Wednesday, September 15, 2010

College Football Week 3

The Chiefs are in first place. I know it's just one game, but I'm not certain how often I will be able to write that down, so well, Chiefs-first place! Also, after next week, the Chiefs can be no less than tied for first place, which means that the Chiefs will have been in first place for 2 weeks! Wow! What an amazing season they are having! And then there are my blessed Kansas Jayhawks! I was in Lawrence for that one and will simply say this: that was a really, really good time and very much needed by all.

So with the very busy, local (to me) sports weekend behind us, I can move on to examining the rest of the college football world. My thoughts on the weekend? Well, let's see, the Mormons lost. Oklahoma, Cal and Michigan look impressive so far. And Virginia Tech either sucks...or. Of course though, that's just scratching the surface. More importantly, you can already start to see some division as to who, on a national scale, we will be watching all season and who we should just store away in our memory until next year.

Naturally though, all is not lost for any school. It's way too early to tell for sure. And that's why I decided last week to wait until after week 3 to start truly assessing what teams have earned up to that point. It's decent in principle, many teams have been squaring off against opponents of minimal significance and little to no chance of finding victory against their bigger opponents. How can one assess accomplishment without any data available supporting the team or the strength of their schedule? So we just start the season with what we know from the previous year, and kind of, I don't know, just work with it, as the teams from the expired paradigm start to falter. The result is fine for week 1, dissatisfying for week 2, and now as we approach week 3 of college football, my rankings look distorted and ugly, to say the least. Clearly, I'll have to come up with a better approach to this period of status purgatory in the future. But for now, here they are:

1 Alabama (2-0)
2 Texas (2-0)
3 Florida (2-0)
4 Boise State (1-0)
5 Ohio State (2-0)
6 TCU (2-0)
7 Iowa (2-0)
8 Penn State (1-1)
9 Oregon (2-0)
10 Nebraska (2-0)
11 Wisconsin (2-0)
12 LSU (2-0)
13 Utah (2-0)
14 Pittsburgh (1-1)
15 Miami (FL) (1-1)
16 Texas Tech (2-0)
17 USC (2-0)
18 Clemson (2-0)
19 West Virginia (2-0)
20 Fresno State (1-0)
21 Cincinnati (1-1)
22 Air Force (2-0)
23 BYU (1-1)
24 Temple (2-0)
25 Central Michigan (1-1)

So this is almost criminal. No Michigan. No Oklahoma. But Central Michigan at (1-1) gets the nod? Yeah, I know. But there's a point to doing it this way, and it isn't to offer up a skilled analysis of how the teams should be ranked to this point. Granted, should I continue this approach in the future, it would get insanely old and the masses would rebel against me. OK fine, but here's the lesson. Last year I made it clear, at this point, that only undefeated teams would gather recognition. Undefeated is undefeated, I said. And after 2 weeks' sample size, perhaps this isn't a poor guideline...undoubtedly something to consider coming back to in the future. The problem with that, however, is that when teams lose to ranked teams, they are playing a competitive schedule, and that should not be punished. And that's the basic point here. An undefeated team beats a ranked team, and they should by displacement, take over a spot in the top 25. Fine. But what about the teams that only sustain losses against teams already ranked ahead of them. Theoretically, those losses should be expected, and they are, in fact, undefeated still against the field of which they are being compared. But, what I fail to do here is consider the significance of their wins, something I intend to do next week, not only for these specific 1 loss benefactors, but for all teams altogether. Get ready for a massive shuffle; I told you that it was coming.

My gambling week was encouraging and discouraging at the same time. On the surface, my system rolled, but for the first time, my model demonstrated loss in one of the methods being tracked. 

My winners: FAU, California, Ohio State, Troy and Rice
My losers: Georgia, Arkansas State, BYU and Penn State

OK, so once again, I won 5 out of 9,  so my flat rate concept would have netted another $50. At least that's consistent, because the other scenarios have me flip-flopping a bit. This week, my actual system would have raked it in, achieving me $180 for my efforts. The problem is, that the redeeming success was entirely sustained by FAU, a team that was a whopping 28 point underdog against Michigan State. Credit my system for identifying the extremity of that spread, but as I said before, I have little confidence in large spreads and had I opted not to bet on such games, I would have taken a loss of $49 this week. Anyway, tracking it is the whole point, so here's my tab to date:

My system as is:  $190.50
The flat $100 per game rate:  $100
Betting only on spreads of 20 points or less:  $211

That's still not bad, but I hate to see a loss in any of the categories. I was a little surprised to see some of the projections for this coming week, but then again, the easiest way to fail on a procedure is to not acknowledge it, so here are the picks:

Temple +6.5 vs Connecticut   $5
Ohio +32 vs Ohio State   $180
Kent State +21 vs Penn State   $20
Tulsa +6.5 vs Oklahoma State   $65
Arizona State +14 vs Wisconsin   $70
Air Force +17.5 vs Oklahoma   $115
Northwestern -6.5 vs Rice   $25
Troy -4.5 vs UAB   $105
Wake Forest +17 vs Stanford   $220
Iowa -2 vs Arizona   $30

That will do it for now, have a great week!


Anonymous said...

Monkey...even though I really have nothing to add to your sports ramblings, I do love to hear them :-) Feels like I'm at the LoHo listening to you across the bar :-)

D Kyle Burkett said...

Thank you, Christi! Of all my friends, you I would least suspect to gain much from my subject matter. I suppose it just demonstrates how wonderful a friend you are...but then I already knew that!