An Experiment in Ranking: Part 1

The BCS computer rankings and the various other human polls this week have come out and caused a lot of dissension among many posters here, among other places. I think the biggest bone of contention for most of these rankings is the lack of objectivity; that is, many people think the rankings are too subjective. Now, this is obviously very crude, but I just wanted to see if it was possible to objectively rank teams, so I tried to set up an experiment. I'm not a mathematician or statistician by any means (I guess that makes me qualified to work for the BCS), but I do have a degree in political science, for what it's worth.

INSTRUCTIONS: I made up these numbers for the purposes of this experiment, so that's why they don't look realistic since they are all round numbers. What you need to do is to pick between TEAM A and TEAM B as to which you think is the better team based on the numbers in the chart below. Team A and Team B both played and won home games against the opponents, TEAM X and TEAM Y. The first column shows how both A and B fared in their wins against X. The second column shows how both A and B fared in their wins over team Y. For example, Team A gained 500 yards against Team X and allowed Team X to gain 250 yards, etc.

Obviously there are other immeasurable factors, but I tried to isolate as much as that as possible. Use your best football judgment.

 

OPPONENT: Team X OPPONENT: Team Y
Team A Team B Team A Team B
OFFENSE
Total Offensive Yards 500 410 450 370
Rushing Yards Gained 140 200 200 110
Passing Yards Gained 360 210 250 260
AVG Gain/Play 8 5 8 5
DEFENSE
Total Yards Allowed 250 420 490 460
Rushing Yards Allowed 110 80 315 350
Passing Yards Allowed 140 340 175 110
AVG Yds Allowed/Play 3.5 5.5 5 6
X
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