Your Record Doesn’t Define You

Every year it’s the same story lines and every year I can’t stand it. Some surprise team has managed to eke out some close wins and all of a sudden they are the toast of the town. Then this feel good story has a date with reality and the entire world is shocked that they lost.

It’s a joke and if people would just get into the mindset of evaluating the quality of a team instead of simply looking at their record we could have a much better grasp on reality. Unfortunately, reality is counter to the hype machine’s goal of creating controversy and having shocking results. Fact is that the media thrives on chaos (election last year anyone?).

If we took an objective approach heading into last week there are two game results that wouldn’t have shocked us at all.

Michigan State is not an elite football team. They have a great coach and they play hard, but they lack talent and can’t compete with the best in college football. Going into their game with Ohio State last week the Spartans were #12 in the CFB Playoff Rankings, one spot ahead of Ohio State. So how about that 48 to 3 score? Everyone has a game where they come out flat, but you don’t lose by 45 points to a team that’s in your peer group. Michigan State comes in at #40 in this week’s SSA power rankings, Ohio State is #2.

Georgia is an elite football team, but at no point were they the best team in college football. The committee does have a different set of evaluation criteria, so I didn’t mind seeing Georgia at #1 in the playoff ratings even though they weren’t the best team in the country. Auburn is an elite football team as well and besides one bad half of football at LSU, they have been dominant this year. Also remember that Auburn was at home. Sometimes games get away from you and the scoreboard doesn’t look right, but fact was going into that game Auburn had a really good chance of coming out on top. In this week’s power ratings Georgia is #10 and Auburn is #3.

If you want a full glass of reality you can gulp down the entire set of SSA Power Rantings by clicking here.

Follow Jordan on Twitter @JDSports84

About Jordan Sundheim 83 Articles
Jordan Sundheim is a veteran of the sports analytics field with a background in both athletics and statistics. He earned his master's at Duke, coached football at Stanford, and was part of the data science team at NCSA.