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Topic: OT - Did going 7-1 in its bowls prove the B1G is the best conference?

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Entropy

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Re: OT - Did going 7-1 in its bowls prove the B1G is the best conference?
« Reply #28 on: January 04, 2018, 03:17:09 PM »
bowls are an evidence point...   not the only evidence point...


MarqHusker

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Re: OT - Did going 7-1 in its bowls prove the B1G is the best conference?
« Reply #29 on: January 04, 2018, 03:40:20 PM »
In that scenario, maybe, but that's a whole lot different than getting "bumped" from an MNC game to a NYD game against another top team.
Indeed.  There was non-stop grousing by KSU players following their sentence to the bowels of bowl-tierdom following that loss to A&M.   KSU had been passed over by higher tier bowls in a couple other years as well (when nobody noticed)but usually ended up playing with a chip, and I think the '98 snub was too much to handle, particularly when you're one bounce/OT from being in the BCS title game..   Purdue was game for the opportunity.

betarhoalphadelta

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Re: OT - Did going 7-1 in its bowls prove the B1G is the best conference?
« Reply #30 on: January 04, 2018, 04:40:22 PM »
x% of the time, there's going to be a letdown.  Now I'm not suggesting it's 100% of the time, and anyone suggesting it happens 0% of the time is wrong.  
Agreed here. Some of these results are our way to explain normal variance, but I guarantee that teams not being "up" for a lesser game is definitely a non-zero portion of the explanation of these results. 

betarhoalphadelta

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Re: OT - Did going 7-1 in its bowls prove the B1G is the best conference?
« Reply #31 on: January 04, 2018, 05:06:13 PM »
BTW while agreed with OAM above that these "let down" and "didn't really care about a lesser game" narratives are sometimes valid, I wanted to make a separate point about these narratives.

Humans are REALLY good at coming up with stories. We're phenomenal at it. I highly recommend the book Sapiens, which chronicles the break in history where homo sapien basically differentiated ourselves from the other early humans around ~150,000 years ago and took over. One of the key points is our ability to believe fiction. I.e. that money (little green scraps of paper) has value based purely on the myth that we've built up that it is valuable. This was something that the neanderthals and others didn't appear to have.

Only problem is that this talent causes us to create narratives where none exist. We desperately want to create a story that neatly explains what we see, when sometimes a story doesn't exist (or flat out contradicts the true reasons something happen).

Sometimes the ball bounces funny. Sometimes a team does the right things and ends up with the wrong result. Sometimes a team does the wrong things but through chance achieves the right result. 

This is why I don't put stock in the "7-1 record proves the B1G is the best conference." It's us trying to create a narrative out of a bunch of results that could just as easily have been a product of randomness. As @nuwildcat mentioned in the OP, 4 of the 7 wins were one-score games. A few different bounces [as I pointed out in the Purdue game] could have easily swung all 4 to the loss column by random chance, and we're getting blasted by ESPN for being 3-5 and hearing about how the B1G is down.

So yes, sometimes the narrative we create, i.e. that Auburn was let down because they thought they'd be in the CFP but instead they had to play Directional U in a lesser bowl, are correct. I don't know if it's true or not true in this case. It's one data point.

If you want to assign something to the narrative, you have to:

  • Look at the history of bowl games perhaps over the last 25 years. 
  • Identify all bowl games over that span that fall into this category, where a team would be expected to have a letdown. 
  • Evaluate whether you've identified enough bowl games and set the selection criteria stringently enough to know whether your result is statistically significant.
  • Evaluate based on the known relative strength of their team and the opponents what the expected results would be in these matchups (whether based on computer simulation, whether based on historical performance of schools of those relative strength, etc). 
  • Compare actual results to expected. Do they show a trend within statistically significant values?

If you get ALL that done, it still hasn't proven anything. It's suggested that within a certain confidence interval related to how statistically significant the result is, how likely it's a trend and how likely it's merely random chance. Because you can never really know.

Until then, we're all just talking out of our butts.

