So we’re down to the Final Four. It’s been one of the most exciting basketball tournaments ever. Poor Butler. Last year’s Cinderella team. No Cinderella this year. Oh, they’re back in the Final Four again. But this time, they’re being overshadowed by VCU. Butler and VCU will face-off in the first semi-final game next Saturday. Should be a defensive struggle. And in the other bracket will be a couple of well-known powers, Kentucky and UConn.
Based on my latest rankings, we have two very exciting basketball games in store. UConn is ranked #6 and Kentucky is ranked #8. Butler is ranked #34 and VCU is ranked #41. But ignore the rankings. On March 7th, my rankings had UConn at #13, Kentucky at #29, Butler at #57, and VCU was ranked #76. Here are the current power ratings for each school:
Based on these ratings, here are the chances of each team advancing to the championship game:
Nobody is a clear favorite in either game. These should be tremendous games. So who’s the favorite to win it all? Well, based on my ratings, here is the breakdown:
So it seems that the winner of the UConn/Kentucky matchup has the best chance to win the national championship. But I wouldn’t put money on it. Butler and VCU have proven that they not only can play with anyone, they can beat anyone. It should be a fun ride!
Its the first weekend of October and I’ve published my first rankings of the year in college football. Thanks to Virginia Tech’s loss to James Madision this year, Delaware and James Madison are currently ranked in the Top 25. This should change as the year goes by. The biggest surprise is that Alabama is not my number 1 team yet. That goes to Arizona for now. Alabama comes in at number 2 and Iowa comes in at number 3 with their only loss coming at Arizona. Rounding out my top 5 are Oregon at number 4 and TCU at number 5. The rest of my top 10 are Boise State, Ohio State, Missouri, Stanford and Kansas State.
The rankings are pretty volatile and will change quite a bit throughout October.
I’m publishing my college rankings a week early this season. No surprises. LSU and Oklahoma are at the top. My Hokies are #17 but I predict they will fall over the next three weeks. Why? They face UNC, Clemson, and Duke in their next three games. UNC and Duke will kill their strenght of schedule and Clemson will probably just kill them.
If Tech doesn’t find an offense soon, its going to be a long season.
By now, everybody knows about Appalachian States shocking win over Michigan last Saturday. Most of the media is calling it perhaps the greatest upset in college football history. While it makes for great headlines, its far from it. I’ll try and explain.In 1978, the NCAA split up Division I football into two divisions: I-A and I-AA. I don’t know what the criteria was in deciding who went to what division, but it seems like the “major” conferences went to I-A. So when you hear the media say that no Division I-AA school has ever beaten a ranked I-A team, remember that its going back less than 30 years. Who knows what upsets took place in the 50’s, 60’s, or 70’s.Michigan came into this season with a preseason ranking of #5. Why? Who knows. They lost most of their defense. Its amazing how quickly the media forgets about defense.Appalachian State won back to back National Championships in Division I-AA in 2005 and 2006. In 2006, there were 119 schools in Division I-A. There are about the same number of schools in Division I-AA. Should we assume that every Division I-A school is better than every Division I-AA school? Not hardly. Division I-AA schools win quite often against Division I-A opponents. It’s reasonable to assume that there is overlap between the two divisions if you were to rank them from top to bottom. In fact, my computer rankings do just that. And Michigan finished #6 in my 2006 rankings. So where was Appalachian State? If we use the philosophy that all Division I-A schools are better than all Division I-AA schools, then Appalachian State should have been ranked #120 since they were the best school in Division I-AA and there are 119 schools in Division I-A. But in my final computer rankings, Appalachian State was ranked #54. They finished ahead of the following Big 10 schools: #58 Purdue, #75 Indiana, #79 Michigan State, #88 Northwester and #106 Illinois. In fact, they were ranked ahead of 66 schools in Division I-A.So when the media claims Appalachian States victory of Michigan as the greatest upset ever in college football, they are really doing Appalachian State a disservice. It was a big upset, but it is far from the biggest of all time. It just sounds good that a I-AA school knocked off a “traditional” power like Michigan.So what IS the greatest upset in college football history? It’s a matter of personal opinion, but I can point to one game, particularly, in the last 30 years. On October 17, 1998, Temple visited Blacksburg to face Virginia Tech. Temple came into this game 0-6. Virginia Tech was 5-0. Oddsmakers made Virginia Tech a 36 point favorite. In my computer rankings, Virginia Tech was ranked #6 at this point in the season. Temple was ranked #143. Temple was worse than a lot of Division I-AA schools that year. Virginia Tech raced out to a 24-0 lead before Temple scored just before halftime to cut the lead to 24-7. Temple fought back in the second half and won the game 28-24. To this day, it remains the biggest upset according to oddsmakers. Virginia Tech fans have decided that this game never happened and refuse to acknowledge it today!So there you have it. Give Appalachian State its due. It was a great victory. But it was not the greatest upset in history. That happened in Blacksburg on an October day in 1998.
The new BCS rankings are out and all the sports writers are complaining that Rutgers is #2 in the computer rankings. Well, its what you asked for. You took out the margin of victory. This is what is left. All you have to do is look at Jeff Sagarin’s rankings and Kenneth Massey’s rankings. Compare their BCS rankings with their unmodified rankings which DO take into account the margin of victory. Rutgers is #2 in both Massey’s and Sagarin’s BCS rankings. Ohio State is #6 in Massey’s BCS rankings and #3 in Sagarin’s BCS rankings. But with margin of victory factored in, Rutgers falls to #6 in Massey’s rankings and #8 in Sagarin’s rankings. Ohio State moves to #1 in both.
It seems my computer rankings don’t suck afterall. The first time in my rankings history that the lowest ranked team beat the highest ranked team occurred Sunday when Miami whipped Chicago. So what do my rankings say now? Chicago is no longer supreme. They have dropped to #6. Who’s my new #1? Why Indianapolis of course. Followed by Denver, New England, New York Giants, and Baltimore.