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Topic:  Poll Nonsense

Topic:  Poll Nonsense
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DXer
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  Message Not Read  Poll Nonsense
   Posted: 10/9/2021 11:50:42 AM 
I have been against polls to rank sports teams ever since I first saw them when was in the third grade. But I know I am a lone voice out there and the sporting crowd just loves them. You just can't set up the official national standings based on subjective criteria, and especially the obvious bias of the voters. It is wrong to do so.

Well this week's college football poll is a perfect example of the bias of the voters. If team A and team B have the same record, and they have played each other with team A beating team B, then team A must be ranked higher than team B. That is total logic and common sense. But there you have it this week. Both Ohio State and Oregon have the same records at 4-1, and Oregon defeated Ohio State earlier this season. Yet the biased voters have Ohio State ranked above Oregon in this week's poll.

That is total nonsense. I know the pro-pollsters will come out with all kinds of excuses why Ohio State should be ranked higher that Oregon, but none of those excuses hold water when compared with having the same record and who won the head-to-head game.

Reminds me of the Ohio State mantra that I have heard many times over the years from Ohio State fans when they lose to a school they look down on. They will say, "Yea, I know you beat us, but we are still better than you."
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Pataskala
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  Message Not Read  RE: Poll Nonsense
   Posted: 10/9/2021 12:52:28 PM 
These polls don't look at "body of work." It's just a snapshot of the moment. That's why it's better to lose early in the season than late.

Then there's the bias against G5 teams. Unbeaten Arkansas was ranked 8th and 11th by the two polls last week. Then they were blown out by #2 Georgia, 37-0. They dropped five spots in each poll, to 13th and 16th. If an undefeated G5 team had been ranked that high and beaten 37-0 by the #2 team, they would likely drop to 20 or below, and maybe even be out of the poll. The coaches and media polls are especially bad at this but it's particularly offensive when the CFP ranking does it because it directly affects whether a team can be in the hokey playoff or even in a NY5 bowl game. And just beating another G5 team isn't good enough. The ESPN crew mentioned last night that in order to get into the playoff, Cincy has to annihilate every G5 team on their schedule. Their 52-3 win over Temple last night was just what they had to do.


We will get by.
We will get by.
We will get by.
We will survive.

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OhioCatFan
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  Message Not Read  RE: Poll Nonsense
   Posted: 10/9/2021 1:34:49 PM 
DXer wrote:
I have been against polls to rank sports teams ever since I first saw them when was in the third grade. But I know I am a lone voice out there and the sporting crowd just loves them. You just can't set up the official national standings based on subjective criteria, and especially the obvious bias of the voters. It is wrong to do so.

Well this week's college football poll is a perfect example of the bias of the voters. If team A and team B have the same record, and they have played each other with team A beating team B, then team A must be ranked higher than team B. That is total logic and common sense. But there you have it this week. Both Ohio State and Oregon have the same records at 4-1, and Oregon defeated Ohio State earlier this season. Yet the biased voters have Ohio State ranked above Oregon in this week's poll.

That is total nonsense. I know the pro-pollsters will come out with all kinds of excuses why Ohio State should be ranked higher that Oregon, but none of those excuses hold water when compared with having the same record and who won the head-to-head game.

Reminds me of the Ohio State mantra that I have heard many times over the years from Ohio State fans when they lose to a school they look down on. They will say, "Yea, I know you beat us, but we are still better than you."


+1 I agree with you 100 percent, and have made the same point myself many times.


"It is better to be an optimist and be proven a fool than to be a pessimist and be proven right."

Note: My avatar is the national colors of the 78th Ohio Veteran Volunteer Infantry, which are now preserved in a climate controlled vault at the Ohio History Connection. Learn more about the old 78th at: http://www.78ohio.org

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BillyTheCat
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  Message Not Read  RE: Poll Nonsense
   Posted: 10/10/2021 2:08:01 AM 
Better example, UC beats Indiana at Indiana and drops 7 spots. Penn State beats a them and jumps 5 sits in the rankings

Last Edited: 10/10/2021 2:09:32 AM by BillyTheCat

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bobcatsquared
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  Message Not Read  RE: Poll Nonsense
   Posted: 10/10/2021 9:21:27 AM 
Best example, ND and FSU finish the 1993 season with 1 loss each. ND defeated FSU head-to-head. FSU given the national title by the voters at the end of the season with ND finishing 2nd. Voters felt like Bobby Bowden should have a championship season.