847badgerfan

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Re: OT - Did going 7-1 in its bowls prove the B1G is the best conference?
« Reply #32 on: January 04, 2018, 05:39:45 PM »
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rolltidefan

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Re: OT - Did going 7-1 in its bowls prove the B1G is the best conference?
« Reply #33 on: January 04, 2018, 05:49:38 PM »
Very well said.  HOwever, putting two teams in the national championship game certainly gives the SEC its bragging rights as well.  
So to me it's about defintion - 'Best' meaning strongest top to bottom?  Big Ten.  'Best' meaning best teams?  I think that's gotta be the SEC (Auburn included).  
i agree with oam.
the bowl results just add a little to what i already believed to be the case.
as for the top/best teams, sec obviously has a claim. but b1g could jsut as easily make similar claim. their top 3 (wisky, osu, psu, no order) are all at least comparable to the top 3 sec teams (bama, uga, au, no order) and i could see games between them going any number of ways.

medinabuckeye1

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Re: OT - Did going 7-1 in its bowls prove the B1G is the best conference?
« Reply #34 on: January 04, 2018, 10:37:57 PM »
LoL

TyphonInc

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Re: OT - Did going 7-1 in its bowls prove the B1G is the best conference?
« Reply #35 on: January 05, 2018, 10:13:54 AM »
heh

Hawkinole

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Re: OT - Did going 7-1 in its bowls prove the B1G is the best conference?
« Reply #36 on: January 14, 2018, 01:14:29 AM »
Ehh. I don't rank conferences by bowl results. I usually downplay it the years that the B1G does badly, so I'm not exactly going to beat my chest over our results this year.

These bowl games are limited data points, but I take a different view. So many P-5 schools play weak nonconference schedules. I believe the bowl schedule to be the most valid data points.
Until about 3-years ago I believe bowl results accurately showed the Big Ten to be what it was. Weak. It is now much stronger.
Here is a good article with the nonconference schedules of P-5 teams. The Big Ten had some great looking nonconference opponents scheduled such as Okla. at Ohio St., Notre Dame/MSU, and Michigan/Florida (which b4 the season started Fla looked like it might be better opponent for Michigan than Cincinnati). But, there were not a lot of what I would describe as great looking opponents scheduled.
https://www.cbssports.com/college-football/news/ranking-2017-college-football-nonconference-strength-of-schedule/
« Last Edit: January 14, 2018, 01:21:51 AM by Hawkinole »

Cincydawg

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Re: OT - Did going 7-1 in its bowls prove the B1G is the best conference?
« Reply #37 on: January 14, 2018, 05:51:40 PM »
Bowl results never "prove" anything IMHO.  As noted, they add some data.  I would call the Big Ten the strongest conference this past season based on several things.  But, there are so few real OOC games and the bowl games can be weird that this COULD be completely wrong.

UK hung in with NW after losing their best player.  Does that mean anything?  Beats me.  UK has a half decent team.  Maybe NW was not motivated enough.  Did UM "let up" against USCe?  Perhaps.  USCe is also a half decent team.  I had NW and UM winning both.  

Your bowl opponent may be a very unfamiliar style team and the bowl environment can be "unusual".  I think UCF had more speed than Auburn expected and they were stunned by it.

But the Big Ten had more solidly good teams IMHO than anyone else.  The Big 12 had one, the ACC had one, the SEC had two, the Pac had perhaps none, and the Big Ten had 3-4.

OrangeAfroMan

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Re: OT - Did going 7-1 in its bowls prove the B1G is the best conference?
« Reply #38 on: January 14, 2018, 06:35:26 PM »
If you want to assign something to the narrative, you have to:

  • Look at the history of bowl games perhaps over the last 25 years.
  • Identify all bowl games over that span that fall into this category, where a team would be expected to have a letdown.
  • Evaluate whether you've identified enough bowl games and set the selection criteria stringently enough to know whether your result is statistically significant.
  • Evaluate based on the known relative strength of their team and the opponents what the expected results would be in these matchups (whether based on computer simulation, whether based on historical performance of schools of those relative strength, etc).
  • Compare actual results to expected. Do they show a trend within statistically significant values?

