November 02, 2006

Inside the BCS with Wesley Colley of Colley Matrix

Wesley Colley possesses a curriculum vitae that any mathematician should envy. The rest of us envy his role in college football as his Colley Rankings make up part of the Official BCS computer rankings.

My favorite part of his site is that there are no secrets - he outlines his entire method on a white paper for all to behold.

I reached out to Wesley via e-mail to discuss the current state of the game.

Vince Mullins: How big an impact on your system (and to the BCS) was the huge USC upset loss this weekend?
Wesley Colley: It was obviously a major upset, but may not take USC out of the title hunt (from the computer perspective, at least), since there's still a real possibility that a one-loss team will play for the title. Probably the thing that most people don't understand is that USC's loss doesn't have all that much bearing on most teams' rankings, because they were beaten by another Pac-10 team.
VM: What were some unexpected results of the USC loss on other school's standings?
WC: Since the Pac-10 still plays a round-robin, the teams most directly affected, get the benefit of Oregon State's bump (by season's end anyway).
VM: #3 West Virginia travels to #5 Louisville for the biggest game of the week on Thursday...walk us through the different possible results to your rankings.
Right now: UL = #8, WVU = #12
UL win => UL #3, WVU #15
WVU win => UL #13, WVU #6
VM: How difficult is the Big East conference, given that there are as of this writing three undefeated teams (WVU, U of L, and Rutgers)?
WC: They've done pretty well out-of-conference this year, at 26-8 against I-A. I detail conference strength here, so I don't have much reason to question them. Of course, the big 3 all have yet to play each other, so we'll find out a lot more when those things unfold.
VM: Another Top 13 matchup is #13 LSU at #8 Tennessee - with Auburn and Florida in the top 13 as well, is it simply a "highly improbable outcome" to expect an SEC team to be undefeated and challenge for the National Championship in any year?
WC: LSU won the BCS 3 years ago, and Auburn went undefeated 2 years ago, so I'd say no. Auburn caught a very unlucky break that for the first time since the 70's, three teams went undefeated. Barring another once-a-generation event like that, and SEC team that goes undefeated will usually make the title game.

1 comment:

Vince said...

Louisville's big win, plus if Florida wins, should put them #3 and #4 in the BCS poll.