Remember the transitive property in elementary math classes? If A is greater than B, and B is greater than C, then by the transitive property, A is always greater than C. The transitive property is one of those things that is useful in math and not much else, but football fans have been trying to shoehorn the transitive property into their football lives for a while now. If Team A beats Team B, and Team B beats TeamC, then in theory, Team A is a better team than Team C. Especially if Team C is Buffalo.
Now, this is not an exact science. In fact, there’s nothing even remotely scientific about it. However, the transitive property has some interesting results when you evaluate it for our Ball State Cardinals and everyone’s “ERMAHGERD!!! #1 BEST EVAH!” team of the year… the Alabama Crimson Tide. We’ll come back to this in a bit.
The trouble with the transitive property is that teams have to have losses for this little experiment to work. Alabama doesn’t. What to do, then, huh? RIDDLE ME THAT! Simple, really and it all comes down to two words: common opponents. Say for example, Team A and Team B are attempting to compare themselves. Team A and Team B have only one common opponent, Team C. Team A beat Team C by 20 points, Team B beat Team C by 50 points. It would stand to reason, then, that Team B>Team A. Probably even more unscientific and wildly offbase than the transitive property to begin with, but let’s not split hairs, shall we?
Let’s get into some real world application. Say you’re a BSU fan and one of your coworkers is an Alabama fan. How do you tolerate him at work? Especially now that Bama continues to roll up national titles. He walks around all day in his houndstooth hats/shirts/jackets/boxers and consistently yells “Roll Tide!” at literally everything. Successful collation? “ROLL TIDE!” Found his favorite rubber band ball? “ROLL TIDE!” Meeting let out early? “ROLL TIDE!” Epic BM? “ROLL TIDE!” How can you shut him up? By making the statement and proving the point that thanks to math Ball State is actually better than Alabama.
SHOW YOUR WORK
- The mighty Cardinals beat Central Michigan 41-30
- Central Michigan beat Iowa 32-31
- Iowa beat Northern Illinois 18-17
- By the comparison test above, Northern Illinois is better than Georgia since NIU beat Buffalo by 42 and Georgia only managed a 22 point assthrashing of the Bulls.
- Using the comparison test further, Georgia is better than Alabama because it owns a 36 point beating of FAU for the Dawgs, compared to only 33 for the Tide.
Therefore, vis-a-vis, Ball State is in fact better than the Alabama Crimson Tide. Of course, the media will never report this. The SEC with their siren song of five-star recruits and sundressed coeds in the stands generates the headlines and ink and the fancy things like BCS rankings, crystal football trophies, and respect. But people should be wary of those that discount the above logic out of hand. In reality, that’s disregarding math. What’s next? Throwing science out the window? And if you hate on math and science and find no use for them in such important matters, aren’t you really indicting the entire educational system? In reality, isn’t this an indictment of our American society? I put it to you Alabama fans. You can say what you want about the Mid American Conference and Ball State University, but I won’t sit here and let you badmouth the United States of America!