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Long term balance of power?


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I only have output from my one career, and it's only a decade long -- so I'm wondering whether what I am seeing is an anomaly, or a problem. As my season is prepared to start, 5 of the top 6 ranked teams in preseason are from the Pac-10, including #1 Utah who got promoted to that conference several seasons ago. That seems like an awfully high clustering -- suggesting there's either a problem with the ranking system (I know, well worn ground) or else a problem with the player creation and recruiting system. Anyone else see a west coast slant like this in a long term career? Or am I just observing an odd outlier result, that might be expected to go away in time? It's not a huge problem for me at the moment, since my team is middling along in C-USA and not really part of the NC picture anyway... but if this is a serious issue with the national balance long term, it seems like that's a worry. Anyone seeing this?
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I have seen "trends" over 10-15 year periods in some of my test careers. In one, the Big 10 has had a 5-10 year run of top 25 teams (4-5). In another, it was the SEC. Usually, though, there tends to be an ebb and flow to it and it can shift in the middle of a 40-season career. I looked into this and one of the reasons seemed to be a conference getting stronger initially with the talent pool (Pac 10, Big 10 and SEC each have some high prestige teams to start) or getting a run of good recruits. Then, that conference has a high SOS because of the strong teams and that tends to prop them up in the rankings. What seems to happen, though, is that the records start lowering and you end up with such parity that the conference ends up slipping back behind some other top-heavy conferences. The good thing is that in each instance I've seen the conference fall back over time.
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Guest Nukester
Ive absolutely seen this type of thing. In my solo league (started with 1989 mod and currently at the end of 1994) the Big 10 and the SEC teams are always loaded at the top of the polls, some teams regardless of what their record for the previous season might have been, just because of the conference bias that is presented to those conferences at the start of the career. In my league Central Michigan has an overall record of 52-12, including going 33-3 over the past 3 seasons, but yet it may take them 3/4 of the season to crack the the top 25 (currently at 8-2 they are ranked #42), while teams like Michigan State routinely are in the top 25, even after going only 46-24 overall. Right now, Michigan State is sitting at #17 with a 7-4 record (53 SOS), while teams like Rutgers are sitting at #35 with a 9-2 record.
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Okay, thanks -- if it just seems to happen sometimes with any of the big conferences, I'm not worried -- my case is probably just a fluke. I'd be more worried if there were some sort of inhgerent population-driven problem, where something like "access to Cali kids" ended up being a major issue in program development. Sounds like there's no such worry, and that's good. I'll keep an eye on it in my career, just for kicks, though.
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Guest Nukester
At the start of season 7 here is the top 10 in the media polls: 1 - Miami - SEC 2 - Georgia - SEC 3 - Alabama - SEC 4 - Florida State - SEC 5 - Ohio State - Big 10 6 - LSU - SEC 7 - Michigan - Big 10 8 - Auburn - SEC 9 - Florida - SEC 10 - UCLA - Pac10
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I've noticed it as well, but only at the start of the season. The last 2 seasons there have beet 7-8 big 10 teams in the top 10 in the preseason polls. last season they finished 4, 5, 6 17 and 23 and the others were unranked this season (bowl games not played yet) they are 3, 17, 24, 25 and the rest not ranked. It seems more like a preseason bias, which in reality usually does exist for the elite conferences.
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I'm still seeing my preseason Top 10 cluttered with 6-7 teams from the PAC 10 every year, but as indicated (obviously) that settles out by necessity as they bash one another all season long. I would think that conference alignments woudl force the prestige of these super-conferences down over time, but at least in my case, it isn't happening. Not a huge issue, but a little perplexing.
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Guest Nukester
The problem there is that once a team has a hgh place in the polls, even if they lose say 4-5 games, there is still a huge chance that they will stay in the top 25 even if someone more deserving does not. I dont have my solo league here, but a couple of examples from Gridiron Glory are Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa. Minnesota finished at 8-5 but 19th in the polls. Wisconsin was 8-4 and finished #10. Iowa finished 10-3, didnt even make the GDCS, but jumped ahead of the loser of the championship game (16-1 Tennessee), and at least 3 other GDCS teams. The only reason they jumped so high was because of the Big 10 bias that was placed on the league at creation (something done behind the scenes, not by the user. I guess it ties in to an auto GDCS bid and the prestige of teams in teh conference). In my solo league it happens to be the SEC that is the dominate conference in the polls. If a team like Iowa started preseason ranked at say #5 and lose a game, they may drop to #8 or so. Lose another one and drop to #12 or so. Win one and move back up to #10. Win another one and move back up to #6. Lose one and drop to #10, lose another one and drop to #16........etc.......Thats a 2-4 team still sitting in the top 25, only because of conference bias. It could possibly even out in the end, but a team in one of those biased conferences has to lose like 6 or 7 games to get pushed out of the top 25 if they started out high enough I really noticed this when I created a league that had all team sset to an even 50 prestige, and all conferences had GDCS auto bids (or none did, I dont remember which way I went). By doing this, the CPU jsut arbitrarily picked a couple of conferences to give this "bias" to. It so happened in that league that C-USA was the dominate conference
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that's not really out of the question though. There are some years where most of the teams in a conference are good enough to be rated. and if you lose, but your losses are to #2, #5, and #7 and you started say #10, it's not completely unreasonable that you could stay rated since you weren't supposed to win those games. As for balance of power, it seams in my league that USC, Pittsburgh, VTech and the Big 10 are the favs. However, my teams conference (the MAC) is starting to rise up. I'm heading to the sugar bowl 13-0 ranked number 4 and Miami (OH) and WMU are both towards the bottom of the rankings.
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