Side note: this doesn't upset me now as much as it did back then knowing now what Lou Holtz became in retirement.
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greencat
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  Message Not Read  RE: Poll Nonsense
   Posted: 10/11/2021 6:44:01 AM 
bobcatsquared wrote:
Best example, ND and FSU finish the 1993 season with 1 loss each. ND defeated FSU head-to-head. FSU given the national title by the voters at the end of the season with ND finishing 2nd. Voters felt like Bobby Bowden should have a championship season.

Side note: this doesn't upset me now as much as it did back then knowing now what Lou Holtz became in retirement.


Retirement?

In the early 1980's Holtz taped two television advertisements from his coach's office endorsing the re-election of Jesse Helms as Senator from North Carolina at a time when Helms was leading the effort to block Martin Luther King Day from becoming a national holiday.

Holtz was already a creep long before he retired.
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bobcatsquared
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  Message Not Read  RE: Poll Nonsense
   Posted: 10/11/2021 12:46:19 PM 
Was not aware of that, Greencat. Although, based on what I know of him now, I can't say I'm surprised.
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GoCats105
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  Message Not Read  RE: Poll Nonsense
   Posted: 10/11/2021 4:19:52 PM 
The polls become more and more irrelevant with each passing week until the first CFP rankings are revealed. One writer had Ohio State at #5 and Oregon, WHO OHIO STATE LOST TO ON THEIR HOME FIELD, at #10.

Those blowouts over Rutgers and Maryland really hold a lot of weight...
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BillyTheCat
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  Message Not Read  RE: Poll Nonsense
   Posted: 10/12/2021 8:25:46 AM 
GoCats105 wrote:
The polls become more and more irrelevant with each passing week until the first CFP rankings are revealed. One writer had Ohio State at #5 and Oregon, WHO OHIO STATE LOST TO ON THEIR HOME FIELD, at #10.

Those blowouts over Rutgers and Maryland really hold a lot of weight...


More than one writer has OSU at #5.
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OU_Country
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  Message Not Read  RE: Poll Nonsense
   Posted: 10/12/2021 9:20:05 AM 
DXer wrote:
I have been against polls to rank sports teams ever since I first saw them when was in the third grade. But I know I am a lone voice out there and the sporting crowd just loves them. You just can't set up the official national standings based on subjective criteria, and especially the obvious bias of the voters. It is wrong to do so.


Herein lies a reason I don't like college football all that much anymore. It's also interesting, like you said, that much of America does, and they seemingly get sucked into all the manufactured drama that comes from this kind of stuff.
My mantra remains #CollegeFootballIsForTailgating, at least until a real and legitimate playoff is devised.
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Bobcatbob
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  Message Not Read  RE: Poll Nonsense
   Posted: 10/12/2021 3:12:07 PM 
OU_Country wrote:
DXer wrote:
I have been against polls to rank sports teams ever since I first saw them when was in the third grade. But I know I am a lone voice out there and the sporting crowd just loves them. You just can't set up the official national standings based on subjective criteria, and especially the obvious bias of the voters. It is wrong to do so.


Herein lies a reason I don't like college football all that much anymore. It's also interesting, like you said, that much of America does, and they seemingly get sucked into all the manufactured drama that comes from this kind of stuff.
My mantra remains #CollegeFootballIsForTailgating, at least until a real and legitimate playoff is devised.


I hate the current polls as well but for a totally different reason. If we’re just waiting for some insider committee to seed the CFP for us what good is a coaches or writers poll?

(Old codger tale to follow.)

