Moonlight1

MrPacTen

  • joined Jun 10, 2010
  • last login Jul 22, 2013
  • posts 94
  • comments 1148

Writes regularly during the college football season for cfn.scout.com, and sporadically during the offseason.

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Compu-Picks: Why Turnovers are a Valuable Part of Pre-season Predictions

[Bumped to Front Page.] Compu-Picks looks at the last eight years of turnover data,and discovers: 1) Turnover improvement very strongly correlates to record improvement. 2) The turnover margin from...

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Compu-Picks Post-Spring Top 25

Compu-Picks post-spring top 25 (and two notable omissions): Rank Team Rating Public Rank 1 Oregon 0.74 4 2 Ohio State 0.68 6 3 Alabama 0.64 2 4 Oklahoma 0.57 1 5 Boise State 0.55 7 6 Auburn 0.54 19 ...

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Compu-Picks: Top 30 Upsets of 2005-2010

Per Bill's request, here are the top 30 1-A upsets of 2005-2010, as calculated by Compu-Picks: Rank Team Opp Week Year Score Location Rating Diff 1 Stanford Southern California 6 2007 24 - 23 AWAY 0...

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Compu-Picks: Home-field advantage as a function of distance

Compu-Picks looks at home-field advantage as a function of distance, and shows why distance is a contributing factor to home-field advantage.

HBO: Auburn and Pay to Play

And the offseason crazy train rolls on.

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Compu-Picks: Home-field advantage overview

[Promoted to Front Page.] Compu-Picks looks at home-field advantage, and shows why it is extremely important in college football.

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2010 Compu-Picks Ratings, Post-Bowl

Compu-Picks shows and explains why the Pac-10 was MUCH better than most people thought (maybe even better than you thought), and why Arizona St was underrated

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2010 Compu-Picks Ratings, Post-Bowl

Compu-Picks shows and explains why the Pac-10 was MUCH better than most people thought (maybe even better than you thought), and why Arizona was underrated

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2010 Compu-Picks Ratings, Post-Bowl

Compu-Picks shows and explains why Boise was underrated in 2010, and more.

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2010 Compu-Picks Ratings, Post-Bowl

Compu-Picks shows and explains why the Pac-10 was MUCH better than most people thought (maybe even better than you thought), and how USC was substantially underrated.

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2010 Compu-Picks Ratings, Post-Bowl

Compu-Picks shows and explains why the Pac-10 was MUCH better than most people thought (maybe even better than you thought), how Oregon owned the best win of the season, and how the Ducks were...

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2010 Compu-Picks Ratings, Post-Bowl

Compu-Picks shows and explains why the Pac-10 in general, and Stanford in particular, were MUCH better than most people thought (maybe even better than you thought).

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What the Pac-12 Needs to do to Keep USC (and others)

In this article, I analyzed what the Pac-12 needs to do if it's serious about keeping USC as well as the other programs that could collectively break apart the league.

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What USC Can Do (if they don't want the Pac-12)

In this article, I analyzed why independence probably won't work, what USC would do instead if they decide to bail on the Pac-12, and what kind of ramifications it could have on a national level.

CFB Compu-Picks Ratings, End of Regular Season

... 2) Speaking of schedule strength, it's worth asking whether it really makes sense to adjust for home-field advantage. Does it really make a difference? The answer is yes, as shown in the table below. With only a 53% winning percentage overall, it's pretty clear that home-field isn't much of a predictor in aggregate; however, when you throw out the mismatches (loosely defined here as games where one team ended up with 2 or more league wins than the other), the story is much different. When the teams ended up with the same number of league wins, the home team won slightly more than two-thirds of the time (it's a small sample size, of course, but it's still a very compelling number). When you expand the list to minor mismatches (teams ending up within one win of each other), the win rate drops, but is still close to 60%. So in answer to the question, yes I do think that it's a relevant factor that makes a lot of sense to include in this rating system. In fact, I would go so far as to say that any system which fails to account for this is flawed; certainly that includes the NCAA's ridiculous schedule numbers, but it also includes most or all of the BCS computers as well. ... I've also gotten some comments from Big Ten people who believe the model has them too low. I don't buy it. Multiple MAC losses, few quality wins (the best ones were against Miami, ASU and Notre Dame [twice] ), a gimmick schedule with half of the OOC games against bottom 40 teams and over 2/3 of the games at home, only a 7-5 record vs AQ's... it just wasn't a good year for the league. It's reasonable to argue them over the ACC (again, it's possible that the system is over-penalizing for the cupcake games), but that's it. They were a clear few steps below the top three leagues (Pac-10, SEC, Big 12) in 2010. It's certainly possible that they have a good bowl run, which would change the numbers, but for now, the resume just isn't there. ... 7) The following teams are ranked materially lower than the model than the BCS: Auburn, Wisconsin, LSU, Michigan St, Mississippi St, Hawaii, UCF. ... Wisconsin is playing very well right now, but, even more than Auburn, had a number of early struggles (the 1-pt ASU win, the 13-pt SJ St win, and worst of all, the 10-point loss to a pretty mediocre Michigan St team). I would say that compu-picks probably underrates them a bit... but unless you choose to totally ignore their early-season issues, the BCS is overrating them. ... In the BCS, Michigan St recently rose two points after barely beating a mediocre Penn St team, one week after they rose two spots after barely beating a bad Purdue team at home. Once again, the BCS punishes tough schedules and rewards easy ones. Moreover, in terms of season-long resumes, Michigan St has not been especially dominant (especially after they got waxed at Iowa), and has not had much of a schedule to date (Notre Dame was the only decent non-conference opponent, and they missed Ohio St, and they had a ridiculous eight home games [one was AA]). Even if you think compu-picks is too low on them, putting them into the top 10 is flat-out ridiculous. They're basically a homeless man's LSU, with the same tendency towards way too close wins, a lack of good performances against teams not named Wisconsin, a crummy schedule, and the massive beating Iowa laid on them.

CFB Compu-Picks Ratings, End of Regular Season

... 6) The following teams are ranked materially higher by the model than the BCS: Oregon, Stanford, Boise St, Virginia Tech, Alabama, Nebraska, South Carolina, Florida St, Arizona, USC, NC St, Arizona St. ... A few weeks ago, Boise got crushed in the BCS rankings for losing a very close game on the road to a top 20 team. That was simply dumb. They've been a dominant team all year long against a schedule that, while not fantastic, compares reasonably well to at least a few other members of the top ten, including Ohio St (who themselves played plenty of "Sisters of the Poor" opponents while playing only ONE quality team - Wisconsin, who beat them). ... 7) The following teams are ranked materially lower than the model than the BCS: Auburn, Wisconsin, LSU, Michigan St, Mississippi St, Hawaii, UCF. ... Hawaii is 10-3... but with a really weak schedule, three double-digit losses (including a 35-point bludgeoning by Boise, a 18-point loss at a poor Colorado team, and a 13-point home loss to USC). They also had a couple squeaker wins (Army by just 3, Nevada by 6). They're a good team... but top 25 is too much.

CFB Compu-Picks Ratings, End of Regular Season

... As shown in the above tables, the Pac-10 has the BEST record nationwide against other AQ leagues. Moreover, of all the AQ leagues, they're the one which has played by far the toughest slate. They're the only AQ league which has played a majority of its 1-A games on the road; they've played the fewest by far games againt the bottom 40 teams (as rated by compu-picks). They've played precisely ONE game against the Mac and Sun Belt combined; as a contrast, the Big Ten has lost more games to those two leagues (both double-digit HOME losses to the MAC) than the Pac-10 has games against them. In fact, if you break down the OOC records by groupings of 20 (as in the above table), the only leagues that show comparable results to the Pac-10 are the SEC and Big 12, and that's before you factor in home-field advantage. It's also worth noting that the Pac-10 is one of the only leagues without a AA loss; while the model doesn't factor in those games, as humans we can do so, and it's another point in the league's favor. Focusing on the bottom 40 for a bit, the Pac-10 doesn't have any bottom 40 OOC losses (only the Big 12 and Big Ten can say the same), and had only one game with less than a 7 point win against that group (USC's win over Virginia), as opposed to the SEC's two close calls against UAB; the Big Ten's close calls against Ark St, CMU, and Vandy; the Big 12's close call against Troy; the ACC's close call against Rutgers; and the Big East's close calls against Marshall and FIU. Basically, the unfortunate truth is that the BCS rewards easy schedules and punishes tough ones. When a league as a whole "gimmicks up" its record (overwhelming number of home games, majority of OOC games against bad competition), it gets rewarded. When the Big Ten schedules a ridiculous 17 games against the MAC/Sun Belt (not to mention the AA games), and actually LOSES two of them, it gets rewarded for it. When the Pac-10 has nine league games, a brutal OOC slate, has an outstanding 10-5 record against other AQ's, and has a near-total lack of "bad losses" (the worst was Wazzu at SMU, hardly a MAC-level loss), it gets punished for it with the silly perception that it's "down". The inescapable conclusion is that there is NOTHING that the league could have done to be perceived as excellent this year given the schedules it had to face. Besides the bias and laziness of most analysts that attempt to evaluate leagues, what does that mean going forward? Mainly, it means that the Pac-10 needs to gimmick up its schedules too. That means no more paycheck games on the road (see: Colorado at Ohio St coming up, as well as recent games such as Oregon St at TCU, Wazzu at Notre Dame, Auburn, Wisconsin [technically a 2:1 but I've got a bridge to sell you if you think it's likely the Badgers trek to Pullman as scheduled], etc.). That means fewer games against other AQ's (15 of the league's 28 OOC slots were against other AQ's, plus there were Oregon St's games against Boise and TCU). That means getting paycheck, 2:1 or 3:1 deals with the mid-majors (as opposed to ASU's upcoming home and home with New Mexico and insane home and home deal with UTSA, Wazzu's home and home with SMU, Washington's home and home with BYU, Oregon and Oregon St's home and homes with Boise, Arizona's home and home with New Mexico and apparent upcoming home and home with Nevada, Stanford's home and home with Navy and upcoming home and home with Army, etc.). It has to be a priority to get more home games. Home games provide a meaningful edge, and other leagues are taking advantage, while the Pac-10 clearly isn't. ... 6) The following teams are ranked materially higher by the model than the BCS: Oregon, Stanford, Boise St, Virginia Tech, Alabama, Nebraska, South Carolina, Florida St, Arizona, USC, NC St, Arizona St. ... USC isn't eligible to be ranked by the BCS. If they were eligible, they'd very possibly be ranked. Five losses is never fun, but they've had a tough schedule, they've beaten a top 25 Arizona team and a nearly top 25 Hawaii team (they're top 25 in the BCS though), both on the road, and two of their losses have come to elite Oregon and Stanford teams (the Stanford loss was a nail-biter as well).

