Quick note Re: Ohio State

The ESPN Gameday crew expressed some outrage that Ohio State is just No. 3 in the BCS computer rankings right now. Outrage, I tell ya! Everybody knows Ohio State is the No. 1 team in the country. But here”s the thing – computers don”t have pre-season rankings. Computers don”t watch SportsCenter. Computers look at facts.

There are a lot of intricacies in how the BCS computers rank teams, but just looking at the obvious facts on the number of wins and losses a team has and the quality of their opponents gives a basic idea of how computers would rank them.

To this point (and that”s important), Ohio State has won 11 games and lost zero. Computers like that. But the teams they”ve played have an average of 5.1 wins and 5.7 losses. They”ve beaten one team with 9 wins, one team with 7 wins, two teams with 6 wins and seven teams with 5 or fewer wins. Not strong.

Having won 11 games and lost zero when only two other major-conference teams are undefeated helps the computer ranking tremendously. And, thus, Ohio State gets to be No. 3 right now.

Michigan has also won 11 games and lost zero. The teams they”ve played have an average of 5.8 wins and 5.1 losses. They”ve beaten one team with 10 wins, one team with 9 wins, two teams with 7 wins, one team with 6 wins and six teams with 5 or fewer wins. Stronger than Ohio State, and the reason Michigan is No. 1 in the BCS computers.

And as much as I don”t believe in Rutgers, the teams they”ve played have an average of 5.2 wins and 4.9 losses. Having won 9 games and lost zero, the computers like Rutgers better than Ohio State (right now).

But oh my God, the computers say Ohio State is No. 3 when we smart humans all know they”re No. 1. Outrageous!

Here”s the thing, though. It doesn”t matter what the computers think right now. They”re not biased toward the status quo. If Ohio State beats Michigan today and Rutgers beats Cincinnati, Ohio State will be No. 1 in tomorrow”s BCS computer rankings. And Michigan might still be No. 2 on the quality of their loss compared to the quality of Rutgers” wins.

Human commentators love to point to the weird things that seemingly go on with the BCS computers during the season as proof that the human polls are the way to go. But there”s logic there, you stupid humans. And the fact is that if you play a good schedule and win all of your games, the computers will love you in the end. And not just because you”re Ohio State or USC.

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