Monday, October 13

Sagarin Check - Week 7

Things have changed a bit since our last Sagarin Check just a couple weeks ago. Again, speaking as a trained statistician, the Sagarin ratings have long been my favorite of the computer rankings around town for college football. Let's run the voodoo down.

The eyes have it - Atop this week's rankings, we find the Texas Longhorns, in agreement with both mainstream human polls. It's the win of the year so far. We'll see how they fare this week against Missouri.

I'm smelling what you're steppin' in - The Top Ten is in general accordance with the AP and Coaches polls with the only exception being that Boise St. is swapped in for BYU. Why is BYU still so lauded? Because they pasted UCLA? Give the Broncos some love. They've still got Ian Johnson! Who doesn't like that guy?

The decline of western civilization - As expected, the mid-majors are slowly dropping, though. Two weeks ago, they ruled the bottom half of the top ten. Now, they're stretching towards the teens.

Still Traveling - USC is perched way up at #2. Now, remember last time I talked about how the Bayesian Shrinkage shouldn't be an issue. Maybe I was wrong because their wins-and-losses-only ranking is 15 and is unbiased. But maybe I was right because their Predictor # is off the charts. However, some other goofy rankings may indicate we just don't have a big enough sample size without scores - Utah at #4 is one.

Whitlock must be proud - Ball State is the other. I'm not sure how this is actually possible, but Ball State is #5 on the wins-only chart. Here, they've been blowing people out, but if their SOS is 107, and we're only talking wins-and-losses, I don't see how they could possibly be #5. Also benefiting, Michigan State is way up at #10. They've had their share of close games, so

Moving up - Texas Tech now appears legitimate at #11.

More dams to build - Because they've played three teams in the top 13, Oregon State sits at #17 even though they're 3-3. Watch out for this time to rise and be ranked by the end of the year.

Failing the smell-test - Iowa at 38 seems high.

Sheesh - Clemson, whose coach was just let go, all the way down at 77 in wins-only. And Tennessee is at 115!

Harrisonburg in the house - James Madison University, a place I (kind of) visited on the road last year is the highest FCS team in the list at 63. That's ahead of Purdue, East Carolina, and Arkansas.

Conference call - The Big 12 has opened up a pretty solid lead on the Big Ten, who were in 2nd place when we last did this. Actually, the ACC is closing in on the Big Ten as well.

Worst Place! - Last time we did this, Army went out and won their next two games against Tulane and Eastern Michigan. This week, North Texas barely edged out Idaho for the lowest ranked I-A team. Watch out, Louisiana-Monroe, the Mean Green is coming for you!

I don't want to talk about it - Michigan is 82. Call it a wild guess that it's the lowest they've ever been since Jeff started this in 1985 (and hopefully ever will be - even if they get thumped this week, it'll be by the #3 team).

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