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The rare and difficult double, Fredgo! Have it your way. Count wins and losses, but if any of your teams on top did not out-stat their victims, I have doubts as to the veracity of their ranking.

What can I say? I dig stats. Unless you've got a team of 22 guys who are 6'8", 350 and run a 4.2 40. Then all you gotta do is kick one field goal per game and record 13 shut outs. Then you've got your Sears/Kmart/France trophy.


--Now I know that this info is not readily available and it would not be easy on the TI-35, but doesn't it give a better picture as to whether a team is truly dominating its opponents?

Good though, Jesushadatatoo, but if you do that, Michigan State will lay claim to the Number 1 ranking, despite being unranked. To hear it their way, they DOMINATED Minnesota, Michigan, AND Ohio State. But dominance doesn't count for s__t unless you can put the game in the W column.

I'd be more inclined to spread the scalp scale further, so that victories over unbeaten teams are significantly more important than victories over winless teams. How about this: scalp points same as original post, on a per game basis, but the opponents scalp score is the square of his total scalps...say divided by 100 to get it back to a reasonable number.

USC and Utah would share 121 point ratings (110x110/100), while Iowa at 86 raw scalps would see their scalp rating drop to 74 (86x86/100). A team with a single home game scalp would have a ranking of 1...not the 10 that they do today.

I also like the second scale for Div 1AA scalps. A home win against a Div 1AA team should give you fewer scalps than a Div 1A team...regardless of the record of that Div 1AA team. I don't care if Henry Ford Community College is still shouldn't count as much as beating a USC or Utah. Of course, that's the idea of the BCS "quality win" points...but let's institutionalize the scoring...make it less arbitrary.

Bottom line...bigger disincentives to scheduling patsies.


--What was Fry's secret?

If I'm not mistaken: Northern Illinois, Illinois State, and SIU-Carbondale. I think if you'll look at most of these Fry disciples, you'll see that same non-conference patsy scheduling tendency.

Years ago, Sports Illustrated asked Bo Schembechler why he didn't schedule a weaker non-conference schedule. His reply: "Hayden's got 'em all booked."

And, to you Iowa guys, just so you don't get too offended...I'll acknowledge that Michigan has had it's share of patsy pre-season warmups, too. Go Blue! And, way to go rebounding after this year's Michigan loss. Everybody else tanked after they lost to us, but not Iowa. Ferentz was quoted here saying they take it a week at a time...they don't circle any one game on the calendar. Good coaching.


Wouldn't you want the team that beat the stronger opponent to pull ahead?

If you wanted to go all out you use the type of system chess uses. In that the bigger the difference in stats between you and the opponent the bigger the effect a win or loss to them affects your score.

A grandmaster beating a pipsqueak doesn't really change his score, but if there's an upset the pipsqueak's score goes up a lot and the grandmaster's score goes down a lot.

Steven Jens

Actually, a simpler way to put it: your system takes into account the quality of the teams that a team beats, but not the quality of the teams to which a team loses.

Steven Jens

I think you misunderstood the scenario I was offering. The two teams have similar schedules, but one team loses to a bad team (beating the good one), whereas the other team beats the bad team and loses to the good one. Your system prefers the team that plays less consistently. Which you may have intended; I just want to be sure.

Go Gilbert! (My cousin kicks for them at their title game on Saturday.)


Go Boise State!!


Dude, not only was that authentic frontier jibberish, it was informative as well.

I've seen some visitor's locker rooms that looked like Turkish prisons. That was back in the day when Astroturf was still cool and you had to keep plasma on the sidelines for when the rug burns started bleeding.

I did a three-year-hitch in the late 70's (junior high) outside of Champaigne IL back when the Illini battled Northwestern to a 0-0 tie on opening day. Strangely enough, I fell in love with Big 10 football when I saw the guy in the row ahead of me drinking out of his binoculars. I really dug the Chief Illiniwic dance too.

The Big 10 season can really take a shite on your Nat Champ hopes as it has for so many teams past. And they HIT like a MUTHA in the Midwest.


Actually, Barry Alvarez was coach of powerhouse Mason City High in Iowa when Fry hired him as an assistant.

Fry's secret? Didn't have a lot of talent to work with, but knew how to mess with the other team's head. Painting visitor locker room pink, etc. One time in the warmups before a Michigan game, he deliberate had the Iowa punt snapper make a bunch of horrible practice snaps. Bo Schembechler walked up and said, "Geez, Coach, you don't really intend on using that center in the game, do you?" To which Fry replied, "Coach, we don't intend on punting."

Chuck Long? Wheaton IL, in the Chicago 'burbs.


Wow Dave,

I didn't realize that all those guys were Hayden Fry offspring.

Barry Alvarez is a coach that seems to just get it done year in a year out but I always associated him with Holtz.

What was Fry's secret?

Where did Chuck Long go to high school?


Good system does not incent running up the score per se. You're up 42 zip and your 3rd string is in - drive it down to the 10 and down in 4 times. If NAMBLA Tech can't stop you stop yourself. But if NT normally gives up 1200 yards per game:

1. Change the way you schedule
2. Make sure you gain 1500 yards.


Ohio State absolutely squeaked at Purdue the year they won the Kmart/Sears trophy. Granted they beat Miami in the Bowl game in overtime (on a questionable call). That same year they were outgained by Cincinnati and then the Bearcats took it down inside the 10 for the win before time ran out.

Was OSU the best that year? Was Miami the best that year? Can any top 10 team beat another top 10 at any given time?

Hell I don't know.