Before the BCS and the CFP, the subjective polls at least had entertainment value. You could argue them endlessly in bars, even after all the bowl games had been played, and never be “wrong”. It’s just not the same now. The polls have proven themselves irrelevant, as described above.

Last Edited: 10/12/2021 3:12:28 PM by Bobcatbob

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UpSan Bobcat
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  Message Not Read  RE: Poll Nonsense
   Posted: 10/12/2021 3:42:57 PM 
DXer wrote:
I have been against polls to rank sports teams ever since I first saw them when was in the third grade. But I know I am a lone voice out there and the sporting crowd just loves them. You just can't set up the official national standings based on subjective criteria, and especially the obvious bias of the voters. It is wrong to do so.

Well this week's college football poll is a perfect example of the bias of the voters. If team A and team B have the same record, and they have played each other with team A beating team B, then team A must be ranked higher than team B. That is total logic and common sense. But there you have it this week. Both Ohio State and Oregon have the same records at 4-1, and Oregon defeated Ohio State earlier this season. Yet the biased voters have Ohio State ranked above Oregon in this week's poll.

That is total nonsense. I know the pro-pollsters will come out with all kinds of excuses why Ohio State should be ranked higher that Oregon, but none of those excuses hold water when compared with having the same record and who won the head-to-head game.

Reminds me of the Ohio State mantra that I have heard many times over the years from Ohio State fans when they lose to a school they look down on. They will say, "Yea, I know you beat us, but we are still better than you."


I agree that polls usually are bad and aren't a very good reflection of the truth. They also are mostly meaningless. I don't agree that just because one team beat another and they have the same record then that team automatically should be ranked higher. It's one game out of a whole season. One of the biggest biases voters hold is actually the opposite of what is being said. They look at one head-to-head game and take it to mean more than all the other games combined. I despise Ohio State, but you won't find one computer rating system that would put Oregon ahead of them at this point. If they played again, anywhere, the bettors would favor Ohio State. Those types of things tend to more accurate than polls. But again, none of this really matters. These polls have no bearing on anything.
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Pataskala
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  Message Not Read  RE: Poll Nonsense
   Posted: 10/12/2021 4:27:09 PM 
UpSan Bobcat wrote:
DXer wrote:
I have been against polls to rank sports teams ever since I first saw them when was in the third grade. But I know I am a lone voice out there and the sporting crowd just loves them. You just can't set up the official national standings based on subjective criteria, and especially the obvious bias of the voters. It is wrong to do so.

Well this week's college football poll is a perfect example of the bias of the voters. If team A and team B have the same record, and they have played each other with team A beating team B, then team A must be ranked higher than team B. That is total logic and common sense. But there you have it this week. Both Ohio State and Oregon have the same records at 4-1, and Oregon defeated Ohio State earlier this season. Yet the biased voters have Ohio State ranked above Oregon in this week's poll.

That is total nonsense. I know the pro-pollsters will come out with all kinds of excuses why Ohio State should be ranked higher that Oregon, but none of those excuses hold water when compared with having the same record and who won the head-to-head game.

Reminds me of the Ohio State mantra that I have heard many times over the years from Ohio State fans when they lose to a school they look down on. They will say, "Yea, I know you beat us, but we are still better than you."


I agree that polls usually are bad and aren't a very good reflection of the truth. They also are mostly meaningless. I don't agree that just because one team beat another and they have the same record then that team automatically should be ranked higher. It's one game out of a whole season. One of the biggest biases voters hold is actually the opposite of what is being said. They look at one head-to-head game and take it to mean more than all the other games combined. I despise Ohio State, but you won't find one computer rating system that would put Oregon ahead of them at this point. If they played again, anywhere, the bettors would favor Ohio State. Those types of things tend to more accurate than polls. But again, none of this really matters. These polls have no bearing on anything.


You're right, UpSan. The AP and Coaches polls are only good for giving media hacks something to write/talk about and for giving coaches some bulletin board material that we're underrated and/or they're overrated. They don't mean squat when it comes to the playoff.


