Rankings: Humans vs Computers

Sports No Comment

I was looking at the Complete BCS Rankings on ESPN and started looking how the computer rankings were looking. If I’m reading this correctly these would be the computer only rankings from the BCS. Overall BCS Ranking in parenthesis.

1. Boston College (2)
2. LSU (3)
3. Ohio State (1)
4. Arizona State (4)
5. South Florida (10)
6. Virginia (15)
7. Kansas (9)
8. Virginia Tech (8)
9. Oregon (5)
10. West Virginia (7)
10. Florida (11)
12. Kentucky (14)
13. Missouri (13)
14. Oklahoma (6)
15. South Carolina (16)
16. Auburn (22)
16. Connecticut (23)
18. ???
19. Michigan (20)
20. Georgia (18)
21. USC (12)
22. Alabama (24)
23. ???
24. ???
25. ???

27. California (21)
29. Penn State (25)
Not Ranked: Hawaii (17), Texas (19)
The empty spots are teams that were not in the BCS Top 25.

I always side with the computer polls because they shouldn’t have any bias. Looking at these, there is some bias toward mid-majors. Hawaii is undefeated, that should qualify for being in the Top 25 of more than one computer poll. If they saw undefeated that would include a win over Boise State. With other teams losing along the way that has to climb them up into the Top 12.

Here are the large disparities between the Computer and Final BCS rankings. Note that the computer is a third of that BCS score.

Computers have them 5 spots or more better:
South Florida

Humans have them 5 spots or more better:

What jumps out is that all but one team that the computers like better is not a very big name (Auburn) and all but one (Hawaii) that the humans like better are consistent powerhouses. This is exactly why the human polls need to be cut out of the process or given a little guidance. The point needs to be driven home that what a team has done in any other year previous to the current one doesn’t matter. There should not be any preseason rankings released from any of the major polls. All they do is screw up the polls the rest of the year. If the fans are desperate to see some preseason rankings then pick up one of the hundreds of magazines put out each year or find some new sites to read on the web.

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