The Daily Player 12: Measurable Differences

Published on 11-Nov-2014 by Alan Adamsson

Football - NCAA    NCAA Football Daily Update

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The Daily Player 12: Measurable Differences

Whether CFP Selection Committee Chairman Jeff Long wants to admit it or not, his crew is sending messages.

The good news is tradition and reputation are old news.

The interesting news is body of work trumps head-to-head competition.

And it all serves to support the contention that only conference winners should be considered for the CFP bracket. They're the college football version of Big Dance regionals, and they're the only way philosophical and statistical hair-splitting will be minimized to insignificance.

In tournament play, sports is about scores. Otherwise ...

Here's the Committee's Top 12 for this week:

1. Mississippi State   3. Florida State xxxx
2. Oregon   4. Texas Christian
5. Alabama   9. Auburn
6. Arizona State 10. Mississippi
7. Baylor 11. UCLA
8. Ohio State 12. Michigan State

Full marks to them for having four conferences represented in the bracket to date. While that's probably not their focus, it is a reflection that they're on the cusp of holding true to giving preference to conference titlists. As it should be.

The Daily Player 12 is based on taking the Selection Committee at its word. More than its word, in fact. No opinions, just data:

  • Until a conference title is clinched, division leaders will be considered as first-place teams.
  • Power Five scores in non-conference games will be measured on a win-loss basis.
  • Head-to-head results will be measured separately on a win-loss basis.
  • Bookies are the only evaluators who put their dosh where their conclusions are. Bovada championship odds will be factored into the rankings.
  • Geeks have an unbiased place in this process; Anderson-Hester computer rankings are easily understandable and will be included.

As opposed to some organizations out there, the key is what one does with the data. Like assigning simple, graded values and letting it speak for itself.

  • Standings matter. The Big XII has ten teams; no other conference has a division that large, so a first-place team will get 10 points, a second-place team will get 9 points, and so forth. If a team is tied for a position, it will be considered to hold the higher position. A conference champion will be awarded 5 bonus points.
  • Non-con Power Five wins will be worth 3 points; those losses will be worth 1 point.
  • Notre Dame's schedule will be measured against ACC teams.
  • If BYU ever becomes a factor, we'll figure it out then.
  • Head-to-head conference wins will be worth 3 points; those losses will be worth -1 point.
  • Bovada and Geek rankings will be based on a 25-point scale and factored down by a constant of 0.3; thus, a first-place position will be worth (25 x 0.3) = 7.5 points, second place for either will be worth (24 x 0.3) = 7.2 points, and so on. If a team is tied for a position, it will be considered to hold the higher position.

This results in The Daily Player 12:

      Stdg NC-P5   H-H   Bov   Geek   Total
  1. Florida St ...     10     6       6     6.9      7.2     36.1
  2. Oregon ...     10     3      8     7.5      6.6     35.1
  3. TCU ...     10     3      8     6.9      5.4     33.3
  4. Alabama ...       9     3      5     7.5      6.9     31.4
  5. Miss St ...     10          6     6.3      7.5     29.8
  6. Auburn ...       8     3      8     4.5      6.0     29.5
  7. Arizona St ...     10     3      2     5.4      6.3     26.7
  8. UCLA ...       9     6      1     3.9      5.7     25.6
  9. Ohio St ...     10     1      3     6.0      4.8     24.8
10. Baylor ...       9          5     5.7      3.3     23.0
11. Georgia ...       9     1      3     4.5      4.5     22.0
12. Notre Dame ...       8   10     -1        4.2     21.2

Random thoughts:

  • Just like the Selection Committee, The Daily Player 12 bracket teams come from four different conferences. As it should be.
  • It's becoming clear now that only one SEC team will make the final bracket, if that. Should Missouri go all Cinderella from this point forward, hellooo, Buckeyes! Assuming they take care of their own business, of course. Keep the eyebrows down. This is a viable scenario.
  • Why is Mississippi State so low on this list? Why else? Cupcake non-cons.
  • Baylor's non-con schedule was more creampuff than any SEC team. As Anderson-Hester noted:
    Baylor has played only one team in the current top-25, hasn't played a top-25 team on the road, has posted only a .750 winning percentage (3-1) versus the current top-90 (losing at #33 West Virginia), and has played most of its games against teams ranked #91 or beyond ...
    Win out or fall hard, dudes.

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