Kenneth Massey: The Man, the Myth, the BCS Buster
The BCS. We all hate it, it's bad, it doesn't work, we need a playoff or a plus-1 or something. Yeah, old news.
What some of you may not know is the full story behind who is really selecting our national champions. Beneath the USA Today polls, and the Harris Interactive polls, lies a list of six computer polls. These polls take statistical data and, from there, pick the best teams to represent the NCAA in the BCS.
Meet Kenneth Massey. The Bluefield College grad who turned his passion for running the numbers into something more. From Roanoke, Va., this man sits in his office and is one of the six computer whizzes who calculates who should be the best teams in the country.
As we agree and disagree and argue about the AP and USA Today polls, we fail to look at the other factors, polls like the Massey Ratings, (you know, the polls that REALLY matter).
After the 2007 season, LSU was the national champ. Ohio State, the No. 2 team before the beating from the Tigers, dropped from second to eighth. Nothing crazy. But take a look and you'll see a few variations from the top 25.
Now take a look at this season. Because these polls are so important to the future of the BCS, let's look at who is atop the polls going into Week Four:
- Monmouth IL—A Division 3 team that's 3-0.
- East Carolina
- Loras—A Division 3 team that's 1-1, up 443 spots from last week
- Lawrence—A Division 3 team that's 0-1, somehow up 289 spots from last week
- Wake Forest
- North Carolina
- South Florida
- West Virginia—I mean, they did only lose to the No. 2 team according to this logic
It's nice to know that we will have a little variety in the BCS National Championship game with Monmouth facing off against East Carolina.
So is this telling me that if Monmouth IL never loses and maintains its hard schedule, that it will stay No. 1 until it is taken down?
This poll usually evens itself out by the end of the year, but still places the occasional team outside of where it should be. At the end of the regular season in 2006, Springfield, a Division 2 team, was in the top 25, and had bumped someone else out.
Also, who needs the USC-Ohio State game when you can have the No. 45 Troy vs. No. 100 Ohio State game? Who knew that the Auburn-LSU game was really No. 24 Auburn vs. No. 102 LSU? Oklahoma is No. 2 in the AP Poll? Who cares?—it's No. 36 in the Massey Poll, just ahead of Ball State, and just behind TCU.
Moral: Computer polls are useless. As of now, we have three Division 3 teams in the top four. USC, Oklahoma, Georgia? No way, they suck...
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