Daily Dribble: 2/03

February 3rd, 2007

I've always the Sagarin rating was the most useful of the various computer rankings. The fact that the RPI doesn't account for the venue basically renders it meaningless.

As of now, the Sagarin Top 25 is oddly similar to the human polls.. particularly the coaches poll. 23 of the Sagarin's Top 25 are in the Coaches Top 25. The two exceptions are Georgetown and Missouri State. Georgetown is 21st in the Sagarin, but 29th in the Coaches. A sizable difference, but still in the same conversation. The other team though is Missouri State. Missouri State is 25th in the Sagarin.. but didn't even garner a single vote in the Coaches Poll. Mo State also didn't even get one vote in the AP poll, which includes more team because of the much larger pool of voters.

While the voters underrate Missouri State (or does the Sagarin overrate them?).. the voters apparently highly overrate Vanderbilt. The Sagarin just isn't that impressed with Vandy's recent run.. ranking them 53rd. The voters were a bit more persuaded though, placing them 24th in the AP and 28th in the Coaches. Which one is right? Probably neither.. my guess is that Vandy is really around the 35th-40th team in the country. Vandy's early losses still really hurt in the Sagarin, while the voters overrate wins over what really has been a rather unimpressive SEC (outside of Florida).

Some might find it problematic that the computer ratings count early games as much as later games. The selection committee of course places a lot of value on a team's last 10 games. But by placing value on the end of the season, its basically the committee's way of saying we're going to place value on BCS teams. (Ie, its basically impossible for Butler to impress in the final 10 because of who they play). The same can be said of placing value in the RPI as opposed to the Sagarin.. if you place value in results regardless of venue, you basically are just favoring the BCS teams that get to schedule home games.

Ayways, Missouri State and Vandy aren't the only disagreements between the Sagarin and the voters.

Sagarin Favors:
Missouri State
Indiana (Sagarin 12 - AP 26)
UNLV (Sagarin 22 - AP 32)
Villanova (Sagarin 29 - AP 43)

AP Favors:
Nevada (Sagarin 27 - AP 15)
Virginia Tech (Sagarin 30 - AP 16)
Alabama (Sagarin 42 - AP 19)
Stanford (Sagarin 44 - AP 23)
VCU (Sagarin 51 - AP 30)

I have my opinions of which ranking is more appropriate. Like the Sagarin, I don't think Bama belongs near the Top 25 for example. But I also favor the voters in not overrating UNLV.

Which do you think is right?