CFB Compu-Picks Ratings, End of Regular Season

... As shown in the above tables, the Pac-10 has the BEST record nationwide against other AQ leagues. Moreover, of all the AQ leagues, they're the one which has played by far the toughest slate. They're the only AQ league which has played a majority of its 1-A games on the road; they've played the fewest by far games againt the bottom 40 teams (as rated by compu-picks). They've played precisely ONE game against the Mac and Sun Belt combined; as a contrast, the Big Ten has lost more games to those two leagues (both double-digit HOME losses to the MAC) than the Pac-10 has games against them. In fact, if you break down the OOC records by groupings of 20 (as in the above table), the only leagues that show comparable results to the Pac-10 are the SEC and Big 12, and that's before you factor in home-field advantage. It's also worth noting that the Pac-10 is one of the only leagues without a AA loss; while the model doesn't factor in those games, as humans we can do so, and it's another point in the league's favor. Focusing on the bottom 40 for a bit, the Pac-10 doesn't have any bottom 40 OOC losses (only the Big 12 and Big Ten can say the same), and had only one game with less than a 7 point win against that group (USC's win over Virginia), as opposed to the SEC's two close calls against UAB; the Big Ten's close calls against Ark St, CMU, and Vandy; the Big 12's close call against Troy; the ACC's close call against Rutgers; and the Big East's close calls against Marshall and FIU. Basically, the unfortunate truth is that the BCS rewards easy schedules and punishes tough ones. When a league as a whole "gimmicks up" its record (overwhelming number of home games, majority of OOC games against bad competition), it gets rewarded. When the Big Ten schedules a ridiculous 17 games against the MAC/Sun Belt (not to mention the AA games), and actually LOSES two of them, it gets rewarded for it. When the Pac-10 has nine league games, a brutal OOC slate, has an outstanding 10-5 record against other AQ's, and has a near-total lack of "bad losses" (the worst was Wazzu at SMU, hardly a MAC-level loss), it gets punished for it with the silly perception that it's "down". The inescapable conclusion is that there is NOTHING that the league could have done to be perceived as excellent this year given the schedules it had to face. Besides the bias and laziness of most analysts that attempt to evaluate leagues, what does that mean going forward? Mainly, it means that the Pac-10 needs to gimmick up its schedules too. That means no more paycheck games on the road (see: Colorado at Ohio St coming up, as well as recent games such as Oregon St at TCU, Wazzu at Notre Dame, Auburn, Wisconsin [technically a 2:1 but I've got a bridge to sell you if you think it's likely the Badgers trek to Pullman as scheduled], etc.). That means fewer games against other AQ's (15 of the league's 28 OOC slots were against other AQ's, plus there were Oregon St's games against Boise and TCU). That means getting paycheck, 2:1 or 3:1 deals with the mid-majors (as opposed to ASU's upcoming home and home with New Mexico and insane home and home deal with UTSA, Wazzu's home and home with SMU, Washington's home and home with BYU, Oregon and Oregon St's home and homes with Boise, Arizona's home and home with New Mexico and apparent upcoming home and home with Nevada, Stanford's home and home with Navy and upcoming home and home with Army, etc.). It has to be a priority to get more home games. Home games provide a meaningful edge, and other leagues are taking advantage, while the Pac-10 clearly isn't. ... 6) The following teams are ranked materially higher by the model than the BCS: Oregon, Stanford, Boise St, Virginia Tech, Alabama, Nebraska, South Carolina, Florida St, Arizona, USC, NC St, Arizona St. ... Arizona St is the poster child for a team that's been punished for a really tough schedule. They're 4-6 in 1-A games... but they've played six road games, they've played all 10 games against AQ opponents, and two of their home games were against top five teams (and one was a very close loss). They also played a very good Wisconsin team (rated #5 in BCS) on the road and only lost by a single point. They had an admittedly atrocious showing at Cal, but other than that it's been a boatload of quality performances, just against a schedule that was ridiculously hard. It's extremely unfortunate that this team isn't allowed to make a bowl game, especially since SJ St bailed on them late. That said, those are the rules, and they should have found a replacement. In week one, Baylor, Kansas, Miami, Virginia (who ALSO had 2 AA games on the schedule), West Virginia, Rutgers, Air Force, SD St, Nevada, Louisiana Tech, and probably a bunch of others were all playing AA teams; if ASU tried harder, they probably could have gotten one of those teams on the schedule. Presuming a win in such a game (fair assumption against at least half the list, though teams like Nevada, Miami, WV etc. would have been tough), failing to do so cost them a bowl game. In 2010, ASU was a better team than around half of the teams who are going to bowls, which says it all about both how good ASU was and the administrative screw-ups that cost them a bowl game.

CFB Compu-Picks Ratings, End of Regular Season

... As shown in the above tables, the Pac-10 has the BEST record nationwide against other AQ leagues. Moreover, of all the AQ leagues, they're the one which has played by far the toughest slate. They're the only AQ league which has played a majority of its 1-A games on the road; they've played the fewest by far games againt the bottom 40 teams (as rated by compu-picks). They've played precisely ONE game against the Mac and Sun Belt combined; as a contrast, the Big Ten has lost more games to those two leagues (both double-digit HOME losses to the MAC) than the Pac-10 has games against them. In fact, if you break down the OOC records by groupings of 20 (as in the above table), the only leagues that show comparable results to the Pac-10 are the SEC and Big 12, and that's before you factor in home-field advantage. It's also worth noting that the Pac-10 is one of the only leagues without a AA loss; while the model doesn't factor in those games, as humans we can do so, and it's another point in the league's favor. Focusing on the bottom 40 for a bit, the Pac-10 doesn't have any bottom 40 OOC losses (only the Big 12 and Big Ten can say the same), and had only one game with less than a 7 point win against that group (USC's win over Virginia), as opposed to the SEC's two close calls against UAB; the Big Ten's close calls against Ark St, CMU, and Vandy; the Big 12's close call against Troy; the ACC's close call against Rutgers; and the Big East's close calls against Marshall and FIU. Basically, the unfortunate truth is that the BCS rewards easy schedules and punishes tough ones. When a league as a whole "gimmicks up" its record (overwhelming number of home games, majority of OOC games against bad competition), it gets rewarded. When the Big Ten schedules a ridiculous 17 games against the MAC/Sun Belt (not to mention the AA games), and actually LOSES two of them, it gets rewarded for it. When the Pac-10 has nine league games, a brutal OOC slate, has an outstanding 10-5 record against other AQ's, and has a near-total lack of "bad losses" (the worst was Wazzu at SMU, hardly a MAC-level loss), it gets punished for it with the silly perception that it's "down". The inescapable conclusion is that there is NOTHING that the league could have done to be perceived as excellent this year given the schedules it had to face. Besides the bias and laziness of most analysts that attempt to evaluate leagues, what does that mean going forward? Mainly, it means that the Pac-10 needs to gimmick up its schedules too. That means no more paycheck games on the road (see: Colorado at Ohio St coming up, as well as recent games such as Oregon St at TCU, Wazzu at Notre Dame, Auburn, Wisconsin [technically a 2:1 but I've got a bridge to sell you if you think it's likely the Badgers trek to Pullman as scheduled], etc.). That means fewer games against other AQ's (15 of the league's 28 OOC slots were against other AQ's, plus there were Oregon St's games against Boise and TCU). That means getting paycheck, 2:1 or 3:1 deals with the mid-majors (as opposed to ASU's upcoming home and home with New Mexico and insane home and home deal with UTSA, Wazzu's home and home with SMU, Washington's home and home with BYU, Oregon and Oregon St's home and homes with Boise, Arizona's home and home with New Mexico and apparent upcoming home and home with Nevada, Stanford's home and home with Navy and upcoming home and home with Army, etc.). It has to be a priority to get more home games. Home games provide a meaningful edge, and other leagues are taking advantage, while the Pac-10 clearly isn't. ... 6) The following teams are ranked materially higher by the model than the BCS: Oregon, Stanford, Boise St, Virginia Tech, Alabama, Nebraska, South Carolina, Florida St, Arizona, USC, NC St, Arizona St. ... Arizona is the same type of story as most other teams that compu-picks thinks is underrated: very tough schedule, tendency towards blowout wins and close losses (except at Stanford and Oregon, compu-picks' #'s 1 and 2). They're better than their record, and despite what the BCS thinks, there simply aren't 25 teams out there better than the Arizona Wildcats.

CFB Compu-Picks Ratings, End of Regular Season

... 6) The following teams are ranked materially higher by the model than the BCS: Oregon, Stanford, Boise St, Virginia Tech, Alabama, Nebraska, South Carolina, Florida St, Arizona, USC, NC St, Arizona St. ... A few weeks ago, Boise got crushed in the BCS rankings for losing a very close game on the road to a top 20 team. That was simply dumb. They've been a dominant team all year long against a schedule that, while not fantastic, compares reasonably well to at least a few other members of the top ten, including Ohio St (who themselves played plenty of "Sisters of the Poor" opponents while playing only ONE quality team - Wisconsin, who beat them).

CFB Compu-Picks Ratings, End of Regular Season

... As shown in the above tables, the Pac-10 has the BEST record nationwide against other AQ leagues. Moreover, of all the AQ leagues, they're the one which has played by far the toughest slate. They're the only AQ league which has played a majority of its 1-A games on the road; they've played the fewest by far games againt the bottom 40 teams (as rated by compu-picks). They've played precisely ONE game against the Mac and Sun Belt combined; as a contrast, the Big Ten has lost more games to those two leagues (both double-digit HOME losses to the MAC) than the Pac-10 has games against them. In fact, if you break down the OOC records by groupings of 20 (as in the above table), the only leagues that show comparable results to the Pac-10 are the SEC and Big 12, and that's before you factor in home-field advantage. It's also worth noting that the Pac-10 is one of the only leagues without a AA loss; while the model doesn't factor in those games, as humans we can do so, and it's another point in the league's favor. Focusing on the bottom 40 for a bit, the Pac-10 doesn't have any bottom 40 OOC losses (only the Big 12 and Big Ten can say the same), and had only one game with less than a 7 point win against that group (USC's win over Virginia), as opposed to the SEC's two close calls against UAB; the Big Ten's close calls against Ark St, CMU, and Vandy; the Big 12's close call against Troy; the ACC's close call against Rutgers; and the Big East's close calls against Marshall and FIU. Basically, the unfortunate truth is that the BCS rewards easy schedules and punishes tough ones. When a league as a whole "gimmicks up" its record (overwhelming number of home games, majority of OOC games against bad competition), it gets rewarded. When the Big Ten schedules a ridiculous 17 games against the MAC/Sun Belt (not to mention the AA games), and actually LOSES two of them, it gets rewarded for it. When the Pac-10 has nine league games, a brutal OOC slate, has an outstanding 10-5 record against other AQ's, and has a near-total lack of "bad losses" (the worst was Wazzu at SMU, hardly a MAC-level loss), it gets punished for it with the silly perception that it's "down". The inescapable conclusion is that there is NOTHING that the league could have done to be perceived as excellent this year given the schedules it had to face. Besides the bias and laziness of most analysts that attempt to evaluate leagues, what does that mean going forward? Mainly, it means that the Pac-10 needs to gimmick up its schedules too. That means no more paycheck games on the road (see: Colorado at Ohio St coming up, as well as recent games such as Oregon St at TCU, Wazzu at Notre Dame, Auburn, Wisconsin [technically a 2:1 but I've got a bridge to sell you if you think it's likely the Badgers trek to Pullman as scheduled], etc.). That means fewer games against other AQ's (15 of the league's 28 OOC slots were against other AQ's, plus there were Oregon St's games against Boise and TCU). That means getting paycheck, 2:1 or 3:1 deals with the mid-majors (as opposed to ASU's upcoming home and home with New Mexico and insane home and home deal with UTSA, Wazzu's home and home with SMU, Washington's home and home with BYU, Oregon and Oregon St's home and homes with Boise, Arizona's home and home with New Mexico and apparent upcoming home and home with Nevada, Stanford's home and home with Navy and upcoming home and home with Army, etc.). It has to be a priority to get more home games. Home games provide a meaningful edge, and other leagues are taking advantage, while the Pac-10 clearly isn't. ... 6) The following teams are ranked materially higher by the model than the BCS: Oregon, Stanford, Boise St, Virginia Tech, Alabama, Nebraska, South Carolina, Florida St, Arizona, USC, NC St, Arizona St. ... Stanford has a boatload of high-quality performances, consistently blowing teams out even against an extremely tough schedule. They have consistently played at an extremely high level this year, and the model rewards them for that feat.

