Yes, we are changing our ranking strategy 6 weeks into the process. This is all about perfecting this thing right?... well that and making it easier for us to cobble these rankings together. The new strategy is based on wanting to make the least amount of assumptions about the teams in the poll... and to do this we are making one big assumption. And that assumption is: Any BCS AQ conference team will play for the national championship before any other BCS AQ team with a worse record than them would.
What that is saying is: take any BCS team (even ones with the lowest of expectations, let's say Washington State), and if at season's end that team ends up being the only undefeated team in the nation, they will play for the national championship. (note: this also applies to the elite mid-majors) So in the end, record is the #1 criteria that matters, then we go to the tie-breakers (SOS, conference, etc). But for some reason in mid-season rankings we want to make the tie-breakers more important than record in order to guess at who the best team is. Well I say that if you play in an AQ conference, and you haven't lost, you should be ranked better than any one loss team out there.
So basically we are taking all the rankable teams (right now that is all AQ teams, Boise, TCU, Utah), and grouping them by record. Group 1 is the 17 undefeated teams. Group 2 will be the one-loss teams, etc. So the 17 teams in group one will be ranked 1-17 regardless of SOS, or opinion, or any other tie breaker stuff... however the tie-breaker stuff and opinion will be used to determine the order within these 17. Then the group of one-loss teams starts at #18 and so on.
The reason for this is that I don't want to assume that a one-loss Iowa team is better than an undefeated Mizzou team. So let's remove that assumption and base their ranking on their record. It should all work out in the end anyways right? Once Mizzou loses a game then they are in the same group as Iowa (1-loss group) and can be ranked where we believe they fall within their group.
Let us know what you think about the process. Our ballot is after the Jump.