Tuesday, October 16, 2007

ND Ranked in Top-20 of Computer Poll

I’ve been in a blog coma lately, nothing excited me enough to make a post, until now. What could possibly be so earth shattering to motivate me out of my pleasant state of sloth? The BCS, obviously.

There is almost too much to complain about with the present system in the NCAA. How can the human polls unanimously rank Ohio State first while the computer polls rank Ohio State fifth? With such a huge disparity, how can they be equally respected? I’ve always sided with the computers, defending the PCs from naysayers that argued, “computers don’t have a brain … they can’t make rational decisions,” well, neither can Terry Bradshaw and he’s a part of the Harris Poll.

My love affair with the computer polls ended this week; however, when Jeff Sagarin made me look like a fool by ranking ND #18 in his latest poll. Sagarin’s rankings are 1/6 of the composite computer rankings which account for 1/3 of a team’s BCS rating. Here are Sagarin’s most recent rankings:

1) South Florida
3) South Carolina
4) Kentucky
5) Boston College
6) Kansas
7) Ohio State
8) West Virginia
9) Arizona State
10) Virginia Tech
11) Auburn
12) Oklahoma
13) Tennessee
14) California
15) Missouri
16) Virginia
17) Georgia
18) North Dakota State
19) Oregon
20) Florida

Sorry Oregon, Florida, USC, Hawaii, Texas, and, uh, Notre Dame … you are no match for the North Dakota State Bison.

Despite the insanity of this ranking, I think Sagarin might get too much blame for this atrocity. Since the BCS has taken out the “margin of victory” component from its equation, the rankings Sagarin submits have become a disaster while his actual rankings are pretty normal (which includes margin of victory). Which begs the question, should the BCS keep Sagarins rankings in their formula? Or, is encouraging a team to run up the score worse than having North Dakota State ranked in a top-25? The answer to both questions is, obviously, no. The answer to this overall BCS problem is, obviously, a playoff.

Sagarin Rankings

BCS Rankings


Anonymous said...

it's always good to see North Dakota State in the BCS, espeically when i dont see Boise State in the BCS. this is fantastic. keep up the good work NDSU.

Aces1180 said...

Um...You have the wrong logo...Thats the University of North Dakota, not North Dakota State University, home of the Bison.

Anonymous said...

Not to mention it's cribbed from montana's site.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, these are old rankings too. The current saragin rankings as of October 14 have the bison at 53, not 18.

Anonymous said...

Look at the ELO_CHESS column...that is what this poll is referring to.

Buzzsaw said...

Well I was trying to confuse people into thinking about Notre Dame (since that's who we normally write about), but looks like the jokes on me. Damn you annonymous.

la russa's designated driver said...

that's the University of North Dakota's logo there, genius, not North Dakota State's.

Buzzsaw said...

Haha, guys I am not well versed in North Dakota athletics ... the problem has been fixed. I didn't know North Dakotans had computers in their teepees. I apologize for the confusion.

Jon DeJong said...

That's not completely true of fair to Jeff Sagarin. To clarify, Sagarin has NDSU ranked 53rd, which is probably about right. But the really smart people at the BCS, who decided they must be better mathematicians the Jeff, told him that he had to make some changes to his formula for the sake of political correctness to stay in BCS. Specifically, they made him take out any consideration of margin of victory. This was because the BCS blowhards were afraid teams would run up the score to improve computer rankings. Of course, it's ridiculous to not take into account margin of victory, and good computer polls, and Sagarin's is the original and probably the best, have some pretty complicated algorithms for dealing with margin of victory. For example, winning by "3" is bigger if you win 10-7 than 47-44. And some stand deviation things like winning by 12 may be twice as good as winning by 6, but winning by 24 is maybe only on 33% better than winning by 12. Stuff like that. BUT... the BCS made Jeff change his formula, and now people rip him for odd results like NDSU being 18th. He provides 3 rankings. The BCS one (NDSU is 18th) on based purely on margin (NDSU is 71st) and his actual ranking, which has NDSU 53rd.


Gerlach said...

You will see...the BIZON ARE mighty! Roaming the prairie....just looking for another team to smash! Hail the Bison!!! Lock 'em and rock 'em baby.....hey, I hear Gopher tastes pretty good.. if you stomp'em just right...ESPECIALLY this time of year! you will see...YOU WILL SEE!!!

Anonymous said...

The Bison are big and the Bison are mighty! Hail the Bison! Go Bison!

Buzzsaw said...

Jon- I said in the article that the BCS is to blame for these rankings, not Sagarin necessarily. But the main point is that these rankings shouldn't be part of the BCS as they are clearly not valid without the margin of victory component.

sammich said...

hey i don't know if you knew this or not... but thats north dakotas logo... not ndsu.

Anonymous said...

buzzsaw, i'm dissappointed in your comment. The NDSU Bison are #53 and i trusted you in a discussion among friends that NDSU was #18 in the Sagarin rankings. Be real next time and give it to me straight homie

Anonymous said...

OH, by the way, as an NDSU Alumni, I do have to point out that the Bison did just beat Minnesota.

Buzzsaw said...

Anonymous, I didn't disappoint you .. it's true. The thing about the whole article is that the rankings Sagarin sends into the BCS are under the "ELO_CHESS" column. They are his normal rankings, where NDSU is ranked 53rd, but he takes out margin of victory (because the BCS doesn't use it) and NDSU ranks 18th in that poll. You were actually right in your argument. Hopefully you checked back. Sorry for the confusion.

Bizon Backer said...

NDSU does own the nations current longest winning streak in D1. Yes, they are only a FCS school, but they are 3-1 in the past 2 seasons against 1A or FBS schools. Their only loss in the past 2 seasons was a 9-10 setback last year against the Minnesota Gophers who they beat this past week to extend their current win streak to 11. They also beat Central Michigan who were last year's MAC Champs. Tyler Roehl, the starting RB was named USA today's player of the week over the likes of Tim Tebow or Jonathan Stewart after Roehl rushed for an NDSU school record 264 yards against Minnesota.

Dakota Lifestyle: Beyond the Weather said...

It's great to see so much about North Dakota and the Bisons here. Thanks for the fun diversion!

Anonymous said...

Notre Dame??? You actually mentioned Notre Dame??? With an 'uh' in front, even!!!

I'd've ranked Wilma's Beauty & Cosmetology College ahead of Notre Dame. By Oct 16th when you wrote this article it was pretty obvious to anyone with half a brain that they were 'uh' pathetic.

North Dakota State would've wiped Notre Dame all over the field last year and sent them home crying to mommy. I'm not an NDSU fan, but I am a Notre Dame hater. And as a Navy veteran it was beautiful to see Navy get the ND monkey off their backs this year. Although it looked suspiciously like a gift from Charlie Weiss, I'm thinking it's actually how he's really going to call plays! ND opponents will be receiving such gifts frequently over the next few years, I'm thinking, until the Flailing Irish wise up and fire that clown.

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