Sunday, February 8, 2009

2008 Versions of the BCS (unofficial)

Greetings, all. As you might have noticed, I didn't post my usual addition the Versions of the BCS section of this site this past December. That was mainly because 1) the rankings are still incomplete and even in the best circumstances involve a lot of guesswork, (especially since two of the computers are no longer ranking teams); 2) the trend these past three years is for all versions to name the same top two teams; and 3) it's a lot of damn work to gather all the data and crunch the numbers.

But since a loyal reader asked, here's an unofficial version - let's take the data we do have and see what happens.

You remember the official rankings from December, don't you?

Version E-2: 2008
7Texas Tech820900.7398811320.74230.8700.7840
8Penn State621860.7738611930.78230.6600.7387

Going back ten years, let's look at what Version A might have been. Columns in green are ones that I don't have numbers for but am guessing at.

Version A: 2008
7Texas Tech88841.40114.4
8Penn State66681.40116.4

The computers used in Version A were Jeff Sagarin's, Anderson & Hester, and the NY Times (which we no longer have). Since we only have two of the three, I just averaged their two rankings for the overall. Oklahoma was #1 in all computers this year, so they get a rank of 1. Florida was #4 in both, while Texas was #2 & #3. We don't know how things would've played out had the NYT ranking been in play, but it would've been close to that, probably.

As far as the strength of schedule goes, I took the liberty of ranking Oklahoma, Florida, and Texas all the same in this category - it's my best guess and an attempt to make things fair. They'd all be at about #4 in SoS. Utah gets a 2.00 for the 50th toughest schedule, Alabama and USC the 40th toughest, and Texas Tech and Penn State at the 36th toughest. (If you happen to know the real SoS rankings according to the way they used to be tabulated, or if you're so inclined to crunch the numbers, send them along and I'll put them in - here's the formula.

Oklahoma would be in no doubt, but #2 would be razor-thin between Florida and Texas. The NYT didn't care too much about losses (not that it would help us here), but SoS was of major importance - so basically whoever had the tougher schedule was in. Let's move on.

Version B: 2008
7Texas Tech88841.40114.40
8Penn State6669.51.40117.90

The only major thing that changed in Version B were the computer rankings, since there were a lot more of the in this version. For the most part, they'd probably put Florida ahead of Texas, solidifying the Gators at #2. Even if the Longhorns had a significant edge in SoS, which is debatable, it probably wouldn't be enough to help get them to #2.

Version C: 2008
RankTeamAPCoachPollsComputersSoSLossesQ-winsTotals(quality wins)
1Oklahoma211.51.000.161-1.52.16TX Tech, TCU, Cincy, OK State
2Florida121.53.670.161-1.25.13Alabama, Georgia
3Texas3332.670.161-1.55.33Oklahoma, OK State
6Texas Tech8884.171.401-1.213.37Texas, OK State
7USC544.56.831.601-0.513.43Ohio State
8Penn State6669.331.401-0.517.23Ohio State

When we get to Version C, the Quality Wins component is added in. It helps Oklahoma pad their lead at #1 even more, and makes things close between Florida and Texas. But I'd bet the Gators would still be ahead, since they have the edge in the polls.

Version D: 2008
RankTeamAPCoachPollsComputersSoSLossesQ-winsTotals(quality wins)
1Oklahoma211.51.000.161-0.33.36Texas Tech
6Texas Tech8884.171.401-0.713.87Texas
8Penn State6669.331.401-0.517.73(none)

The only difference between C and D was the you only got quality win points for beating teams in the Top 10 instead of the Top 15. Pretty similar.

Version E: 2008
7Texas Tech811930.7342811320.74230.8700.7821
8Penn State612590.7748611930.78230.6600.7390

And finally the first Version E, with the AP Poll instead of the Harris. No significant changes here - still Oklahoma at #1 and most likely Florida at #2.

Overall, Oklahoma would've been there undoubtedly. And the big difference between Florida and Texas in most of the versions is the fact that the Gators were #1 in the AP while the Longhorns were #3 - that 1.5 points in most polls would've been hard to make up. Alabama, Utah, USC, Texas Tech, and Penn State are all significantly behind those big three.

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