CFB Compu-Picks Ratings, End of Regular Season

... As shown in the above tables, the Pac-10 has the BEST record nationwide against other AQ leagues. Moreover, of all the AQ leagues, they're the one which has played by far the toughest slate. They're the only AQ league which has played a majority of its 1-A games on the road; they've played the fewest by far games againt the bottom 40 teams (as rated by compu-picks). They've played precisely ONE game against the Mac and Sun Belt combined; as a contrast, the Big Ten has lost more games to those two leagues (both double-digit HOME losses to the MAC) than the Pac-10 has games against them. In fact, if you break down the OOC records by groupings of 20 (as in the above table), the only leagues that show comparable results to the Pac-10 are the SEC and Big 12, and that's before you factor in home-field advantage. It's also worth noting that the Pac-10 is one of the only leagues without a AA loss; while the model doesn't factor in those games, as humans we can do so, and it's another point in the league's favor. Focusing on the bottom 40 for a bit, the Pac-10 doesn't have any bottom 40 OOC losses (only the Big 12 and Big Ten can say the same), and had only one game with less than a 7 point win against that group (USC's win over Virginia), as opposed to the SEC's two close calls against UAB; the Big Ten's close calls against Ark St, CMU, and Vandy; the Big 12's close call against Troy; the ACC's close call against Rutgers; and the Big East's close calls against Marshall and FIU. Basically, the unfortunate truth is that the BCS rewards easy schedules and punishes tough ones. When a league as a whole "gimmicks up" its record (overwhelming number of home games, majority of OOC games against bad competition), it gets rewarded. When the Big Ten schedules a ridiculous 17 games against the MAC/Sun Belt (not to mention the AA games), and actually LOSES two of them, it gets rewarded for it. When the Pac-10 has nine league games, a brutal OOC slate, has an outstanding 10-5 record against other AQ's, and has a near-total lack of "bad losses" (the worst was Wazzu at SMU, hardly a MAC-level loss), it gets punished for it with the silly perception that it's "down". The inescapable conclusion is that there is NOTHING that the league could have done to be perceived as excellent this year given the schedules it had to face. Besides the bias and laziness of most analysts that attempt to evaluate leagues, what does that mean going forward? Mainly, it means that the Pac-10 needs to gimmick up its schedules too. That means no more paycheck games on the road (see: Colorado at Ohio St coming up, as well as recent games such as Oregon St at TCU, Wazzu at Notre Dame, Auburn, Wisconsin [technically a 2:1 but I've got a bridge to sell you if you think it's likely the Badgers trek to Pullman as scheduled], etc.). That means fewer games against other AQ's (15 of the league's 28 OOC slots were against other AQ's, plus there were Oregon St's games against Boise and TCU). That means getting paycheck, 2:1 or 3:1 deals with the mid-majors (as opposed to ASU's upcoming home and home with New Mexico and insane home and home deal with UTSA, Wazzu's home and home with SMU, Washington's home and home with BYU, Oregon and Oregon St's home and homes with Boise, Arizona's home and home with New Mexico and apparent upcoming home and home with Nevada, Stanford's home and home with Navy and upcoming home and home with Army, etc.). It has to be a priority to get more home games. Home games provide a meaningful edge, and other leagues are taking advantage, while the Pac-10 clearly isn't. ... 6) The following teams are ranked materially higher by the model than the BCS: Oregon, Stanford, Boise St, Virginia Tech, Alabama, Nebraska, South Carolina, Florida St, Arizona, USC, NC St, Arizona St. Oregon has the #1 win, a number of other quality performances, and is undefeated (and generally dominant) against a very tough schedule.

CFB Compu-Picks Ratings, Week Fourteen

... Boise got crushed in the BCS rankings for losing a very close game on the road to a top 20 team. That was simply dumb. They've been a dominant team all year long against a schedule that, while not fantastic, compares reasonably well to at least a few other members of the top ten, including Ohio St (who themselves played plenty of "Sisters of the Poor" opponents while playing only ONE quality team - Wisconsin, who beat them).

