomach growling.

2004 is about as straight a line as you're gonna get throughout the top 5. Auburn never had a shot.

2005 was stable too - Texas & USC always on top, and everyone else in their seats except for a couple losses by VA Tech & LSU to end the season.

Ohio State's straight, but USC loss caused a bit of a jumble there at the end. Even so, only 3 of the top 8 spots moved in the last week.

And finally, the 2007 chart, brought to you by Jackson Pollock. This is just one big mess, especially in the last weeks and especially in the top 5. Ugly, as you can now see. (That space at #5 in weeks 2 & 3, #4 in week 4, and #2 in week 5? That used to be Oregon. The rankings had duck for dinner in weeks 6, 7, & 8.)

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