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Deja vu all over again: SB Nation blogpoll

September 7, 2011

Remember last year, when we got all excited because some poor fool blogger was wise dumb enough to vote for EMU in the Week 1 SB Nation blogpoll? Well, I’d forgotten all about it too, until I saw that EMU got a vote in this year’s Week 2 poll.

Last year it turned out that, due to an error, ballots left blank were submitted filled in alphabetically, so no one actually intended to cast a vote for the Eagles. This year, however, it seems to be legitimate, although it’s a ranking system fluke.

The vote came from SB Nation’s Iowa blog, Black Heart Gold Pants. If you want to understand it fully (if that’s even possible), read their explanation, but in short, they use something called “resume ranking”,  which ranks teams based on win quality.

The problem, of course, is that rating the quality of early-season wins only removes the expectations one level: Rather than placing weight on how talented a team is perceived to be, the old-school resume rankers place their emphasis on how talented a team’s opponents are perceived to be. It is hardly an improvement.

The BHGPoll asks the question of just who is better based on no expectations whatsoever. Every FBS-level team starts at zero (because of scholarship limitations, the standard FCS squad is at a fundamental disadvantage against their FBS brethren, and wins over those teams are reduced accordingly). It’s not a formula, at least not in the purest sense of the BCS computer polls, but statistics like margin of victory matter greatly.

Since we’re on a discussion of the absurdity of polling, it seems as good a time as any to bash the BCS — and really, there’s no bad time to bash the BCS.

One Comment leave one →
  1. September 8, 2011 1:03 am

    If there was one thing I hate about college football, it has to be the BCS. The reason I hate it is because of how it came about. I’m not sure if it was the final nail but I think it boils down to the split national championship of 1997. That led the Big 10 and Pac 10 to join the Bowl Coalition. It was supposed to remove the questions…which pretty much worked until you had the season where USC won the AP poll and I forget who won the other poll (Oklahoma?).

    It seems like the BCS pretty much rewards the pre-season favorites (as long as they don’t screw up, they are in the cat bird seat). Therefore it is tough for a team from one of the non-anointed conferences to win the National Championship.

    Sadly, I don’t think a playoff would be much better as it would be in the frame of the current system.

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