Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Big 10 Rated 2nd Strongest Conference?

Believe it. Or at least according to mathmetician (or should we call him a "math-magician!" Get it? Sorry, couldn't resist) Jeff Sagarin, who's mathmatical formulas for ranking college football teams and conferences is one of the many parts of the fun and "wonderful" BCS formula (and by "wonderful" I mean "ridiculous, confusing, and crappy"). In his latest conference rankings, Sagarin has the Big 10 rated second, behind only the SEC. Surprised the Big 12 is third? Me too.

(During my lunch break yesterday I was reading a week old Sports Illustrated that was left in the lunch room, and was all set to rail against Sagarin, because at that time, the Big 10 was fourth- BEHIND THE FREAKING ACC!!!!! I picked on the ACC early in the season, and rightfully so because it was terrible. While it's improved in the last few weeks, let's not get carried away- it's still average at best, because it's filled with teams that are average at best- and also Virginia, who is horrible.)

I could make you scroll through that article and make you look at all the numbers, or, either because I'm a nice guy or because I'm Canadian (come to think of it the two are kind of mutually exclusive), I'll just give you Sagarin's own personal "mathy" rankings for each school in both conferences (for the record, and for reasons known only to the math-magician, USC is still ranked #1 despite losing to Oregon State. That's a round about way of saying you should probbaly take these rankings with a gigantic grain of salt):

BIG 10 (number is Sagarin's national rank)
4 Penn State
12 Ohio State
26 Michigan State
28 Northwestern
29 Wisconsin
30 Illinois
36 MINNESOTA
47 Iowa (really? seriously? Did Sagarin go to Iowa? Is he from there? As Stewie Griffin would say "What the deuce?!?!)
63 Michigan
66 Purdue
83 Indiana

BIG 12
2 Oklahoma
5 Texas
6 Missouri
10 Texas Tech
21 Oklahoma State
41 Nebraska
44 Kansas
50 Colorado
65 Kansas State
68 Baylor
84 Iowa State
100 Texas A&M (bang up job so far by Mike Sherman for the Aggies)

Ok, so if you were to play the "would you rather have" game with these schools (and yes, I'm biased towards the Big 10 schools, but you knew that already. Still it doesn't mean I'm wrong), I'd obviously rather have Oklahoma than anybody in the Big 10, but as Sagarin ranks them, I'd take Penn State over Texas and Missouri (the Nittany Lions are a more balanced squad than either). Not only that, but because I'm still bullish on the Buckeyes, I think Ohio State is better than both Missuruh and Texas too (if you disagree, tell me this: those two schools have played whom exactly? Texas has played nobody, and while Missuruh DID open with Illinois, I also believe Ohio State would beat them. We'll find out November 15th) I also cannot, will not, and do not believe Texas Tech is the 10th best team in this, or any other country. I believe so little in the Red Raiders, that I would rather have Ohio State, Michigan State, Wisconsin AND Illinois than Texas Tech. After the Goph's squeaker against Indiana last week, I'm not ready to say I'd take them over TT, but the U and Oklahoma State would be a toss-up for me too.

So while I might disagree with some of Sagarin's rankings, when you look at the conferences side by side (or since you can't do fancy little charts and graphs on blogger blogs, we see them on after the other), I would whole heartedly agree that the Big 10 IS a stronger conference than the Big 12, which is something I didn't think I'd be saying at all this year. Then again I didn't think I'd be saying "I wonder what bowl the Gophers will go to this year" either, so there you go.

1 comment:

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