I meant to post something a few weeks ago, but real life interfered and now I'm behind.

I love college football. Big school, small schools, intermediate schools. The fans at the games are usually pretty enthusiastic, and the players themselves are trying hard, at the very worst. Only a small proportion of the players will ever make it into the professional ranks, and most of them know it. For those players, they know that college football is, at best, a way to get their degree paid for.

One of the things that has always bothered me is the ways the NCAA has used to determine the "champion" of what used to be called Division IA, the bigger schools, mostly. For decades, it was a popularity vote amongst coaches and/or sportswriters and commentators. Teams that had good records but hadn't been seen by the voters sometimes had reasonable objections to their place on the polls. Teams that pointed to their winning records sometimes glossed over the caliber of the opponents. Teams that racked up huge point totals against low caliber opponents were considered better than teams that won by a single over a team that was equal to, or better, on the polls. Now, there's a sort-of championship game, between the two highest ranked teams in, well, polls. (We won't go into why there should be playoffs. Yet.)

A few years ago, I began keeping track using a points system I devised. (Whether the big computer gurus use something similar or not, I have no idea.) The systems goes like this:

1. Every time a team wins a game, they receive one (1) point.
2. If the losing team has won *any* games prior to their loss, the winner gets points equal to that total. A victory over a 10-0 team gains you ten (10) extra points. A victory over an 0-10 team gains you zero (0) extra points.
3. If the losing team was ranked, the winner gets extra points in these values:
1 = 25
2 = 24
3 = 23
4 = 22
5 = 21
6 = 20
7 = 19
8 = 18
9 = 17
10 = 16
11 = 15
12 = 14
13 = 13
14 = 12
15 = 11
16 = 10
17 = 9
18 = 8
19 = 7
20 = 6
21 = 5
22 = 4
23 = 3
24 = 2
25 = 1

Every week for the first four weeks of the season, I average the rankings from the USA Today and AP Polls to get a team's ranking for this system. If a team is on one poll but not the other, I give a ranking of "26" to use in the averaging. Starting the fifth weekend, I simply use the points total to determine rankings. I also use Bowl and conference championship games to add to the points rankings.

Later tonight or tomorrow I'll post the first and second week point rankings.

Hope some of you find this interesting.

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Comment by Wayne Roberts on September 23, 2009 at 12:31am
We've actually used NCAA Football to play out a tourney - each conference champion gets a spot, the best record of the independents gets a spot, and then the four top-ranked, non-champion teams get a spot, bringing it to a 16 team playoff. No byes. The first round games are home games, and the remainder are at bowl game sites. It's a lot of fun, and there have been some interesting results. For example, last year, the championship game was between Texas and USC, with Texas winning 12-10. Safeties in the final minute are a pain. :)
Comment by Jim Werbaneth on September 20, 2009 at 8:52pm
This is a great idea! I really think we need a national playoff though, a final championship similar to what we have in basketball (though necessarily with a smaller field).

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