Blog Entry

So who is the real number two?

Posted on: November 28, 2011 12:28 pm
Edited on: November 30, 2011 11:30 am

Posted by Tom Fornelli

There's an inherent flaw in the way we determine the champion in college football. When you let human beings decide which teams are the best, you allow our emotions and opinions to become involved in the process. Making matters worse, we're all pretty stubborn when it comes to how we think and feel about a certain subject.

I knew a kid in college who would only drink Mr. Pibb and refused to drink Dr. Pepper. They're the same thing. The only difference between the two is that Dr. Pepper has more student loans to pay off and has a real good time beneath underpasses. When I'd ask my friend why he insisted on drinking Mr. Pibb over Dr. Pepper he said that Mr. Pibb just tasted better.

Which is a lie, because they taste the same, but in his mind Mr. Pibb was better. He had that preconcieved notion, possibly from having it in the house as a child, and there was nothing that could happen to convince him otherwise.

It's a lot like how we view college football teams. There's a group of people who feel that Alabama is the second-best team in the country, and no matter what arguments you make on another team's behalf, that opinion's not changing. There are groups of people that feel the exact same way about Oklahoma State, Stanford, or Virginia Tech. No matter what you say to them, they're already convinced that one of these teams is the team that deserves to face LSU for a BCS title, and you won't change their mind.

Which got me to thinking around 2am on Saturday night/Sunday morning. What if there was a way to present a team's case without a person knowing who that team was? If I remove the names of the schools, I'm removing the bias. All a fan can see is "Team X" not Alabama, not Oklahoma State, not Conference USA, none of that. Just the letter "X" and some numbers.

So I decided to take a look at six different schools and compare them in five separate categories to get a better idea of who the better team really is. I'd like to share this data with all of you and then have you vote on which team you think is the team that should be playing LSU based on the numbers you see. There is no right answer, there is no wrong answer. It's still opinion, but what I've done is I've stripped any possible biases you may already have.

Here's the chart.

Now here's an explanation of the chart.

Top 20 W - This is the number of wins each team has against a team currently ranked in the top 20 of the Sagarin rankings, which are used as part of the BCS formula. Though I used Sagarin's overall rankings, not the rankings he has to use for BCS which removes point differential.

Top 40 W - This is the number of wins each team has against a team currently ranked in the top 40 of the Sagarin rankings.

Opp. Win % - Exactly what it looks like, the combined winning percentage of every FBS team each team has played. It's important to note that I did not count the games against that particular team. So for example, Team E's opponents had a .479 winning percentage in game not against Team E.

Av. Point Diff. - This is the average point differential in each team's games against FBS opponents. In other words, how many points are you winning your games by on average.

Av. Sagarin Rank - This is the average Sagarin ranking of the FBS opponents each team has played in 2011. The lower this number, the better.

So, now that you have all the info, which team is the one that should be playing LSU? Vote below, and once you vote the teams will be revealed.

So who did you vote for?

Find out here.


Since: Oct 31, 2011
Posted on: December 30, 2011 6:51 pm

So who is the real number two?

this sounds like fun!!  what drug is required to join you my friend???  please do share!

Since: Nov 28, 2011
Posted on: December 22, 2011 6:56 pm

So who is the real number two?

But you still ignore the fact they lost to ISU....a team that would not even be bowl eligble if they hadn't won against OSU. That is a flaw in my thinking that I just realized. I keep comparing losing to ISU as being the same as losing to Vanderbilt. No, its actually worse!!!! It's more like losing to Kent State and North Texas, who you have so many times ridiculed as being bad teams on Bamas schedule....ISU, if you would have beaten them (which you didn't in case you failed to remember) would have been 5-7 just like Kent State and North Texas!

You have got to get it in your head.....Bama lost to LSU, who I think we all agree is the definite #1. That bumped them down and put OSU where they needed to be at #2. All they had to do was beat a crappy team, take a week off and beat an OU team that has decided not to tackle anyone (or hold onto the ball when no one is around) and is notorious for not showing up for big games. Do that and you're in. And OSU failed. Would it be fair to anyone to just blow the loss to a crappy team off and keep them at #2 when Bama's loss to the sure #1 is much better than losing to ISU (remember ISU is virtually the same as N Texas or Kent State). No. The correct decision was made. period. Don't blame everyone else for your own false steps.