If you get ALL that done, it still hasn't proven anything. It's suggested that within a certain confidence interval related to how statistically significant the result is, how likely it's a trend and how likely it's merely random chance. Because you can never really know.

Until then, we're all just talking out of our butts.
Well, let's see....going back 25 years,
the first end-of-season letdown was in 1996.  Nebraska lost the BigXII CG to underdog Texas.  UNL was in line to play #1 FSU in the Sugar Bowl, for a chance at a NC.  
Nebraska beat underdog VT by 20 points, so no letdown.
Then in 1998, we had a bunch of fun.  #2 UCLA pooped the bed @ unranked Miami in its last regular season game.  It lost its bowl to Wisconsin in the Rose.  
Next team up, Kansas State, lost the XII CG in an upset, then lost the Alamo to unranked Purdue.  Those are 2 biggies in the letdown camp.  UCLA and KSU started the year a combined 21-0 and ended 0-4.
Skip ahead to 2001....we have another pair of bed-poopers, including my Gators.  Due to 9/11, big games were rescheduled to early Dec.  #2 Florida, in line to face Miami for the NC, lost to Tennessee while both were top-5.  Florida misses the SECCG and plays Maryland in the Orange.  Florida wins by 33 - no letdown.
The following week, the Vols suffer an upset loss in the SECCG to LSU.  No NCG shot.  They play Michigan in the Citrus and win by 28, but was favored big.  No letdown.
2003 is an odd case.  #1 Oklahoma loses the XII CG big to #13 KSU...yet still makes it into the NCG.  They lose to LSU, but they got into the game anyway, so it doesn't register here.  Just wanted to explain it out.
2006 - The Game....#2 Michigan loses to #1 OSU.  They don't get a rematch in the NCG, but play #8 USC in the Rose.  The favored Wolverines lose by 14.  Letdown.  
2007 - Whoa Nellie.....#2 Kansas (WTF?) loses its last game to #3 Mizzou - no XII CG, no NCG...just a date with underdog VT in the Orange Bowl.  The Jayhawks win, no letdown.
New #1 Missouri loses to #9 OU in the XII CG.  They drop to the Cotton Bowl to underdog Arkansas and win by 31.  No letdown.
Subsequent #2 West Virginia poops all over, in, and on the bed, losing to unranked Pitt in the last game of the regular season.  Plays strong OU in the Fiesta, wins by 20.  No letdown.
2008 - SECCG pits #1 Bama vs #2 Florida, with the Gators winning.  Bama settles for the Sugar Bowl vs undefeated, underdog Utah and loses by 14 points.  Letdown.  
2009 - virtual repeat of 2008, SECCG pits #1 Florida vs #2 Bama, with the Tide rolling.  Florida settles for the Sugar Bowl vs #4 undefeated, underdog Cincinnati.  However, Florida drills them by 27.  No letdown.
***this is a hard one to quantify for me, as Cinci was top5, but had a major talent disparity with UF.
2011 - #3 Arkansas has dream matchup @ #1 LSU in last game of season.  Razorbacks get pasted - no SECCG, no NCG.  Play #11 in Cotton, win by 13.  No letdown.
2012 - Oregon and KSU nearly qualify for this, but lose a week too early and win their final, pre-bowl games, so meh.
2013 - 12-0 Ohio State rolls into the B10CG vs #10 MSU and loses, knocking them out of the NCG picture.  The Buckeyes wind up in the Orange vs underdog Clemson.  OSU loses by 5 in a letdown.
#1 Alabama faces #4 Auburn in the Iron Bowl and loses, so no SECCG or NCG.  Bama winds up in the Sugar Bowl vs underdog OU and loses by 14.  Letdown.
2014 - I'm going to include TCU here - who dropped out of the top 4 playoff teams after winning big in their last game.  So they get sent to the Peach Bowl vs #9 Ole Miss and destroy them.  No, they didn't lose on the cusp of something big, but they had the grand prize yanked out of their grasp and still had to go out and play an "other" bowl game.  No letdown.  
2015 - Iowa.  #4, aligned to be in the playoff, they lose the B10CG to Sparty, which knocks them out.  They have to play #5 Stanford in the Rose Bowl where they're spanked by 29 points.  If it was a close loss between similarly ranked teams, that'd be fine.  But getting rocked = letdown.
#4 ND loses their last game vs Stanford, eliminating them from the playoff.  They go on to play #7 OSU in the Fiesta and lose by 16.  Letdown.
2016 - Michigan.  #3 UM loses @ #2 OSU in the Game.  Winds up in the Orange Bowl vs #10 FSU, losing by 1 point.  I don't know if this qualifies as a letdown, but I do know UM was the favorite.  
2017 - Wisconsin is 5th, but teams above them will lose, so the B10 is a playoff play-in game for them.  The Badgers lose, then must play #11 Miami in the Orange Bowl.  They beat the Canes by 10.  No letdown.
Auburn, with 2 losses is still in line for the playoff.  But they lose to UGA in the SECCG and are out.  They end up in the Peach vs undefeated, underdog UCF.  The Tigers lose by 7.  Letdown.
I may have missed one here or there, but there's plenty here.  If we include TCU in 2014 and not 2016 Michigan, we end up with 19 instances of a team in line for a potential conference/national championship at the end of the regular season lost that chance and still had to get motivated for a bowl game.
Out of those 19, I've considered 9 letdowns, based on bowl opponent, margin of win/loss, and favorite/underdog.  So while it's not a certainty, these teams were most often the favorite and only went 10-9, which is probably worse than one would expect.  I'm confident that more-talented teams lose games they shouldn't when it's directly following the elimination of their highest goals late in the season.  
This data shows that it's obviously not going to automatically happen all the time, but it is a thing.  It would be less of a thing if these were 30 year olds and not 20 year olds.  I do wonder if it would more or less of a thing if the bowls were played the very next week instead of a month down the road.  
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847badgerfan

