Tuesday, September 06, 2005

The Charles Rogers Theorem

Mike Elkon of Braves & Birds fame has a column up at collegefootballnews.com dated last thursday where he provides a road map for picking overrated teams, and then picks a couple. I'm late but it's a good read and he's been saying this stuff for years. If you comment about it nicely on his blog, he may even post his "picking an NCAA champion" rules - which should be revisted (I'm wondering how the past 3-4 champions looked under them) but were pretty interesting a couple of years back.

I link to this for two reasons - Elkon's a good guy and a good writer and it's a good read if you happen to stumble across this page and have never seen his or CFN. But also because he touches on a point that's very near and dear to me.

There are a number of things people generally don't approach rationally. The tendency to weight the latter parts of the season, as well as bowl results, is a good exmaple of this and something to always be wary of. The "spring-board bowl game" thing is something I have especially become a big fan of in recent years, because it really doesn't make a lick of sense. I do think playing in a bowl game is imporant - you get extra practice and it's often good extra work for young guys before spring (and hey, you get benjamins to do it).

Playing in bowl games is certainly *fun* (unless you get trounced). But past performance is not necessarily a good predictor of future outcomes. The national media often treats bowl wins as important for the coming season: it needs to stop doing it.

Anyway, it may prove that the theorem will need modifying. I suspect there is something to having good coaching - Ferentz would seem to overqualify here - and maybe that can help mitigate certain factors. Auburn last year got good line play, so while the skill positions did get a ton of hype, that amy have just been the media (typically) focusing on all the wrong things.


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