Every boxing fan has complained about the number of undefeated boxers. Seems like any up any coming “contender” has fought the same 12 – 14 record boxer and the same 52-year-old former champs. Whatever it takes to get you wins and keep you un-defeated. It’s the Don King special.
BCS Schools have obviously been watching. Here are some fun facts showing just how big an impact cupcakes have on the teams that make it to the BCS Bowl Games:
In 2010 regular season, there were 75 Non-Conference games played by the Top 20 Teams in Sagarin’s final 2010-11 Rankings (excluding #19 Notre Dame as an independent) …
Inside the Numbers of the 75 Games played non conf by the Top 20:
A. 70 = Number of wins (5 losses, including 2 by Virginia Tech)
B. 15 = Games played against FCS/I-AA teams — (why does the BCS not penalize in their ratings every team who does this ? This is something the fans should make a PR issue out of !)
C. 4 = Games played against each other inside final top 20 (Stanford at Notre Dame, Boise State vs. Virginia Tech (Neutral site), Arkansas vs. Texas A&M (Neutral site) and Florida State at Oklahoma)
D. 93.69 = The Sagarin average of all Non-Conference opponents, including FCS schools
E. 55 = Home games (14 Away, 6 Neutral)
F. 145.75 = The average ranking of Mississippi State’s non-conference opponents (4 games)
G. 103.25 = The average ranking of National Champion Auburn’s non-conference opponents (4 games)
Comparing Non-Conference Games for Top 10 (per final Sagarin) AQs versus non-AQs…
A. Non-Conference Games Versus Top 20: AQs=3; non-AQs=9
B. Non-Conference Games Versus Top 30: AQs=4; non-AQs=12
C. Overall Non-Conference Record: AQs=38-0; non-AQs=30-11
D. Non-Conference Home Games: AQs=30 of 38 (79%); non-AQs 20 of 41 (49%)
E. Average Non-Conference Opponent Rank: AQs=103.37; non-AQs=83.20
The Bottom line is that schools , particularly BCS schools, are doing all they can to game the system. And the BCS folks are letting them.
If the BCS people truly wanted to make the regular season have value, they would require my in season round robin tournament to happen. There has to be some level of flex scheduling in order for every game of the regular season to mean something and for the BCS ratings system to have any relevance at all. Otherwise the BCS is just lying to itself about truly crowning a champion.
Worse yet, using the BCS ratings for a playoff system would be a worthless exercise. The only result would probably be conferences growing even bigger than they are becoming now , further breaking into divisions and only playing division games, resulting in fewer conference games and more non conference cupcake games. Further gaming the system.
Feel free to ask Jim Delany what he thinks about this proposal and why the BCS wont step up and stop cupcake games by penalizing teams in their ratings system.
Worksheet is here: