SPORTS BREAK: The widely respected Sagarin rankings!


How the conferences stand:
In this morning's New York Times, Marc Tracy refers to "[t]he widely respected [Jeff] Sagarin rankings, which attempt to rate teams according to the strength of their schedule."

Sagarin's computer currently ranks Central Florida number 13 in the nation. On campus, the school is claiming that it's national champion after defeating Auburn.

As a point of interest, here's the way Sagarin's computer has the five "power conferences" ranked (Central Mean statistic). We'll include Central Florida's less august AAC:
Sagarin computer rankings by conference:
Big 12: 78.45
ACC: 78.29
Big 10: 78.25
SEC: 77.12
Pac-12: 76.07

AAC: 66.25
We know, we know! With Alabama playing Georgia for the national title, you think that SEC ranking doesn't make sense. (In recent years, the SEC and the Pac-12 have tended to top the conference rankings in the Sagarin system.)

In fact, the SEC went 11-13 on the year in games against other Power 5 conference teams (plus Notre Dame). After its wipe-out in the bowl games, an obvious consequence of player concern about Donald J. Trump, the Pac-12 ended up 8-10 on the season.

We've never been able to figure out the basics of the widely respected Sagarin system. For that matter, we've never understood why the Big 10 has fourteen teams, while the Big 12 has just ten.

Starting with the coaches' salaries, college football is driven by funky numbers. But that's where Sagarin's numbers stand in this, an unusual year.

Ain't college football grand: Central Florida really has its priorities straight:
TRACY (1/4/18): The university’s president, John C. Hitt, congratulated “our undefeated, national champion Knights.” White announced the Knights would hang a national championship banner and pay the team’s coaches their national championship bonuses. Josh Heupel, the incoming head coach, tweeted about how excited he was “to defend our national title.” (Scott Frost, who led the Knights to this season’s 13 wins, is leaving to coach Nebraska.)
Despite the school's lack of a national championship, President Hitt is paying national championship bonuses to Central Florida's coaches.

Elsewhere, college finances are a mess. Tuitions are rising, as is student debt—and yes, Central Florida is a public state school.

President Hitt replies, "What, us worry?" Ain't college football grand?


  1. It may be they don't want another university to poach their coach. The reality is that a winning school team helps a university by attracting more prospective students. This is important to state schools as well as private ones. Universities are seeing foreign student enrollments decline because of Trump's immigration policies and the perceived political climate for international students in the US. So this makes a kind of financial sense.

    1. Well, it says that the coach is leaving to coach Nebraska, so it's extra ridiculous.

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