CFB Compu-Picks Ratings, Week Fourteen

... 4) League ratings have been a fairly popular source of comments, so let's talk about them again. The popular perception (as shown by a CBS columnist here), is that the Pac-10 is somehow "down". The basic reasoning is that the overall records aren't outstanding (the league's OOC was close to .500), and that the league is VERY top heavy (Oregon and Stanford have basically dominated the league). This is, of course, silly. As shown in the above tables, the Pac-10 has the BEST record nationwide against other AQ leagues. Moreover, of all the AQ leagues, they're the one which has played by far the toughest slate. They're the only AQ league which has played a majority of its 1-A games on the road; they've played the fewest by far games againt the bottom 40 teams (as rated by compu-picks). They've played precisely ONE game against the Mac and Sun Belt combined; as a contrast, the Big Ten has lost more games to those two leagues (both double-digit HOME losses to the MAC) than the Pac-10 has games against them. In fact, if you break down the OOC records by groupings of 20 (as in the above table), the only leagues that show comparable results to the Pac-10 are the SEC and Big 12, and that's before you factor in home-field advantage. It's also worth noting that the Pac-10 is one of the only leagues without a AA loss; while the model doesn't factor in those games, as humans we can do so, and it's another point in the league's favor. Focusing on the bottom 40 for a bit, the Pac-10 doesn't have any bottom 40 OOC losses (only the Big 12 and Big Ten can say the same), and had only one game with less than a 7 point win against that group (USC's win over Virginia), as opposed to the SEC's two close calls against UAB; the Big Ten's close calls against Ark St, CMU, and Vandy; the Big 12's close call against Troy; the ACC's close call against Rutgers; and the Big East's close calls against Marshall and FIU. Basically, the unfortunate truth is that the BCS rewards easy schedules and punishes tough ones. When a league as a whole "gimmicks up" its record (overwhelming number of home games, majority of OOC games against bad competition), it gets rewarded. When the Big Ten schedules a ridiculous 17 games against the MAC/Sun Belt (not to mention the AA games), and actually LOSES two of them, it gets rewarded for it. When the Pac-10 has nine league games, a brutal OOC slate, has an outstanding 10-5 record against other AQ's, and has a near-total lack of "bad losses" (the worst was Wazzu at SMU, hardly a MAC-level loss), it gets punished for it with the silly perception that it's "down". The inescapable conclusion is that there is NOTHING that the league could have done to be perceived as excellent this year given the schedules it had to face. ... USC isn't eligible to be ranked by the BCS. If they were eligible, they'd very possibly be ranked. Five losses is never fun, but they've had a tough schedule, they've beaten a top 25 Arizona team and a nearly top 25 Hawaii team, both on the road, and two of their losses have come to elite Oregon and Stanford teams (the Stanford loss was a nail-biter as well).

CFB Compu-Picks Ratings, Week Fourteen

... 4) League ratings have been a fairly popular source of comments, so let's talk about them again. The popular perception (as shown by a CBS columnist here), is that the Pac-10 is somehow "down". The basic reasoning is that the overall records aren't outstanding (the league's OOC was close to .500), and that the league is VERY top heavy (Oregon and Stanford have basically dominated the league). This is, of course, silly. As shown in the above tables, the Pac-10 has the BEST record nationwide against other AQ leagues. Moreover, of all the AQ leagues, they're the one which has played by far the toughest slate. They're the only AQ league which has played a majority of its 1-A games on the road; they've played the fewest by far games againt the bottom 40 teams (as rated by compu-picks). They've played precisely ONE game against the Mac and Sun Belt combined; as a contrast, the Big Ten has lost more games to those two leagues (both double-digit HOME losses to the MAC) than the Pac-10 has games against them. In fact, if you break down the OOC records by groupings of 20 (as in the above table), the only leagues that show comparable results to the Pac-10 are the SEC and Big 12, and that's before you factor in home-field advantage. It's also worth noting that the Pac-10 is one of the only leagues without a AA loss; while the model doesn't factor in those games, as humans we can do so, and it's another point in the league's favor. Focusing on the bottom 40 for a bit, the Pac-10 doesn't have any bottom 40 OOC losses (only the Big 12 and Big Ten can say the same), and had only one game with less than a 7 point win against that group (USC's win over Virginia), as opposed to the SEC's two close calls against UAB; the Big Ten's close calls against Ark St, CMU, and Vandy; the Big 12's close call against Troy; the ACC's close call against Rutgers; and the Big East's close calls against Marshall and FIU. Basically, the unfortunate truth is that the BCS rewards easy schedules and punishes tough ones. When a league as a whole "gimmicks up" its record (overwhelming number of home games, majority of OOC games against bad competition), it gets rewarded. When the Big Ten schedules a ridiculous 17 games against the MAC/Sun Belt (not to mention the AA games), and actually LOSES two of them, it gets rewarded for it. When the Pac-10 has nine league games, a brutal OOC slate, has an outstanding 10-5 record against other AQ's, and has a near-total lack of "bad losses" (the worst was Wazzu at SMU, hardly a MAC-level loss), it gets punished for it with the silly perception that it's "down". The inescapable conclusion is that there is NOTHING that the league could have done to be perceived as excellent this year given the schedules it had to face. ... Arizona is the same type of story as most other teams that compu-picks thinks is underrated: very tough schedule, tendency towards blowout wins and close losses (except at Stanford and Oregon, compu-picks' #'s 1 and 2). They're better than their record, and despite what the BCS thinks, there simply aren't 25 teams out there better than the Arizona Wildcats.