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Re: OT - Did going 7-1 in its bowls prove the B1G is the best conference?
« Reply #39 on: January 14, 2018, 07:10:50 PM »
Bowl results never "prove" anything IMHO.  As noted, they add some data.  I would call the Big Ten the strongest conference this past season based on several things.  But, there are so few real OOC games and the bowl games can be weird that this COULD be completely wrong.

UK hung in with NW after losing their best player.  Does that mean anything?  Beats me.  UK has a half decent team.  Maybe NW was not motivated enough.  Did UM "let up" against USCe?  Perhaps.  USCe is also a half decent team.  I had NW and UM winning both.  

Your bowl opponent may be a very unfamiliar style team and the bowl environment can be "unusual".  I think UCF had more speed than Auburn expected and they were stunned by it.

But the Big Ten had more solidly good teams IMHO than anyone else.  The Big 12 had one, the ACC had one, the SEC had two, the Pac had perhaps none, and the Big Ten had 3-4.
NU lost its best player too, FYI, in Q2.

Clayton Thorson. He's good. Really good. And he is the QB. And the correct Wildcats won.
U RAH RAH! WIS CON SIN!

FearlessF

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Re: OT - Did going 7-1 in its bowls prove the B1G is the best conference?
« Reply #40 on: January 14, 2018, 09:42:35 PM »
UCF didn't hide their speed

if Auburn was stunned, that was their fault
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847badgerfan

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Re: OT - Did going 7-1 in its bowls prove the B1G is the best conference?
« Reply #41 on: January 15, 2018, 07:25:07 AM »
UCF didn't hide their speed

if Auburn was stunned, that was their fault
Yep. One of the UCF players even came out and said Auburn wouldn't be ready for their speed. That should have been on the bulletin board.
U RAH RAH! WIS CON SIN!

 

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