I guess it’s up to the pollsters now, those enigmatic coaches and college football luminaries on the Coaches and Harris polls respectively. Until UCLA whacked USC yesterday, it was pretty simple. USC wins and plays in the championship game against Ohio State. Now, not so simple. The contenders? Michigan (11-1,) Florida (12-1,) Louisville (11-1,) and Boise State (12-0.)
The formula is now figured this way, 1/3 Coaches poll, 1/3 Harris poll, and 1/3 computer rankings (6 averaged rankings, high and low ranking dropped.) That means that humans have 2/3 of the vote and computers 1/3. The computers can no longer take margin of victory into account which has harmed their accuracy (though many of the computer polls have a BCS rating and a MoV rating – MoV rating has a higher percentage accuracy of prediction than non MoV ratings.)
If the human polls work as they have in the past keeping order after loss (i.e., USC #2, Michigan #3, Florida #4 – USC loses and drops, Michigan becomes #2 and Florida becomes #3) then it’s pretty simple, Michigan will get a rematch with Ohio State January 8th regardless of what the computers say because both human polls would agree and would constitute the majority of the rating. The same is true if both human polls vote Florida #2, they’re in.
If the human polls don’t work that way, and one votes Florida #2 and the other votes Michigan #2, then the computers will decide it. On the basis of playing more games and what is considered a tougher in conference schedule, Florida would likely grab the overall #2 spot to play Ohio State on the basis of computer rankings.
Here’s what I think will happen, the humans don’t want to see a rematch between Ohio State/Michigan. A strong contingent of people who vote in the polls believe one shouldn’t play in the championship if one doesn’t win one’s conference, and on top of that, Michigan hasn’t won in 3 weeks. On the basis of these data points, it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if we see one or both of the human polls move Florida to #2. The computers will have Florida at a weak #2 I think.
I expect Florida will be the other half of the championship game when the results are announced this evening. And I think that’s a fine answer as Michigan has had their shot. Louisville as another 1 loss team could have some claim, but not a terribly strong one. Boise St at 12-0 can really make a case they should play as an undefeated D-IA team, (after all they pummeled Oregon State earlier this year, the same Oregon State that beat USC)…..But I don’t think either of those teams will have the human poll support required to leap Michigan/Florida.
An OSU/Florida championship game would be a good one. Florida’s got a decent defense and an offense that seems to improve week by week. Let’s hope that’s what we get rather than a rematch….
36 days until OSU plays for the national championship
Ohio State’s 2006 record: 12-0 Next up: ??? 1/8/2007
Tune: 36-24-36 by The Violent Femmes
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