Transitivity is one of the basic principles in economics. Specifically, if A is preferred to B, and B is preferred to C, then A is preferred to C. Of course, what is said about economics often applies to sports (see the Law of Diminishing Returns for another example). So let’s apply transitivity to the world of sports.
Southern Utah University (where I am employed) won the Great West Conference in 2010. Along the way…
the Thunderbirds defeated South Dakota (31-13)
and South Dakota defeated Minnesota (41-38)
and Minnesota defeated Iowa today (27-24)
and Iowa defeated Michigan State (37-6)
and Michigan State defeated Wisconsin (34-24)
and Wisconsin defeated Ohio State (31-18)
Given all these results, Southern Utah would be expected to defeat Ohio State by 68 points. WoW!!! I knew the T-Birds were great this year. But that’s amazing. Southern Utah – according to the principle of transitivity – would have simply dominated the Big Ten this year. Once again, the “proper” analysis of the numbers reveals a surprising story!!
And maybe Southern Utah should be invited to a BCS bowl (and the economist that generated the numbers that “prove” this result should be given a free trip to this game).
P.S. Do I need to note that this is meant to be humourous?