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Not Exactly Julian Simon and Paul Ehrlich...

On August 7 Dave Berri posted, "A Simple Test for Those Ranking College Football Teams." On pre-season Division IA football rankings, he says:

"My sense is that no journalist can name every starter on every team. I could be wrong, but that is my sense. And without this information, I am not sure one can even begin to formulate a ranking that has any real meaning."

In the comments, I posted a wager. I'm going to repeat it here because it was the 9th of 11 comments and I was hoping for more than the one taker that responded (thanks, Dennis Coates). The bet is still open:

"If somebody thinks the coaches/media pre-season polls are significantly uninformed, I'd take the following bet just to see the result:

I'll take the USAToday Pre-Season Coaches Poll against your ranking projection. If you guess the final poll-ranking better than the pre-season poll placements, I'll buy you a beer when I'm at the next WEAI meetings in Seattle. If I win, you buy the beer. Must be present to win; I reserve the right to cap the number of bets (I do have a budget constraint, after all).

Scoring device: Number of correct placements plus or minus one place in the rankings; e.g., the USAToday poll puts Oklahoma 5th. If they actually come in 4, 5, or 6, one point for me. Or maybe there is a better scoring device; I'm open to suggestions.

Sound like fun? If I get a couple of takers, I'll put up a post in the main section with a pointer to an Excel file with the USAToday Poll, a completely random scramble of the teams in that poll, and your alternative ranking.

Just send your name, email, and ranking to me: [email protected]"