The arrival of March means that people will talk at length regarding the NCAA basketball tournament selection committee. As surreal as it sounds, college football is also going to have a selection committee soon.
With that in mind, Sports Illustrated's Stewart Mandel collected a group of statistically-minded college football experts -- SB Nation's own Bill Connelly, Ken Pomeroy, CBS Sports' Jerry Palm, SI's Ed Feng and Football Outsiders' Brian Fremeau - to try to figure out how college football's selection committee can do the the job correctly, without falling into the same traps as the basketball committee.
The entire article is extremely interesting and very much worthy of a read, but here's Bill's response on how accurate rankings need to encompass more than just wins and losses:
"We tend to drastically overstate the importance of head-to-head matchups. ... If we've seen two teams play on the same field, we are naturally going to take the result of that battle heavily into account. But that's one week. Teams play 12 games. If Team A loses to Team B (especially by a small margin) but clearly outplays Team B in the other 11 weeks of the season (according to records, eyeballs, and/or computer rankings), Team A deserves a playoff spot over Team B."
And here's Bill again, on the subject of strength of schedule, and whether it has become overrated:
"If we have to judge a team simply on strength of schedule, then I like the way Fremeau approaches it. He basically asks how other teams of a certain level would expect to perform given the same schedule. You need stats more advanced than simply win percentages to do that well, but from a 20,000-foot view, that's the right approach."