We will get by.
We will get by.
We will get by.
We will survive.

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OhioCatFan
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  Message Not Read  RE: Poll Nonsense
   Posted: 10/12/2021 11:52:16 PM 
UpSan Bobcat wrote:
. . . I despise Ohio State, but you won't find one computer rating system that would put Oregon ahead of them at this point. If they played again, anywhere, the bettors would favor Ohio State. Those types of things tend to more accurate than polls. But again, none of this really matters. These polls have no bearing on anything.


You are right, but this is bat crazy. Do these computers have Meigs County Gold or something interfering with their electrons? Since losing to the Ducks, what has O$U done -- on the ropes going into the 4th Qt against the mighty Tulsa Hurricanes, beat up on two of the three worst teams in the B1G and Akron. Now, if they beat Penn State, Michigan State or Michigan, it might mean something, but right now there is no actual legitimate data you could feed a computer that would justify ranking them above Oregon, or even within a spot or two of Oregon, so either the computers or their programmers must be high on something.

Last Edited: 10/12/2021 11:55:13 PM by OhioCatFan


"It is better to be an optimist and be proven a fool than to be a pessimist and be proven right."

Note: My avatar is the national colors of the 78th Ohio Veteran Volunteer Infantry, which are now preserved in a climate controlled vault at the Ohio History Connection. Learn more about the old 78th at: http://www.78ohio.org

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BillyTheCat
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  Message Not Read  RE: Poll Nonsense
   Posted: 10/13/2021 10:07:25 AM 
A 3-3 Stanford team just beat Oregon. Hence their fall. The OSU loss was early in the year, they have changed DC's, and pollsters feel they have made improvements from the early stages of the season.
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Victory
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  Message Not Read  RE: Poll Nonsense
   Posted: 10/13/2021 1:30:18 PM 
You have to remember that not all computer systems have the same goal.

Some of them use a "predictive algorithm" where the goal is to predict the scores of future games. If you hear something called a "Power Ranking" it usually means that this is its goal. Oregon is a good team. If Oregon played Ohio State again they would have a shot to beat them. But if they did play again on a neutral field right now how many people that claim Oregon should be ranked higher would put their money where their mouth is and bet on Oregon straight up. Not many. That's why Ohio State is higher in a "Power Ranking".

IMO, this sort of thinking is not what should be the primary factor in something like playoff inclusion. When the talking heads on ESPN talk about "resumes" they are talking about something very different than a power ranking. You could rank teams in such a way that minimizes ranking teams ahead of teams that have beaten them. In the US we tend to emphasize head to head A LOT more than most other places in the world. Doing this to some extent is fine but two teams don't exist in a vacuum and if you actually have a computer rank teams based on finding that minimum you get something that is ridiculous. I wrote something about 25 years ago that explains in simple to understand terms why this is. It was floating around on the internet for a long time but, unfortunately, I don't see it anymore and never saved it myself. It was pretty dry but contained no math or anything difficult.

But ignore computers. I used to run and participate in fan polls. I found that the people who are most likely to complain on a message board about head to head in other people's polls are far, far, far and away the most likely to have the most instances of it in their own poll. Why? Because they think of specific teams in a vacuum and are not very thoughtful and attentive to everything else.

The committee's rankings are a combination of all sorts of things but it looks to me like the biggest factor by far is something called "Strength of Record". This asks how hard is it to post this record against this schedule. In a ranking like that if team A beats team B and they have the same record Team A will be ranked higher the vast majority of the time. Even in this case though you would find OSU higher than Oregon in most calculations. Ohio State's schedule so far is not elite and they have a loss and thus their own SOR usually not top 10. But the overall schedule A LOT better than Oregon's. Oregon's loss to Stanford is MUCH worse than OSU's loss to Oregon and Ohio State had three wins that are much better than any win Oregon has other than Ohio State. Oregon has played several teams Ohio might beat. The win over OSU is worth a mountain of points in an SOR ranking but they don't have much else.

