The following is a complete and total waste of time. Which means you'll be reading the whole thing, right?
If it's June, it must be time for a hearty dose of dumb. And by dumb we can only mean Heismanpundit, who earns our ire for this piece where our hero--bravely fighting the encroaching forces of reason and the demands of hiding his biases under a canopy of Colbert-esque objectivity and bluster--coolly submits his ranking of the conferences. Stand back. Prepare yourself to be shocked. Standing at the top of his rankings he has....(drumroll please)....
The Pac-10. (You may remove yourself from the floor now. Smelling salts are in the drawer.)
Orson, clad in powdered wig, collapses with shock.
Bold, 180-proof opinion there. Truthiness, you might say. Or the festering grudge of someone bent on constructing the college football world around their own bizarre axis of unsupported assertion. Either way you read it's still dumb as hell as analysis, since it ignores record and fact in an effort to assert what the aforementioned writer will always assert anyway: the Pac-10 rules, offense is the only part of the game of football that matters, and you are both silly and dumb for doubting either.
We'll extend a courtesy by actually refuting the point with evidence: there! All done. A much better blogger's already done this for us, since SMQ is busy becoming the Borg of blogosphere, taking what you do well and doing it three times better while blogging at the insane pace of approximately 23,000 words a day. (Benzedrine: the breakfast of champions!) SMQ's piece dismantles HP's conference rankings as the worst of what "punditry" has to offer: opinion validated by cherry-picked facts delivered with blather and ostensible objectivity.
We'd prefer to let facts, stats, and record dictate what we might be able to glean from reality and move from there, a tricky thing since it involves reading and a rudimentary understanding of statistics. (Which is why HP doesn't know his x-axis from his y-axis, a geeky and definitive insult we can't really top, Brian.)
At the risk of using "concepts" and "numbers", two things which are to HP what torches are to the resurrected dead, let's engage in a little PPP analysis: purchasing power parity, using the "basket of goods" measure to engage in a comparison of conference currency. Our sample will come from the last bowl season. As we will note, this is just one sample from a sort of randomly assigned tournament. It is just one indicator, and not indicative of any absolute universal truth in college football. You may look at it and decide for yourself how powerful it is, but we would suggest that it at least says something more persuasive about the state of programs matched up nationally on a grand stage than us simply placing our hands up our ass and pulling out opinions based on wiggly terms like "sophistication." Not that we don't love sophistication...
Pac-10 offenses are complex. Billy Dee Williams is sophisticated, and a fine motherfucker by any account.
(Yes, we know econ geeks; there's problems with this. We love it when economists define something as "controversial," since it conjures up conference rooms full of dismal scientists engaging in escrima fights with rolled-up copies of The Economist.) For the record, we'd like to say we were terrible at economics, and spent most of the time reading the sports page in class, which may become all too evident below.
--The Pac-10, fine mega-conference that it is, sent five teams to bowl games last season: USC, UCLA, Arizona State, Oregon, and Cal. The record: 3-2, which is respectable but not eye-popping.
Losses: Texas, Oklahoma
Victories: Northwestern, Rutgers, BYU.
--The Big 12 sent Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Colorado, Nebraska, Iowa State, Texas Tech, Texas to bowls. (Full disclosure: 8 teams? God's wounds! We didn't even notice that during the bowl season.
Losses: Clemson, TCU, Alabama.
Victories: USC, Oregon, South Carolina, Michigan, Houston.
--The Big 10 sent Michigan, Minnesota, Iowa, Penn State, Ohio State, Northwestern, and Wisconsin to bowls.
Losses: Nebraska, Virginia, Florida, UCLA.
Victories: Florida State, Notre Dame and Auburn.
--The Big East sent South Florida, Louisville, West Virginia, and Rutgers.
Losses: NC State, Virginia Tech, and Arizona State.
--The ACC sent Florida State, NC State, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, Miami, Clemson, Boston College, and Virginia to bowls.
Losses: Utah, LSU, Penn State.
Victories: South Florida, Louisville, Colorado, Boise State, Minnesota.
--The SEC (the best like conference in the world for realz OMG!!!) sent Florida, Georgia, Auburn, LSU, Alabama, and South Carolina to bowls.
Losses: West Virginia, Wisconsin, Missouri
Victories: Iowa (god bless picky linesmen), Texas Tech, Miami.
So there's just a random, crazy sample of performance. Just one indicator to look at, peruse, and make a conclusion from when thinking a little bit about college football. If we were to daringly make our own assumption from this, it's that the most undervalued conference in college football isn't the Pac-10 (which has its own media node, L.A., to defend it) but the barren plains of the Big 12, the big part of the country performing solid work in the bowl season and giving us the national champion Texas Longhorns. This crazy, random sample would suggest that the PPP of the Big 12 was at a peak in December, and that the addition of Dan Hawkins at Colorado will probably add to that power (since we're dumb enough to assume that coaching matters in every conference, not just the Pac-10.)
We were dumb enough to write in the early days of this blog that the Big 12 was, in the wake of USC sacking of Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl, approaching status as "a finesse conference." This was clearly the worst idea since telling Chuck Norris that a roundhouse kick was NOT the best way to win a fight, and was dumb, dumb, dumb.
But we're sitting in Atlanta, Georgia, which affects things. Our time in the blogosphere has only made us a smarter fan by teaching us how fucking dumb we were to start, and reminding us how retarded we still are. This is the heart of antipunditry, a practice you can see on display at SMQ, on Feldman's blog at ESPN, or most anywhere you look in the college football blogosphere. We're biased, we know it, and we let events dictate the drift of our thoughts in between sodomy jokes, high-tech Microsoft Paint slander, and calling people dumb.
Speaking of that, we give you the college world according to dumb man Heismanpundit. Voila: