Friday, January 06, 2017

Nate's On To Something

FiveThirtyEights Nate Silver is on to something. He has an interesting article about "Power-Pairing" and used the Big Ten as the example of how that would have looked for 2016.

The Tri-Valley Conference already does something like this for basketball. The TVC consists of the East, West, and Central. So, at two different times in every team's schedule, they do a sort of "power-pairing" with another side of the conference. For example, on Friday, Jan. 6, the #1 team in the TVC-East will play the #1 team in the TVC-Central. Then, on Friday Feb. 3, the #1 team in the TVC-West will play the #1 team in the TVC-Central. And, on Friday, Feb. 24, the #1 team in the TVC-East will play the #1 team in the TVC-West. (Obviously the same is done for every team seeded #2-#7.)

He's right, it would definitely be a logistics/transportation nightmare. Plus, you may not know very long in advance who that team would be.

But, I like the direction Silver is going and I've been screaming it for the past 2 years...get rid of the divisions. It's too risky or ends up not mattering anyway. If Florida beats Alabama in the SEC Title game, that should not give a 4 loss Florida team the right to get in the Final 4 of the playoffs. Or, PSU wins and doesn't get in anyway.

Do I necessarily want to use that extra weekend for the opportunity to expand to an 8 team playoff? No. Look at this year. Clemson and Alabama are the two best teams. End of discussion. Six more teams would have said the same thing. Could FSU or USC or Oklahoma have made it interesting? Yup.