November 6, 2011

It's BCS Season Again! Let The Arguments Begin! (#1 vs. #2)


     In Saturday's "Game of the Century" (Way to set the bar high for the next 89 years!), #1 LSU defeated #2 Alabama, 9-6, in the first overtime.  The BCS standings have now been updated to reflect that result and all the others this weekend, and Alabama comes in at......#3.  And from the few comments I've read about it, fans all over the nation are upset that Alabama isn't ranked even lower.  They lost their shot at the national title.  All the other undefeated teams should jump them in the standings.
    
     These sentiments reflect the logic that a team's rank should be dependent on two things:  their record, and their strength of schedule.  The same criteria that I would use 99% of the time.  But this time, I think these fans are wrong:  Alabama should still be #2.

     Here's how I see it.  Provided that we did think LSU and Alabama were the best and second-best teams in the country (and most people did), then what would we expect to see if they played each other?  LSU should beat Alabama by a little bit.  And that's exactly what happened.  Nothing in that game demonstrated that Alabama is worse that we thought beforehand.  Therefore, they shouldn't be punished for the loss. 

     There are always complaints about how the BCS doesn't drop teams far enough for losing.  But maybe, the problem isn't the BCS.  Maybe the problem is that people put too much emphasis on losses, even if they're against a team that they shouldn't have beaten anyway.

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