I'd feel sorry for you if you had been working your way up the rankings and never achieved #2. But you were there, you had it, then you choked on it.

By the way, looks like Bama''s basketball team is better than yours too.

Since: Nov 28, 2011
Posted on: December 22, 2011 6:41 pm

So who is the real number two?

Cappske, a blow out was a blow out because a game is four quarters long! And Bama knows it!  So, what, now instead of whining because you got locked out (eventhough you were in at #2....all you had to do was beat a mediocre ISU), if Bama or LSU played OSU I suppose you'd be saying, 'yeah, but in 3 quarters we hung in there'. There is no winning with you cry babies. THE GAME IS $ QUARTERS LONG, DUDE!

And btw, not many teams were close to Bama....THEY ONLY GAVE UP 9 TDs ALL YEAR!!!! Thats 12 games.....9 tds. Not much danger in losing when the other team hasn't scored and your averaging around 40 yourself. OSU gave up that many by game 3 literally.

Oh and about the FCS team. I seriously doubt there was much prep work for them and did you see how many players sat? And its not like they were stopping UA or driving it up and down the field. A couple breakdowns with backups and on special teams is all that kept it close. But that all counts. I'll be honest. It wasn't their best effort. But they knew it was won.

But it all counts. I don't want to be like an OSU fan than doesn't look at all 4 quarters, doesn't look at the quality of the losses, doesn't look at defensive startegy books, doesn't look at Vegas odds (mythical OSU-Bama match would be 13.5-14, btw).

Try looking at the whole picture. I agree the SEC is in a downward cycle this year in the middle of the conference, but the top 2 are easily the best in the country. It's not their fault they are in the same division, but it is OSU's fault for losing when THEY WERE #2 and doing it to a bad team. As I said before. If Vandy had beaten Bama, then they should be out too.

BTW, just thought of this. One of OSUs 'great wins' was against aTm, who Arkansas beat in almost exactly the same fashion. Bama beat them by about 35 pts. That's the closest apples to apples I can get you. You may not like it, so just ignore that too.

Since: Nov 28, 2011
Posted on: December 22, 2011 6:19 pm

So who is the real number two?

Cappske, No I don't consider how long their D was on the field. Reason being, they had several more close games than UA or LSU. Alabama beat EVERY TEAMthey played by 3 SCORES except LSU. OSU had 4 scary close games. If you have the 107th ranked defense in the country, I doubt there is much bench clearing going on. 

Plus they lost to a 6-6 team. If Bama had lost to  Vanderbilt, who is also 6-6, I'd say they shouldn't be there either. But Bama won their 6-6 game by 5 TDs.

Why is it deceiving that they have top20 Offenses? If anything, since the SEC is a very defensive conference, it would be masking how good the offenses are!  Your logic is completely backward. They go consistently go against better than average defenses, so their numbers are actually skewed to the low side. If they played int he Big 12 where defense is a completely foreign concept, their numbers (Bama's 400+ yds of offense a game) would be even higher.

Even if the OSU offense could function against the Bama D (doubtful), they simply would not get on the field enough to make a difference. Bama would just chew up mass amounts of yardage and time and the offense would rarely see the field.

You do realize gave up 9 TDs all season, right? OSU gave up more than that in September....before they even got into conference play!

Since: Nov 28, 2011
Posted on: December 17, 2011 8:50 am

So who is the real number two?

Alabama does not deserve to play for the championship at all. They lost to LSU already. Ok. ST. should get a shot. Now let's look back at the bcs. Hasn't a team every year been given a shot against the SEC? Every game has been won by SEC. Most them games have been a waste. Ohio state blown out every time. Oregon put up half a fight. Big 12 teams are weak. They play weak teams and get all this credit for nothing. Oklahoma is weak, Texas is weak, well lets face it... They all weak sauce. so yea lets play LSU VS. Alabama. That will make the best game!!!!

Since: Oct 6, 2006
Posted on: December 5, 2011 7:01 pm

So who is the real number two?