CFB Compu-Picks Ratings, Week Fourteen

... 4) League ratings have been a fairly popular source of comments, so let's talk about them again. The popular perception (as shown by a CBS columnist here), is that the Pac-10 is somehow "down". The basic reasoning is that the overall records aren't outstanding (the league's OOC was close to .500), and that the league is VERY top heavy (Oregon and Stanford have basically dominated the league). This is, of course, silly. As shown in the above tables, the Pac-10 has the BEST record nationwide against other AQ leagues. Moreover, of all the AQ leagues, they're the one which has played by far the toughest slate. They're the only AQ league which has played a majority of its 1-A games on the road; they've played the fewest by far games againt the bottom 40 teams (as rated by compu-picks). They've played precisely ONE game against the Mac and Sun Belt combined; as a contrast, the Big Ten has lost more games to those two leagues (both double-digit HOME losses to the MAC) than the Pac-10 has games against them. In fact, if you break down the OOC records by groupings of 20 (as in the above table), the only leagues that show comparable results to the Pac-10 are the SEC and Big 12, and that's before you factor in home-field advantage. It's also worth noting that the Pac-10 is one of the only leagues without a AA loss; while the model doesn't factor in those games, as humans we can do so, and it's another point in the league's favor. Focusing on the bottom 40 for a bit, the Pac-10 doesn't have any bottom 40 OOC losses (only the Big 12 and Big Ten can say the same), and had only one game with less than a 7 point win against that group (USC's win over Virginia), as opposed to the SEC's two close calls against UAB; the Big Ten's close calls against Ark St, CMU, and Vandy; the Big 12's close call against Troy; the ACC's close call against Rutgers; and the Big East's close calls against Marshall and FIU. Basically, the unfortunate truth is that the BCS rewards easy schedules and punishes tough ones. When a league as a whole "gimmicks up" its record (overwhelming number of home games, majority of OOC games against bad competition), it gets rewarded. When the Big Ten schedules a ridiculous 17 games against the MAC/Sun Belt (not to mention the AA games), and actually LOSES two of them, it gets rewarded for it. When the Pac-10 has nine league games, a brutal OOC slate, has an outstanding 10-5 record against other AQ's, and has a near-total lack of "bad losses" (the worst was Wazzu at SMU, hardly a MAC-level loss), it gets punished for it with the silly perception that it's "down". The inescapable conclusion is that there is NOTHING that the league could have done to be perceived as excellent this year given the schedules it had to face. ... Arizona St is the poster child for a team that's been punished for a really tough schedule. They're 4-6 in 1-A games... but they've played six road games, they've played all 10 games against AQ opponents, and two of their home games were against top five teams (and one was a very close loss). They also played a very good Wisconsin team (rated #5 in BCS) on the road and only lost by a single point. They had an admittedly atrocious showing at Cal, but other than that it's been a boatload of quality performances, just against a schedule that was ridiculously hard. It's extremely unfortunate that this team isn't allowed to make a bowl game, especially since SJ St bailed on them late. That said, those are the rules, and they should have found a replacement. In week one, Baylor, Kansas, Miami, Virginia (who ALSO had 2 AA games on the schedule), West Virginia, Rutgers, Air Force, SD St, Nevada, Louisiana Tech, and probably a bunch of others were all playing AA teams; if ASU tried harder, they probably could have gotten one of those teams on the schedule. Presuming a win in such a game (fair assumption against at least half the list, though teams like Nevada, Miami, WV etc. would have been tough), failing to do so cost them a bowl game. In 2010, ASU was a better team than around half of the teams who are going to bowls, which says it all about both how good ASU was and the administrative screw-ups that cost them a bowl game.

CFB Compu-Picks Ratings, Week Fourteen

... 4) League ratings have been a fairly popular source of comments, so let's talk about them again. The popular perception (as shown by a CBS columnist here), is that the Pac-10 is somehow "down". The basic reasoning is that the overall records aren't outstanding (the league's OOC was close to .500), and that the league is VERY top heavy (Oregon and Stanford have basically dominated the league). This is, of course, silly. As shown in the above tables, the Pac-10 has the BEST record nationwide against other AQ leagues. Moreover, of all the AQ leagues, they're the one which has played by far the toughest slate. They're the only AQ league which has played a majority of its 1-A games on the road; they've played the fewest by far games againt the bottom 40 teams (as rated by compu-picks). They've played precisely ONE game against the Mac and Sun Belt combined; as a contrast, the Big Ten has lost more games to those two leagues (both double-digit HOME losses to the MAC) than the Pac-10 has games against them. In fact, if you break down the OOC records by groupings of 20 (as in the above table), the only leagues that show comparable results to the Pac-10 are the SEC and Big 12, and that's before you factor in home-field advantage. It's also worth noting that the Pac-10 is one of the only leagues without a AA loss; while the model doesn't factor in those games, as humans we can do so, and it's another point in the league's favor. Focusing on the bottom 40 for a bit, the Pac-10 doesn't have any bottom 40 OOC losses (only the Big 12 and Big Ten can say the same), and had only one game with less than a 7 point win against that group (USC's win over Virginia), as opposed to the SEC's two close calls against UAB; the Big Ten's close calls against Ark St, CMU, and Vandy; the Big 12's close call against Troy; the ACC's close call against Rutgers; and the Big East's close calls against Marshall and FIU. Basically, the unfortunate truth is that the BCS rewards easy schedules and punishes tough ones. When a league as a whole "gimmicks up" its record (overwhelming number of home games, majority of OOC games against bad competition), it gets rewarded. When the Big Ten schedules a ridiculous 17 games against the MAC/Sun Belt (not to mention the AA games), and actually LOSES two of them, it gets rewarded for it. When the Pac-10 has nine league games, a brutal OOC slate, has an outstanding 10-5 record against other AQ's, and has a near-total lack of "bad losses" (the worst was Wazzu at SMU, hardly a MAC-level loss), it gets punished for it with the silly perception that it's "down". The inescapable conclusion is that there is NOTHING that the league could have done to be perceived as excellent this year given the schedules it had to face. ... 10) Stanford holds at #2 on this list, mainly on the strength of all of their ridiculous blowout wins. They have not one, not two, but THREE blowout/shutouts, all against decent Pac-10 teams (two of which were on the road to boot). You look at the above list of top 20 performances, and Stanford dominates that list. They've beaten the crap out of a very tough schedule (all 11 1-A games were against AQ teams, including 9 against the top-rated Pac-10, and six of 11 were on the road), not just those three blowout/shutouts but also: 68-24, 37-14, 42-17, and 48-14. Seven of the 11 1-A games were thorough ass-kickings, which is just crazy. Honestly, take away the Oregon loss and you can reasonably compare this team to 2001 Miami or 2004 USC.

