August 26, 2010

How much does Utah help the PAC-10 BCS auto-qualifier status?

A LOT.  In fact, immediately upon joining the conference, Utah will have the highest average computer rankings over the two years which count for the next BCS cycle (2008, 2009).

Average BCS computer rankings for all current (and future) PAC-10 schools for the current BCS cycle (2008,2009) are shown below:

The most surprising result for me was to see that Colorado wasn't the worst!  :)   Washington state is a lead weight around the neck of the PAC and Colorado and Washington aren't helping much either (Though I think Washington is on the rise).

Just for the Heck of it, I did the same analysis to see how the future MWC schools will compare.  I've kept BYU and Utah in the next graph (even though Utah's stats won't count for the MWC and BYU may not be in the conference either).  Boise's stats should count for the MWC, but I'm not sure about Fresno and Nevada, but I've included them anyway, just hypothetically.

A quick comparison of the two conferences graphs shows that the difference between the MWC and the PAC lies more in the middle teams than anywhere else.  In fact, the average rankings for top and bottom teams are very similar.  But the middle teams in the PAC are on average ranked higher.  I should note that the additions of Fresno and Nevada are an upgrade, at least statistically, for the MWC middle tier teams.  They are ranked only ranked Lower than the top teams (Utah, Boise, BYU), and AF.  

The figure below compares the previous two graphs more directly.  Utah is removed from the MWC graph which only leaves 11 teams to compare from the MWC graph against the PAC graph.  Team 1 is compared against Team 1 from the other confernce, Team 2 vs. team 2, etc.  A positive number indicates a better average BCS computer ranking for the MWC, and vice versa for a negative number.

Take BYU out of the MWC (Independence) and the graph looks like this (now with one less team to compare directly).

Full data set of all computer rankings (except Peter Wolfe) are shown for the MWC here, and for the PAC here
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