Wednesday, October 17, 2007

What Really Matters?

Many experts have Matt Ryan at or near the top of their Heisman lists. Many others think Ryan has done a good job but they seem to have one knock: Who has he played? They are all missing the point. If you want to go by the quality of a candidate's opponents, the better question is this: Who has he BEATEN? If a HT hopeful has played good opponents but come out on the losing end, does that make his performance any better than his peers? Here is a little stat comparison of the hopefuls and their W/L quality. There are a few disclaimers:
1) The ratings used are the Sagarin Ratings. More specifically, they are the ELO-CHESS ratings that Sagarin submits to the BCS. Obviously, these are subjective but a system that incorporates every team in the country is essential and Sagarin is the cream of the crop in that category.
2) Obviously, performance tends to decrease when the quality of opponent increases. Thus, SOS is important. The point here is only that it is silly to use SOS as a knock without considering a team's W-L record as well.

Player W W Average L L Average BCS (W-L) BCS W
Matt Ryan 7 70.28 0 0 (0-0)
Andre' Woodson 6 68.83 1 3 (1-1) 4
Mike Hart 5 75.8 2 25.5 (0-1)
Tim Tebow 4 66.75 2 6.5 (1-2) 21
Harrell/Crabtree 6 117.17 1 43 (0-0)
Dennis Dixon 5 77.6 1 14 (1-1) 25
Darren McFadden 3 123.33 3 18.67 (0-2)

As you can see from the W Average, only Woodson and Tebow have beaten better teams than Ryan when taken as a whole and even that is not by much. Tebow has clearly played a tougher schedule than any other Heisman hopeful thus far, but his team lost 2 of the 3 tough games. When it comes down to it, there is only 1 win by any candidate that sets him apart from the field and that is Woodson's win over LSU. Are we saying that Matt Ryan should be the clear Heisman frontrunner? No, of course not. It's wide open. However, to keep Ryan, or any other candidate, off of a ballot solely based on SOS is nonsense.


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