CFB Compu-Picks Ratings, Week Fourteen

... 4) League ratings have been a fairly popular source of comments, so let's talk about them again. The popular perception (as shown by a CBS columnist here), is that the Pac-10 is somehow "down". The basic reasoning is that the overall records aren't outstanding (the league's OOC was close to .500), and that the league is VERY top heavy (Oregon and Stanford have basically dominated the league). This is, of course, silly. As shown in the above tables, the Pac-10 has the BEST record nationwide against other AQ leagues. Moreover, of all the AQ leagues, they're the one which has played by far the toughest slate. They're the only AQ league which has played a majority of its 1-A games on the road; they've played the fewest by far games againt the bottom 40 teams (as rated by compu-picks). They've played precisely ONE game against the Mac and Sun Belt combined; as a contrast, the Big Ten has lost more games to those two leagues (both double-digit HOME losses to the MAC) than the Pac-10 has games against them. In fact, if you break down the OOC records by groupings of 20 (as in the above table), the only leagues that show comparable results to the Pac-10 are the SEC and Big 12, and that's before you factor in home-field advantage. It's also worth noting that the Pac-10 is one of the only leagues without a AA loss; while the model doesn't factor in those games, as humans we can do so, and it's another point in the league's favor. Focusing on the bottom 40 for a bit, the Pac-10 doesn't have any bottom 40 OOC losses (only the Big 12 and Big Ten can say the same), and had only one game with less than a 7 point win against that group (USC's win over Virginia), as opposed to the SEC's two close calls against UAB; the Big Ten's close calls against Ark St, CMU, and Vandy; the Big 12's close call against Troy; the ACC's close call against Rutgers; and the Big East's close calls against Marshall and FIU. Basically, the unfortunate truth is that the BCS rewards easy schedules and punishes tough ones. When a league as a whole "gimmicks up" its record (overwhelming number of home games, majority of OOC games against bad competition), it gets rewarded. When the Big Ten schedules a ridiculous 17 games against the MAC/Sun Belt (not to mention the AA games), and actually LOSES two of them, it gets rewarded for it. When the Pac-10 has nine league games, a brutal OOC slate, has an outstanding 10-5 record against other AQ's, and has a near-total lack of "bad losses" (the worst was Wazzu at SMU, hardly a MAC-level loss), it gets punished for it with the silly perception that it's "down". The inescapable conclusion is that there is NOTHING that the league could have done to be perceived as excellent this year given the schedules it had to face. ... 9) Oregon is #1 in compu-picks, and it's easy to see why. A really hard schedule, a bunch of dominant wins, the Oregon Ducks have had the total resume. They don't have a huge number of top wins, but they've got the one that's rated #2 (and it's barely below #1), their 21-point win against Stanford, as well as #15 (the 21-point win at USC). They also have a number of other quality performances that didn't quite make the top 20 list: the 19-point win over Arizona, the win at ASU, and the drubbings of UCLA and Washington.

CFB Compu-Picks Ratings, Week Thirteen

... 9) The following teams are ranked materially higher by the model than the BCS: Oregon, Stanford, Boise St, Virginia Tech, Alabama, Florida St, Arizona, USC, NC St. ... USC isn't eligible to be ranked by the BCS. If they were eligible, they'd very possibly be ranked (though last week's Notre Dame loss didn't help). Five losses is never fun, but they've had a tough schedule, they've beaten a top 25 Arizona team and a nearly top 25 Hawaii team, both on the road, and two of their losses have come to elite Oregon and Stanford teams (the Stanford loss was a nail-biter as well).

CFB Compu-Picks Ratings, Week Thirteen

... 6) Boise dropped after losing at Nevada... but not by a whole lot. That was still a 3-point overtime road loss against a top 20 team; that's a very close loss in a very tough test. Boise has still been an extremely good team the whole year long, and a game that's the definition of a "quality loss" is hardly going to change that fact. While we're at it, I'm sure everyone will notice how Boise is rated over Auburn despite their loss. One interesting thing to note is that the model rated Boise's 3-point overtime loss at Nevada as a materially BETTER performance than Auburn's 3-point overtime win at home against Clemson. Nevada is a much better team than Clemson, it's far tougher to win on the road than at home, and there just isn't much of a difference between a 3-point overtime win and a 3-point overtime loss (both rate as being very close to ties, which makes sense given that they're overtime results, and especially close ones at that). Slice those games out of each team's resume, and you have an undefeated Boise and an undefeated Auburn; Auburn had the tougher schedule, while Boise was far more dominant. For what it's worth, I think that Auburn should be rated over Boise... but I can at least see what the model's doing, and while I disagree, I don't think it's unreasonable. When doing a power rating (which is what this system does), Auburn's nearly unending stream of close to very close wins makes a difference; there's nothing at all wrong with a close win at Alabama (that's still a very good win), but when you also have very close wins against Kentucky, Clemson AND Miss St... that does get factored in.

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