Critique of Kenneth Massey's Retro-Ratings
The Bowl Championship Series for the 1999 season will include, in
addition to Herman Matthews, the computer ratings of Kenneth Massey. His
ratings can be found at
and go back to the
1930 season. Here are some of Massey's more interesting rankings of teams
through the years. All ratings are post-bowl.
- 1935 top team: Stanford; SMU rated over Minnesota (#2 and #3).
- 1936 top team: Santa Clara; Duquesne rated #2, Minnesota rated #7.
Duquesne #14 in AP poll.
- 1938 TCU rated #5.
- 1941 top team: Duquesne. Duquesne #8 in AP.
- 1942 top team: Georgia Pre-Flight; Tennessee (#2) rated over Georgia
and Ohio State (#3 and #4).
- 1943 top team: March Field; USC and Pacific (#2 and #3) rated over
Notre Dame (#4). March Field #1O in AP, Pacific #19
in AP, USC not in final AP top twenty.
- 1944 Norman Navy (#2) rated over Randolph Field (#3).
Norman Navy #14 in AP.
- 1947 top team: Texas.
- 1950 Oklahoma rated #8.
- 1951 Michigan State rated #4.
- 1953 top team: Michigan State; Maryland rated #9.
- 1954 Oklahoma rated #7.
- 1955 top team: Mississippi. Mississippi #10 in AP.
- 1956 Oklahoma rated #9.
- 1966 top team: Georgia
- 1969 top team: Penn State; USC (#2) rated over Texas (#3); Arkansas not in top ten.
- 1982 SMU (record 11-0-0 rated only #10).
- 1983 top team: Auburn.
Okay, here we go again. People who invent math formula rating systems
like to promote the idea that ranking college football teams with rating systems
is a superior way to rate teams as compared with the AP poll voters. But in
the above example we have Mississippi number one in 1955 and Oklahoma
number nine in 1956. What if a voter in the AP polls those years voted the
teams that way? Are we supposed to accept teams rated this way because a
math system put them that way instead of an AP poll voter? Not that ranking
the teams this way is illegal. You can rank Kansas State number one in 1965
if you want. But why are these strange and unusual rankings of teams
acceptable if a math system and not a poll voter produced them? Are
off-the-wall rankings acceptable if a formula rating number is
placed after them?
See also Historical Reality National
College Football Champions.
Bob Kirlin / email@example.com