by Ken Pomeroy on Friday, December 17, 2010
Question - when Texas A&M beat Washington 63-62 in College Station last Saturday, were you convinced that the Aggies were the better team? If you are like most fans and media members, you were. However, if anything, that result proved the opposite.
Fortunately, there are plenty of rematches in the sport, so one can use real data to determine how much a head-to-head victory is a true verdict of superiority. Last season, there were 1,049 regular-season conference games which were a rematch of an earlier game. The winners of the initial game won 61.1% of the rematches. Not exactly a figure that inspires confidence that the outcome of a single game is useful to compare two teams. Keep that in mind as you make arguments about one team being better than another.
We should break this down further, though. Because we’re only looking at conference regular-season games in…