The Cerebral Vortex

So I have started compiling data from as many sources as possible... and I have some interesting data on the BCS teams...


The first set of data I finished compiling was Sagarin rankings. Why Sagarin? Well... I thought about many starting points... but Sagarin data is:


  1. Easily accessible -- here are the rankings from 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007 for you to view for yourselves...
  2. A consistent starting point over which to work.... the formula for his main ratings (rather than simply the ELO-CHESS portion that the BCS uses for its structure) has been the same over the entire period...
  3. Done by a computer -- and hate it or not, computers take the human element out of the equation and evaluate each team based on merit... perfect for dissecting eras of time...
  4. Something already established (read: I don't have to reinvent the wheel)...

Before you blast, understand that all this data is initial reports on one aspect of something bigger I'm working on... but essentially the reason I am doing this is because we, as sports fans, love to say that this team or that team is the most consistent... yet rarely do we actually go back to the statistical data and evaluate how each team has truly fared. We crow like homers, yet fail to look past our blinders to recognize the achievements of other teams...


So I'll offer up a sample... based on the composite Sagarin ratings, here are the top 25 teams in college football in the past decade. Take it for what you will -- I plan to delve deeper into different rating systems to build a greater composite -- but it's a start on our path to better realizing the cyclical nature of football...


The number after each school is the Sagarin composite average over the period 1998-2007... 



  1. Texas - 89.44
  2. USC - 89.27
  3. Florida State - 89.00
  4. Oklahoma - 88.51
  5. Florida - 88.32
  6. Ohio State - 88.20
  7. Miami (FL) - 88.03
  8. Virginia Tech - 87.21
  9. Michigan - 86.53
  10. Tennessee - 85.44
  11. Georgia - 85.14
  12. LSU - 84.42
  13. Nebraska - 83.74
  14. Kansas State - 82.73
  15. Wisconsin - 82.71
  16. Auburn - 82.56
  17. Oregon - 82.16
  18. Penn State - 81.17
  19. Georgia Tech - 80.35
  20. Arkansas - 79.94
  21. Oregon State - 79.93
  22. West Virginia - 79.81
  23. Texas Tech - 79.81
  24. UCLA - 79.70
  25. Louisville - 79.27

Most of those aren't that shocking in and of themselves... but when you go one step further and look at the averages for each conference's current teams, we find unlikely conferences in different positions... the next numbers are the total average conference composite Sagarin ranking over the ten-year period:


  1. Pac-10 - 78.20
  2. SEC - 78.14
  3. ACC - 77.91
  4. Big XII - 77.67
  5. Big Ten - 77.37
  6. Big East - 70.84

Now, keep in mind that the conference shift of Boston College, Miami and Florida State from the Big East to the ACC does alter these stats quite a bit... however, we are looking at the strength of the current conference configurations, and the big attraction for these teams in making the shift was the fact that the ACC was stronger than the Big East before the three teams transferred.


The biggest surprise for many, though, might be the fact that the Pac-10 and SEC are virtually identical in quality. While the teams at the top, middle and bottom might change each year in the two conferences, there are several teams in each conference which are legitimate national threats year in and year out...



Stay tuned... there will be more breakdown coming... 


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