LSU may end up the biggest loser in this whole situation. They ALREADY beat Alabama. So does that win not mean anything now? Alabama gets a "do over" to prove what, they can go 1-1 vs a team for the season? Rematches for the championship are stupid. Don't bring up the NFL either because those guys have to play 16 games during the season and at least 2 games in a playoff before theres a rematch. Oh yeah, most of them have to win their division to even make the playoffs! Boo. Just Boo. All of these same A-holes were spewing exactly this argument in 2006 but when the shoe's on the other foot, they do an about face. Imagine that. I hope LSU wins this game 150-0 and Saban does what he's rumored to be heading for anyway, the HC job at Texas. 

Since: Jan 2, 2008
Posted on: December 5, 2011 2:09 pm

So who is the real number two?

Pepsi is better than Coke.

Since: Dec 5, 2011
Posted on: December 5, 2011 1:33 pm

So who is the real number two?

Anything that states LSU and Bama as being Top 20 offensive teams is a fluke. That's a deceiving statistic. Also, consider the time on the field for the Ok St defense. Considering they had games won, don't you think they had 2nd strings in after a decent bit of time? 

Since: Dec 5, 2011
Posted on: December 5, 2011 1:29 pm

So who is the real number two?

Take off the SEC glasses. Auburn is down and Florida is down, Miss St, Kentucky, Tennessee, Vandy and Ole Miss are not really good, and especially offensively inept. If your conference played a few more games than 5 tough games for a team, then it'd be respectable. Ok St played 2 bowl teams in their nonconference schedule. They had 3 slots because the conference filled the rest. Bama played 1, PSU. That's hardly anything amazing because as offensively anemic they are right now, they were 5 times worse then. Georgia Southern, a FCS team played you tough through 3 quarters. In fact, many teams have done that. If you look, distance was made up most often by Bama in the 2nd half. These "blowouts" only became blowouts late in the game, which is just due to a lack of talent, not because of incredible game playing. I mean, sure, you can wear down Vandy...they don't have the players to match. And as stated above, many of those teams are offensively inept. You have very few good offensive teams (UGA, Arkansas and...LSU? being the best?), so a suffocating D gets boosted even more. Also, that loss was in the worst circumstance, and it still went to double OT. Bama gave the game away and easily should've won, but they didn't convert and payed the price. Arkansas also has a win over TAMU...which was a total gift. TAMU failed to play in the 4th quarter mostly (like they have all season). I can't see how voters continue to rank these teams so high when all they've proven is that there is more talent then other teams, but it doesn't shine till the 2nd half. Ok St had 2 teams down 35-0 by halftime (Baylor is actually a decent team). Has Bama done that to anyone other than like Kent State or North Texas? 

LSU is a really good team, that is for sure. But it's voters that compromise the system and don't look in-depth to figure this stuff out properly that screw up the system. Give credit where credit is due. I did the numbers and SEC has 16 games (with a .75% win percentage) against Bowl teams. Big 12 has 17  games against bowl teams with an 82.4% win percentage. Also add in that there are 10 Big 12 teams and 12 SEC teams. Also add the fact that the SEC plays 4 non-conference teams and the Big 12 plays 3. So the Big 12 had 17 of it's 30 (10*3) non conference games be against bowl eligible teams (56.6%). The SEC had 16 of 48 (12*4) for a 33.3% bowl eligible ratio. So, seems the Big 12 has a better record than the bowl eligible teams than the SEC AND plays a tougher schedule (at least out of conference). 

Pony up and bother to play some games. You had one team that really took the load this year (sure, undefeated, and great job there!), but if it would come down to a team that bothered to play people AND had many teams beat early versus a team that played few hard non-conference teams (nice SEC schedule too) and played weak non-conference teams, it's quite clear who i'd say is more deserving. Just some proof that the whole human essence of the voting process is truly flawed too. 

Since: Dec 4, 2011
Posted on: December 4, 2011 2:36 pm

So who is the real number two?

I think their mental state due to the accident is the only thing that kept OSU from having a completely clean season, and should definitely be considered.  Personally, I think that the game should have been postpones in some manner, and they'd been given some time to recover mentally. 
And I'm betting that they would have a "win one for the Gipper" attitude that should scare LSU to death. They definitely have something to prove and I think they can do it.

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