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Old 01-10-2017, 05:28 PM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
28,431 posts, read 26,497,838 times
Reputation: 11864

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Lesson 1: The Transitive Property Does Not Apply to Sports

This lesson seems to be forgotten each year. Every season people say "This team scored 50 points on that team, and that team beat this team, so there's no way that team could do that to this team because this team did that to that team." This logic is silly for so many reasons. There may be, for example, vulnerabilities a team has that are unique to a particular matchup. It's also possible that a team performs below its potential in any given game due to injuries. And it's also possible that teams get better (or worse) throughout the course of a season. It's also possible that a team simply wasn't that motivated to bring its best game against a clearly inferior opponent. One would think this type of reasoning would go away after countless examples of it not working out in reality, but it persists nonetheless.

Lesson 2: Counting the Number of Stars on the Field Doesn't Tell Us Much

"We have 5 stars all over the field" is what you often hear from fans of certain programs. While having a roster full of 5 stars is undeniably an advantage, a team's strength can't be summed up by its collective number of stars, and athletes who will undergo drastic mental, emotional and physical changes can't be summed up by a 5 star rating system. Many of the best players in the NFL (JJ Watt, Aaron Rodgers, Josh Norman, Clay Matthews, Antonio Brown) were not highly recruited in high school and did not mature until later in their college football careers. What a player was at age 17 is not necessarily a sign of what a player is at age 21.

Lesson 3: Rankings Don't Tell Us Much Either

On the one hand, I get the emphasis on rankings in college football because you need some metrics to distinguish teams. On the other hand, I think looking to rankings to assess SOS as a way to come away with some type of predictive value is the wrong way to go. Sure, we can say that X team beat the No. 3, No. 4, No. 6 and No. 9 team, and therefore are more "battle-tested," but how do we actually know those opponents were worthy of those rankings in the first place? I feel like perceived SOS often gives fans a false sense of security in bowl matchups. They later find themselves in a state of apoplexy when their battle tested team gets rolled by a team from a "weak" conference.

Lesson 4: Advanced Stats Don't Tell As Nearly As Much Either

This ties into Lesson 3. Sure, your team may have the best passing defense in America, but what if you play in a conference that has lousy quarterbacks? In the NFL, where there's a more even distribution of talent, the advanced stats are more meaningful, but in the college game it seems advanced stats can be skewed by several different factors.

Lesson 5: An Elite Pass Rush Is Preferable to an Elite Secondary

An elite pass rush can make mediocre DBs and safeties look All-Pro. But elite DBs and safeties can't raise the level of a defense that can't get to the opposing QB. The modern day game is simply too tilted in favor of the passing game for an elite secondary to ever have the value of an elite front 7 (defensive front obviously does much more to contain the run as well).

Last edited by BajanYankee; 01-10-2017 at 05:37 PM..
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Old 01-10-2017, 06:48 PM
 
Location: ATL -> HOU -> DAL
4,402 posts, read 3,608,255 times
Reputation: 3498
Good points.
My big issue is with rankings like you said. Pre season rankings are absolutely WORTHLESS. Really ranking during the season is pointless as well. The rankings at end of weeks are often dependent on teams' rankings at the beginning of the week. Beating a "top 5" team early can boost a ranking artificially high (Texas A&M, for example, for the last 3 years). The CFP committee really shouldn't even bother ranking teams until all games are played.
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Old 01-10-2017, 07:57 PM
 
9,559 posts, read 7,246,974 times
Reputation: 12311
Quote:
Originally Posted by sedimenjerry View Post
The CFP committee really shouldn't even bother ranking teams until all games are played.
Wait.. And give only one week for everyone to whine and complain?
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Old 01-10-2017, 08:07 PM
 
4,315 posts, read 2,579,274 times
Reputation: 7689
Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
Lesson 1: The Transitive Property Does Not Apply to Sports

This lesson seems to be forgotten each year. Every season people say "This team scored 50 points on that team, and that team beat this team, so there's no way that team could do that to this team because this team did that to that team." This logic is silly for so many reasons. There may be, for example, vulnerabilities a team has that are unique to a particular matchup. It's also possible that a team performs below its potential in any given game due to injuries. And it's also possible that teams get better (or worse) throughout the course of a season. It's also possible that a team simply wasn't that motivated to bring its best game against a clearly inferior opponent. One would think this type of reasoning would go away after countless examples of it not working out in reality, but it persists nonetheless.

