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Friday, January 25, 2013

The Inaugural Brain Trust Top 10

Here on we've introduced dozens of methods for ranking teams - Hybrid, BPR, Power, Network, EPA, cRPI, Elo, alphabetical, etc. The goal is to draw the most out of the available data and systematically/consistently evaluate teams to put them in some kind of meaningful order.

The Brain Trust Top 10 is something very different. We throw out system, consistency, meaning, even the data in some cases, and draw on a new resource - our massive intellects and the wisdom of crowds (a very small crowd, mind you, but a crowd all the same). 

The procedure: Each of the four CFBTN writers (Scott, Brent, Patrick and Matt) were invited and strongly encouraged to submit a top 10. We had no rules or guidelines, though it was implicitly recognized that we should limit ourselves to FBS teams.* Patrick drew on the Network rankings, Scott on the Hybrid rankings, and Matt and Brent represented the human polls. Teams got 10 points for a first place vote, etc. The result is a list from 1 to 10 that represents, in a vaguely undefined way, an ordering of best to worst. In other words, we made a traditional college football poll.

Alabama finished on top with 39 of 40 points. The Tide missed out of the top spot in the Network Rankings after Florida and LSU, who beat Texas A&M who beat Alabama, lost in their bowl games to sub-10 teams.

2nd through 4th were separated by only three points. Oregon slipped into the #2 spot overall with two 2nd place votes. Again, Patrick was unimpressed by the Ducks overtime loss to Stanford. Notre Dame edged out Ohio State despite the principal difference between the two resumes being Notre Dame's shallacking by Alabama.

Texas A&M was the polls most disputed team because voters were voting on two different teams. If you look at the full schedule, the Aggie's season was tarnished by two home losses. If you look at the season as a process, Texas A&M recovered from a slow start and was the, hands down, the best team in the country over the last half of the season.

The 3rd, 4th and 5th representatives from the SEC in the top 10 come in at 6th, 7th and 8th overall. Florida is followed by Kansas State, two teams that followed surprisingly successful one-loss regular seasons with embarrassing bowl losses. Kansas State was further embarrassed when Oklahoma, their trademark win, was demolished by the 190 lbs of awesome known as Johnny Manziel in the Cotton Bowl.

Florida State closed out the top 10. The ACC, Big 12, Pac-12, Big 10 and independents each have one representative in the top 10.

*On this note, I would agree with Spurrier that Alabama could beat some NFL teams . . . . as long as Spurrier was coaching. Burn, Redskin style!

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