The computer-bashing in the press has already started. Sports Illustrated has an article that says that once again the BCS has it wrong, and the blame lies squarely on the computer rankings. It seems that the writer wanted Oklahoma #2 and not Miami as it was in the first release. Well, now Oklahoma's #2 in the BCS, but my computer still has it "wrong." The baseball controversy over the book "Moneyball" was whether there are objective standards in sports that can be used, or is it all so subtle that only the experts can correctly read the tea leaves? It hasn't been talked about much, but the Red Sox are now (like Oakland) a team that uses the new math extensively.
So perhaps the computers have a perspective that's worth considering. Of course, you have to put up with outrages like the computers not knowing that Utah doesn't belong in the top 6. Or that Boise State doesn't have points subtracted because they play on a blue carpet. I've never seen it mentioned that there is in fact an objective way of measuring rating systems: predicting games. My ratings had the worst week of the 10 or so I've documented over the years, but it was 25-24 against the spread and 39-10 picking winners.
This week should be a little more enjoyable for the couch potatoes. Last Saturday was rough, with an hour of flipping back and forth between the 7-3 ACC game and the 6-2 Big 10 game. The World Series is higher scoring than that! Plus several more examples of the college referees' law that any contact between players in the end zone is defensive pass interference. I shouldn't gripe -- it got Clemson a win and Notre Dame a loss -- but it doesn't seem very sporting. I hope that Va Tech fans are ready for the lob to Calvin Johnson. The big game this week is Oklahoma at Oklahoma State. The Cowboys had a big come from behind win at Missouri last week and always play the Sooners tough. It's Adrian Peterson versus Vernand Morency (get used to those names!). The following predictions are straight from the ratings, with 4 points added for home field.
Virginia Tech over Georgia Tech by 4 (big game for ACC and bowl positioning)
Oklahoma over Oklahoma State by 4 (the first of two huge road games for OU)
Georgia over Florida by 11 (the ratings don't know that Zook got the hook; we'll drink to that!)
California over Arizona State by 4 (the computer thinks it's #4 versus #5)
Michigan over Michigan State by 16 (the Wolverines try to stay unbeaten in the Big 10)
Ohio State over Penn State by 4 (didn't these teams used to be able to play?)
Wake Forest over Duke by 18 (a nice snack for Mr Peanut after some close losses)
Mississippi State over Kentucky by 2 (will Kentucky have to fire its coach, too?)
Florida State over Maryland by 19 (four losses in a row for the Twerps? Nothing to fear there)
Missouri over Nebraska by 2 (can the Huskers show Mizzou their new offense?)
|80||San Diego St||35.48|
|97||New Mexico St||29.55|