Like fast food, there is a ceiling to the expected quality of most sports articles. But this one made me want to rant.
1. The computers rank Oklahoma ahead of Texas, despite Texas beating OU earlier in the year.
2. Alabama is no longer ranked #1 by the computers even though they won convincingly last game and are undefeated. (“It’s as if the computers realized that to get their beloved Sooners into the Big 12 title game, they had to push OU past the 12-0 Crimson Tide, too.” lolz QQ moar nub)
He can’t seem to figure out why these situations could happen and blames “ridiculous” computer rankings. Here’s some help for him:
1. He treats the Big 12 tie like it’s a two-way. It’s not. It’s a three-way, including Texas Tech. The reason why humans are discounting TTU is they lost by 40+ to OU. Yet humans are the ones who insisted that the computer rankings not take point differential into account. Mr. Borst does not seem to be aware of this.
2. Most computers give bonuses to teams that beat top 25 teams. Alabama didn’t get moved down because they won 36-0; it’s because Oklahoma beat a highly ranked team, while Alabama beat a scrub. (Texas is also above Alabama due to superior strength of schedule.)
Boise State, Utah, and Ball State are undefeated, yet are not top-ranked because they haven’t played enough good teams. Same as Alabama.
3. The useful thing about computers is that once you determine the formula; the calculations are unbiased. Humans have unreliable memory, cannot take all games into account, are heavily influenced by recent events, and have in-born biases.
This is not to say that’s he’s wrong about Texas being more deserving than OU. The difference in teams’ playing strength is razor-thin, though, and solid arguments can be made for both sides. This is a perfect situation for letting computers determine the outcome.