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Sunday, October 21, 2012

How Could They Have Ranked West Virginia So Highly?

This question is more interesting to me than you might guess because it involves expert consensus, group think, and such.

My problem is this: After beating Baylor 70-63 and Texas 48-45, West Virginia was ranked fourth in the country in one poll and fifth in the other. This was a team that had just given up 108 points in their last two games. Now, I am no football expert, but I said to my son, "No way is W.V. the fourth best team in the country: they can't play defense. All that has to happen is for [QB] Geno Smith to have an average day and they will be crushed."

Well, the last two games Smith did not play as well, and W.V. lost 49-14 and 55-14. (Surrendering 212 points in their last four games!) If this was obvious to me, it had to be obvious to the genuine experts voting. But for some reason, they couldn't vote on this: it seems only the win-loss record could inform their vote. But in that case, why vote? Just have a computer do the job.

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