Last Edited: 10/13/2021 4:03:38 PM by Victory

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UpSan Bobcat
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  Message Not Read  RE: Poll Nonsense
   Posted: 10/13/2021 1:43:42 PM 
Victory wrote:
You have to remember that not all computer systems have the same goal.



That's the key thing in any poll or ranking system. Are you deciding who is better or more deserving? Those aren't the same thing.
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Victory
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  Message Not Read  RE: Poll Nonsense
   Posted: 10/13/2021 2:30:41 PM 
UpSan Bobcat wrote:
Victory wrote:
You have to remember that not all computer systems have the same goal.



That's the key thing in any poll or ranking system. Are you deciding who is better or more deserving? Those aren't the same thing.


There is one thing that I want to bring up because someone is going to say the committee's rankings don't match up to ESPN's own SOR all that well. IMO, ESPN's SOR rankings are based on a pretty crappy definition of SOR.

ESPN FPI is a power ranking and seems totally fine to me. Computers are better at looking at a complicated big picture than a human but they also have a lot of weaknesses. Early in the season they lack game data on which they are entirely dependent. Either the results don't match human intuition early in the season or they have a preseason ranking averaged in whose weight fades away over the first 7 or 8 weeks until it is not counted at all. But in doing that you have added human bias into the system for half of the season which is one of the things that you most want to eliminate. But nearly all systems are oblivious to things such as injuries where a human can take that into account. I don't know the specifics of how FPI does this but since ESPN has access more data than most people would they take that into account. If you beat Mississippi with Matt Corrall on the bench it won't count for as much in FPI as it otherwise would.

Their SOR calculation answers the question of how difficult it is for a team of the strength generic #25 ranked team to have as good or better record against your schedule as you do. First of all the selection of #25 is arbitrary. Secondly, and most importantly, it counts "the same as" and "better than" as the same thing and ignores "worse than". My issues are more complicated than my explanation but here goes.

Imagine a team that is 0-12 against a schedule of all Top 20 teams and another who went 0-12 against FCS teams and the worst teams in the FBS. The odds of any team being "as good or better" than 0-12 against ANY schedule is 100%. So their SOR in ESPN's definition is the same. Now, since I could field a team of workers from any random local office and they would have no "difficulty" going 0-12 too if they wanted ESPN might call what I'm worried about them not including "weakness of record" or something. But it has to matter. The upshot is ESPNs algorithm forgives losses more than most other SOR calculations. A lot of the computers do match up quite well with the committee. I can think of a first committee ranking when Clemson was up and coming and they were #1 in the first poll and all of the ESPN talking heads were stunned and another about 5 years ago when Georgia was #1 over the Alabama team than ESPN analysts unanimously expected. SOR computers have gotten nearly all of the things over the years that shocked the analysts in the first committee poll correct. That's why I say it seems to be the most important thing. The committee does rank a team like Coastal Carolina last year that had a couple of good wins but otherwise defeated crap a lot worse than a computer.

Last Edited: 10/13/2021 4:03:14 PM by Victory

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GoCats105
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  Message Not Read  RE: Poll Nonsense
   Posted: 10/13/2021 3:39:01 PM 
UpSan Bobcat wrote:
Victory wrote:
You have to remember that not all computer systems have the same goal.



That's the key thing in any poll or ranking system. Are you deciding who is better or more deserving? Those aren't the same thing.


Ding, ding, ding. At some point on field results have to matter. The AP and Coaches Polls have seemingly never worried about the results as the season goes along.

Watch, if Cincinnati loses they'll plummet in the rankings to at least #12. The buoyancy of top programs in the polls is absurd. They're looking for any reason they can find to take the Bearcats out of the picture. So much as saying Notre Dame "really wasn't that good" but Cincinnati has no control over that. They dominated a Top 10 team on the road when it mattered.

Last Edited: 10/13/2021 3:40:32 PM by GoCats105

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Victory
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  Message Not Read  RE: Poll Nonsense
   Posted: 10/13/2021 4:10:16 PM 
GoCats105 wrote:
UpSan Bobcat wrote:
Victory wrote:
You have to remember that not all computer systems have the same goal.



