I hope people understand the simplified SOS point I'm trying to prove. The point isn't to wrangle about explaining OOWP while pointing out that if you really played the same team 25 times in a year you'd both have an SOS of zero.
The point is, simply, that gaps in SOS that have been historically deemed large often don't actually tell us anything meaningful about the quality of the teams in question.
Which puts me in a tough spot when we end up with something like this morning's final Pool C comparison. There always comes a point where I'm forced to guess or make assumptions, and when that time comes do I do what I think is "right" or do I hedge a bit and try to mimic the committee based on historical precedent, some other things I know, nudges we've received, etc? It's a tough call and it's something I've been weighing and haggling over for years. Which route actually represents the process better: my best interpretation thereof or my best interpretation of the committee's interpretation thereof? That is a very difficult question to answer. The former might be more true to the word, the latter more true to observed reality.
Regardless, the goal is to illustrate the process, and that's a goal I take seriously. The goal is not try to predict the bracket on a wing and a prayer so when it's right I can go home, take off my socks and smell them while thinking about how awesome I am. That sort of behavior might pass muster for some fanboys at RIT who have nothing better to do with their lives, but I prefer to live in the real world.
The great irony here is that a lot of the confusion exists thanks to former committee members themselves who bastardized the process for their own self-gain. Trying to beat down the (at the time warranted) belief that nonsense goes on takes time. A lot of time. The committee members over the past 4-5 years have done a great job of rectifying this and I like to think our shift to being illustrative as opposed to predictive has helped as well. While some discussions elsewhere continue to leave me bewildered, I do know that our columns get read more than ever and the complaints about them have gone from fairly routine/expected to almost zero.
That tells me that while a few people who like hearing themselves talk for the sake of talking seem unwilling (which is infinitely worse than incapable) to comprehend some basic things, that there a lot more people out there who are probably getting it. As usual the vocal minority does not represent all.
And that, is a wonderful thing.