All I do know is that if you are Behemoth State and you schedule Nancy Boy U, when your 3rd string gets in they are going to go full out and the score is going to be 70-0.


Cat - Note that the way I set it up, there is a severe penalty for playing D-IAA teams - beating a non D-IA team has no scalp value, unless that team has actually beaten a D-IA team. That's why you see Auburn at a somewhat low rank; while they have beaten Tennessee and Georgia, most of their wins have been over patsies, including Citadel. If I modify the scalp points so that a home win over a D-IAA team is worth 8 points, the top 10 is now

1 Oklahoma 1137
2 USC 1089
3 Utah 978
4 Texas 974
5 Auburn 971
6 Mich 960
7 ASU 896
8 FSU 872
9 Iowa 868
10 Boise 866


Big Al Jesus - Yup, Stoops is a good Ohio boy. Truth told, I was really depressed when Iowa didn't snatch him as coach when they had the chance. Stoops belongs to the fraternity of D1-A Head Coaches who were Hayden Fry assistants or players -

Bob Stoops - OU
Kirk Ferenz - Iowa
Mike Stoops - Arizona
Barry Alvarez - Wisconsin
Bill Snyder - KSU
Dan McCarney - Iowa State
Mark Mangino - Kansas

And that doesn't count Lou Holtz (South Carolina), who was an Iowa Asst. Coach back in the 60's. I'll bet that former Hawkeyes Bret Bielema (Wisconsin Def. Coordinator), Chuck Long (OU Off. Coord.) and Jonathan Hayes (OU Asst.) will all get Head Coach gigs within the next few years.

The Cat

Hey I like the scalp idea! I agree that Div 1A scalps will need to be normalized. I think there also ought to be some "big penalty" for losing to a non Div-1A team. Maybe loss of 20% of the accumulated scalps up to that point in the season (But you would still have the rights to the rest of the seasons accumulated scalps.) This way, a late season loss would be incredibly devastating to a good team, whereas an early loss would not be particularly devastating.
Giving a team an incentive to run up the score against another team is just dumb.


Ouch Dude,

F##k sportsmanship, if Nebraska normally gives up 500 yds per game, Stoops better at least gain 700 by running halfback passes, triple reverses, fake ball spike fade routes et al.

And of course you know Stoops hails from the Mahoning Valley with the likes of other greats - Tressell, Tyson, etc.

Anyway, I warned you about the lameness. I just watch to see if a fight breaks out before the game.


Well, I don't know about this. Just because the Razorbacks didn't win anything, doesn't mean they aren't good enough to go to the cotton bowl. Do teams get points deducted for felonies commited and vice versa?

Also, keeping score just makes the losers feel bad. Where is your watchacallit...compassion?


Big Al Jesus -

who cares about the offensive stats (especially the stupidest stat of all time, "time of possession")? As the youngsters say: scoreboard, baby. The thing I proposed is completely determined by who wins, not by how much; spirit of sportsmanship and all that. There would be no reason for Oklahoma to be throwing bombs on Nebraska, up 30-0 late in the game. I like Bob Stoops (he was a college classmate) but that was some lame shit.

Steven Jens -

Read it through again. It almost entirely depends on the quality of your opponent. If Enormous State beats Wyoming Muffler & Brake, and Wyoming M&B doesn't win a game all season, that win to Enormous State is valueless; Wyo M&B's "scalp value" is zero. The principle reason Auburn is low in the above example is that until recently they have played at slate packed with tomato cans - Citadel, LA-Monroe, Miss St., Arkansas, etc. As for the 12-game issue, good point. For teams that play a 12th game, you could normalize their score by multiplying by 11/12.

Jim - Still, you need to select 16 teams (who's number 16?) and seed them.

Mr. Bingley

playoffs, dangit


Howzabout a 8-16 team playoff to determine the best team? Or is that too unmysterious?

Heck, it works in HS school, all other college divisions and the NFL... why not NCAA Div 1A?

Steven Jens

So if two teams have similar schedules and identical records, one loss each, you prefer the team that blew one against Pipsqueak State to the one that lost a good game against Oklahoma?

Also note that your system, by only counting wins and not losses, favors teams with conference title games (or, generally, teams that play more games). A typical 11-1 team might deserve more respect than a typical 10-1 team, but the same amount of respect as a 11-0 team?

If they wanted a simple objective system, they could just use the RPI that the NCAA basketball selection committee uses.

Incidentally, while I agree with you that the computers are probably less biased than the humans, I suspect the real goal of the BCS is to prevent the AP and Coaches from choosing different top teams. The system was clearly not designed to do this very well, but it's my impression that that's the goal. If this is the case, a top ranking in either poll should be an automatic bid, and any point system should be used only if the polls agree.


I know absolutely nothing about how the BCS ranking is calculated and I played Div 1 Football in the Midwest for 4 years 20 lbs/years ago.

This may make me a good test monkey for this. You're a goddam genius Gump and I'm wondering if you can play around with a teams performance against their opponent's:

Offensive stats - Total yards gained
Defensive stats - Total yards allowed

I may be way off here but it seems to me that if you rank teams by how much they exceed their opponents' stats in these areas it might give another perspective of their actual strength.


Auburn beats Alabama 35-7

Alabama's stats (fictional)

Offense - 224 per game
Defense - 244 per game

Auburns stats for the victory

Offense - 276 total yards exceeded by 32 yards or 13%

Defense - 195 total yards exceeded by 29 yards or 13%

Now I know that this info is not readily available and it would not be easy on the TI-35, but doesn't it give a better picture as to whether a team is truly dominating its opponents?

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