That's the key thing in any poll or ranking system. Are you deciding who is better or more deserving? Those aren't the same thing.


Ding, ding, ding. At some point on field results have to matter. The AP and Coaches Polls have seemingly never worried about the results as the season goes along.

Watch, if Cincinnati loses they'll plummet in the rankings to at least #12. The buoyancy of top programs in the polls is absurd. They're looking for any reason they can find to take the Bearcats out of the picture. So much as saying Notre Dame "really wasn't that good" but Cincinnati has no control over that. They dominated a Top 10 team on the road when it mattered.


One thing to keep in mind is that if UC loses it will likely be to a team that isn't all that great. Even UCF coming up this week might not deserve a ranking in the top 70. So, a big drop might be in order.

I think Cincinnati has an excellent chance to run the table. However, part of the reason that I think that is that the American is weaker as a whole than it has been in recent years. That is, and should be, a double edged sword. Since the accomplishment of an unbeaten season is easier than expected, the accomplishment won't count for as much as it would have if the American contained several other borderline top 25 teams.
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OhioCatFan
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  Message Not Read  RE: Poll Nonsense
   Posted: 10/13/2021 4:42:06 PM 
GoCats105 wrote:
The buoyancy of top programs in the polls is absurd.


That's a very good way to put it. They have to commit multiple "sins" to sink; whereas, UC just has to have one mark against its record to have the air taken out of its flotation device and sink to the bottom, never to be heard from again this season.


"It is better to be an optimist and be proven a fool than to be a pessimist and be proven right."

Note: My avatar is the national colors of the 78th Ohio Veteran Volunteer Infantry, which are now preserved in a climate controlled vault at the Ohio History Connection. Learn more about the old 78th at: http://www.78ohio.org

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NIU007b
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  Message Not Read  RE: Poll Nonsense
   Posted: 10/15/2021 9:59:07 PM 
You notice that Alabama only dropped to #5. That's so if Cincinnati doesn't beat all their opponents by at least 30 points (and maybe even then) they will find a way to drop them down, like they did TCU back in the day, to make room for Alabama.
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OhioCatFan
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  Message Not Read  RE: Poll Nonsense
   Posted: 10/15/2021 10:51:20 PM 
NIU007b wrote:
You notice that Alabama only dropped to #5. That's so if Cincinnati doesn't beat all their opponents by at least 30 points (and maybe even then) they will find a way to drop them down, like they did TCU back in the day, to make room for Alabama.


Yep, that's how it works. And, if O$U loses another game, they'll probably still be ahead of Oregon and be talked about as potential playoff team if they can win the B1G championship game.


"It is better to be an optimist and be proven a fool than to be a pessimist and be proven right."

Note: My avatar is the national colors of the 78th Ohio Veteran Volunteer Infantry, which are now preserved in a climate controlled vault at the Ohio History Connection. Learn more about the old 78th at: http://www.78ohio.org

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NIU007b
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  Message Not Read  RE: Poll Nonsense
   Posted: 10/15/2021 11:39:57 PM 
OhioCatFan wrote:
NIU007b wrote:
You notice that Alabama only dropped to #5. That's so if Cincinnati doesn't beat all their opponents by at least 30 points (and maybe even then) they will find a way to drop them down, like they did TCU back in the day, to make room for Alabama.


Yep, that's how it works. And, if O$U loses another game, they'll probably still be ahead of Oregon and be talked about as potential playoff team if they can win the B1G championship game.


Yes, rationalization is a powerful thing.
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greencat
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  Message Not Read  RE: Poll Nonsense
   Posted: 10/16/2021 2:28:00 AM 
If Ohio State beats #7 Michigan / #8 Penn State / #9 Michigan State and then presumably unbeaten Iowa who today is ranked #2 (USA Today poll)....how in the world are they NOT one of the four best teams at the end and deserving of being selected for the final four? If they run the table they are deserving.

To say otherwise would simply be petty and disingenuous.
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