Can you feel the excitement? College football season is about to start! Football season – pro and college – is always momentous here on Da Blog. Before my recent webcomics-driven popularity (well, sort of), quite a few people were attracted to Da Blog by my Sunday Night Football predictions. Soon, Da Blog will be taken over by football, especially on Mondays, as my various football-related projects kick into gear. As such, my football hub is all set up for the new season.
The College Football Lineal Title – won by any team that defeated the last champion – will soon take over Da Blog. I made some changes: the Princeton Title is now the Princeton-Yale Title (and I could call it the Walter Camp Memorial Title), reflecting their shared dominance over the early days of college football, and while the 2004 Auburn and Utah titles were unified in last year’s Sugar Bowl, we got a new split title as none of last year’s title holders made the BCS Title Game. Also, every title now has a field listing each team’s next title defense. Missouri and USC are the only two teams with any real shot at losing their titles in Week 1, as Georgia and LSU play 1-AA (oops, “Championship Subdivision”) teams, but the 2004 Auburn-Utah and 2008 BCS titles are most likely to be unified – unless Missouri loses to Illinois and USC loses to Ohio State. (And I said that about the Princeton and Auburn titles last year, because of the same conference.) There’s an NFL analog as well, but it’s never had more than one dissenting title at a time, and there’s no split title this year.
Then there’s my College Football Rankings, my personal, non-proprietary computer rankings that aim to strip out all the bias and distrust and bring some clarity to the world of college football. The ranking formula is unchanged since last year, despite my being tempted to change the C Rating calculation from being based on conference ratings to being based on B Ratings of opponents (a change you’ll probably see next year). The conference layout of college football is also unchanged from last year, as is the fact that you won’t see any rankings until after Week 4, so the only thing different from this description is that OT games are considered to have a margin of victory of 0; the only difference between the winner and loser is being recorded as a winner and loser. That is also equivalent to a score ratio (described at the link) of 0, which gets averaged in A Rating as .5, and OT games give B Points similar to a I-AA game: only the home field modifier regardless of outcome. As exciting as college football OT is, it’s a joke and has nothing whatsoever to do with the actual play of the game. It’s more of a skills competition, akin to penalty kicks in soccer. If drives occurred the way they do in actual play, as opposed to starting within field goal range, I might give it more weight.
Next week I’ll talk about the NFL Lineal Title and talk more about the SuperPower ranking concept and why I’m not doing it this year. And tomorrow I’ve got another new college football feature.