Lesson 2: Counting the Number of Stars on the Field Doesn't Tell Us Much

"We have 5 stars all over the field" is what you often hear from fans of certain programs. While having a roster full of 5 stars is undeniably an advantage, a team's strength can't be summed up by its collective number of stars, and athletes who will undergo drastic mental, emotional and physical changes can't be summed up by a 5 star rating system. Many of the best players in the NFL (JJ Watt, Aaron Rodgers, Josh Norman, Clay Matthews, Antonio Brown) were not highly recruited in high school and did not mature until later in their college football careers. What a player was at age 17 is not necessarily a sign of what a player is at age 21.

Lesson 3: Rankings Don't Tell Us Much Either

On the one hand, I get the emphasis on rankings in college football because you need some metrics to distinguish teams. On the other hand, I think looking to rankings to assess SOS as a way to come away with some type of predictive value is the wrong way to go. Sure, we can say that X team beat the No. 3, No. 4, No. 6 and No. 9 team, and therefore are more "battle-tested," but how do we actually know those opponents were worthy of those rankings in the first place? I feel like perceived SOS often gives fans a false sense of security in bowl matchups. They later find themselves in a state of apoplexy when their battle tested team gets rolled by a team from a "weak" conference.

Lesson 4: Advanced Stats Don't Tell As Nearly As Much Either

This ties into Lesson 3. Sure, your team may have the best passing defense in America, but what if you play in a conference that has lousy quarterbacks? In the NFL, where there's a more even distribution of talent, the advanced stats are more meaningful, but in the college game it seems advanced stats can be skewed by several different factors.

Lesson 5: An Elite Pass Rush Is Preferable to an Elite Secondary

An elite pass rush can make mediocre DBs and safeties look All-Pro. But elite DBs and safeties can't raise the level of a defense that can't get to the opposing QB. The modern day game is simply too tilted in favor of the passing game for an elite secondary to ever have the value of an elite front 7 (defensive front obviously does much more to contain the run as well).
( regarding #3 ) however, it seems Alabama and Clemson were ranked near the top all season.
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Old 01-12-2017, 04:17 PM
 
9,559 posts, read 7,246,974 times
Reputation: 12311
Quote:
Originally Posted by David A Stone View Post
( regarding #3 ) however, it seems Alabama and Clemson were ranked near the top all season.
Alabama was #1 all season and finished #2

Clemson was #2, then dropped to #5 after the bad game against Troy and worked their way back up to #2, then they lost to Pitt, which dropped them to #4.. They climbed back up over a few weeks to #2 and finished at #1.

The pre-season rankings.. those i'd agree are pretty worthless. Though they did get #1 and #2 right.. They had Oklahoma as #3 and Florida State as #4. Not BAD misses.. FSU was worse and honestly, I've thought FSU was ranked too high all season long.

Where the really bad comes in.. Notre Dame was ranked #10.. Ole Miss was #11, Michigan State #12, TCU #13.. To keep the ball rolling here.. Washington was #14 (opposite direction)

Houston #15, UCLA #16, Iowa #17, Georgia #18

There's a long string of bad misses. some, obviously, worse than others.

And putting Oregon at #24.
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Old 01-12-2017, 06:41 PM
 
Location: ATL -> HOU -> DAL
4,402 posts, read 3,608,255 times
Reputation: 3498
Quote:
Originally Posted by Labonte18 View Post
Alabama was #1 all season and finished #2

Clemson was #2, then dropped to #5 after the bad game against Troy and worked their way back up to #2, then they lost to Pitt, which dropped them to #4.. They climbed back up over a few weeks to #2 and finished at #1.

The pre-season rankings.. those i'd agree are pretty worthless. Though they did get #1 and #2 right.. They had Oklahoma as #3 and Florida State as #4. Not BAD misses.. FSU was worse and honestly, I've thought FSU was ranked too high all season long.

Where the really bad comes in.. Notre Dame was ranked #10.. Ole Miss was #11, Michigan State #12, TCU #13.. To keep the ball rolling here.. Washington was #14 (opposite direction)

Houston #15, UCLA #16, Iowa #17, Georgia #18

There's a long string of bad misses. some, obviously, worse than others.

And putting Oregon at #24.
LSU was 5 I think and they took a tumble. They did finish strong but with a different head coach and a QB that actually looks half decent by LSU standards.
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Old 11-30-2017, 01:48 PM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
28,431 posts, read 26,497,838 times
Reputation: 11864
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