The official BCS rankings will not be released until October 20, after the Harris Interactive Poll is tabulated for the first time. Until then, all college football pundits and fans can do is speculate. However, CBSsports.com decided to use the data that was currently available to release its unofficial BCS standings:
It is no surprise that Alabama sits atop the “first” BCS list. After winning 2 National Championships in the past 3 years and starting the season as strong as ever, Alabama is poised to make another title run. The team listed at number 2 may surprise some, however. While the Oregon Ducks are currently ranked No. 2 in the AP Poll and have continued to display their dazzling offense and creative jerseys, Clemson finds itself at No. 2 in the preliminary BCS list. Not only do the Tigers surpass the Ducks when other factors are considered besides human voting, but Stanford manages to jump Oregon as well.
All of this shifting of the ranks may lead one to ask, “How in the hell is the BCS computed, anyway?” The answer to this question is something all fans have wanted to know, mainly due to all of the frustration and fan disappointment the system has caused over the years.
The BCS was designed as a system to ensure that the 2 best teams in college football played each other in the national championship every year. In order to alleviate human error, the BCS system considers multiple factors when determining which teams are best.
The BCS is comprised of three different polls – the Harris Interactive Poll, the Coach’s Poll, and computer rankings. The Harris Interactive poll is a committee of 115 panelists, representing all different facets of experience with college football. The committee is randomly chosen from a list of 300 people that are supplied by the Athletic Directors from the 10 major football conferences (and Notre Dame). The number representing each team in the Harris Interactive poll is designated by taking the total number of votes a team earns for its ranking (a vote as no.1 earns a team 25 points, and a vote as no.25 earns 1 point), and then dividing that number by the maximum total of votes (Which is 2,875 in this case)
The second aspect of the poll, the Coach’s poll, works in the same exact manner, except there are only 59 votes total.
The computer poll is based off of the rankings of 6 members. In this poll, the highest and lowest ranks are dropped to eliminate outliers, and then the team’s total points is divided by 100 to get a percentage.
Each individual poll accounts for 1/3 of the BCS average.
The BCS is not most likely not going to be spared any controversy or criticism this year. Even though the BCS system is going to be replaced with a playoff in the 2014 season, a few teams have set themselves up poorly for a national championship run. Thus far, it looks as if Ohio State and Louisville are both going to be undefeated at the end of the season. However, the strength of schedule of these two teams leaves many unanswered questions toward their true abilities, and thus both teams will most likely find themselves on the outside of the BCS championship game looking in, even if they go undefeated.
While it will be nice to not hear rampant complaints against the BCS next year, the replacing system is a selection panel of “experts”. People can clamor for an improved system all they want, but a human panel is not likely to be much better. It’s not as if the selection committee for the NCAA basketball tournament is spared any judgement or criticism for their actions…
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