So it's the dark times of the college football off-season. Signing day is over, spring practice isn't here yet, and meaningful football won't be played for another six months.
Or, we could put this YouTube video of Bo Pelini doing the Harlem Shake on an infinite loop and see who could hold out the longest:
Over Rated: The Harlem Shake...Under Rated: Bo Pelini doing The Harlem Shake
Or we could find some cool website with some documented, factual information, and we can get into a monster debate about who in the B1G is perpetually over rated and under rated.
Yeah, let's do the latter. I'm trying to remember how I stumbled across this website, and if it was used by one of the writers or fine members of the OTE commentariat, please step up and be recognized. I've been sitting on this for over a week, and now I've forgotten where I saw this site first and who showed it to me. Mea culpa on my part.
Anyhoo, someone has gone to the trouble of tracking every AP pre-season and final poll since 1989, and using the difference between the two make a correlation as to what teams have been the most over-rated and under-rated in that time.
The formula is pretty simple: take the pre-season ranking and compare it to the final poll. If the team dropped, they get a negative number. If they finished higher than their pre-season ranking, they get a positive number. If they weren't ranked in either of the polls, they receive no number.
Is this a wildly accurate way to determine who is over rated, or vice versa? God no. I'm not even a mathematician and I can see that. Bad teams are always going to be bad (Indiana), and teams that recently became relevant after sucking for years are going to score higher because they're rarely taken seriously, yet almost always end up higher at the end of the season (like Boise State and Kansas State, for example). Generally bad teams that made a couple of cameo appearances in end of season poll will score high (Minnesota) while teams that generally overachieve are punished more because of it.
Conversely, teams that are always given the benefit of the doubt and end up dropping like a rock are going to get really bad scores (hi there Notre Dame and Florida State).
And I have no idea how to describe Illinois. Other than they can't have nice things. And Tim Beckman was spotted outside your house last night. He knows you're committed to Penn State, but he just wants to talk. It's a free country, brosef.
I really found this interesting, even if it's not scientific. According to this method, the most under rated team at 80.5 is Oregon. Most over rated? Oklahoma, coming in at a -97.5. The B1G teams, from most under rated to over rated, is as follows:
16. MSU +26
19. Maryland +22
20. Northwestern +13
29. Minnesota +14 (thanks Mase!)
32. Iowa +11.5
34. Wisconsin +10
41. Illinois +7
48. Rutgers +4.5
52. Purdue +3
69. Ohio State (-16)
71. Penn State (-24)
82. Michigan (-79.5)
83. Nebraska (-80.5)
Sparty, please take out your tinfoil hat and place it on your head, because this is going to be good. Indiana, you embarrass me. Since 1989, you've not been ranked by the AP in either their pre-season poll or the final poll. Not. Once. Even Memphis and Army managed to make the list. Good God, Hoosiers. Get better or drop the sport once and for all.
Of the 10 most over rated teams, 1 is from the SEC (Florida) and two are from the B1G, Michigan and Nebraska. The 10 most over rated teams are Oklahoma, USC, Texas, FSU, Nebraska, Michigan, Notre Dame, Miami, Florida, and Clemson. ACC represent!
How far has 'Big Game' Bob Stoops fallen? Or has he fallen? It's funny, because every year, when I see the pre-season top 25, almost every one of these teams I see their ranking and think 'ehhh, too high'.
The 10 most under rated teams? None of them are in the B1G...or the SEC, interestingly enough, but 4 are from the PAC-12. They are: Oregon, Boise State, Washington State, Utah, Kansas State, TCU, BC, Cincinnati, Stanford, BYU.
I do find this fact interesting: Most of the under rated teams com from the Pac-12 and/or the west coast, which tells me there might be some annual under appreciation of teams west of the Rocky Mountains, with the exception of USC, who is one of the most over rated teams on this list.
So other than everyone pointing and laughing at Indiana, which we will all do now, what do you guys think? I can't really disagree with the teams that are the most over rated, and even for most of the teams that are considered under rated. Yeah, it's pretty subjective, and no, just using one poll isn't the best way to do this, but I thought this was worth taking a look at.