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Abstract Details

Activity Number: 43
Type: Contributed
Date/Time: Sunday, July 29, 2012 : 2:00 PM to 3:50 PM
Sponsor: Section on Statistics in Sports
Abstract - #304538
Title: Ranking Bias in the 'USA Today' Coaches Poll for the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision
Author(s): Pavel Chernyavskiy*+ and Christopher Bilder
Companies: University of Nebraska and University of Nebraska
Address: 5344 R Street, Lincoln, NE, 68504-3448, United States
Keywords: BCS ; Cox proportional hazards ; rank-ordered logit ; ranking bias

The USA Today Coaches Poll is one of three components in deciding which college football teams are invited to play in the bowl games of the Bowl Championship Series (BCS). For the poll, each participating coach ranks their top 25 teams within the NCAA's football bowl subdivision. The purpose of our presentation is to determine if coaches' rankings are subject to bias. Using data from the last regular season poll of the 2009 season, we estimate a rank-ordered logit model to examine potential sources of ranking bias. Our model shows that bias appears to exist if the ranked team is 1) Same as the coach's team, 2) Within the coach's conference, 3) An opponent of the coach's team during the season, and 4) A member of a BCS conference. We conclude with a discussion of potential reasons why these sources of bias exist.

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