BCS Number Crunching

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You can access the latest BCS standings at the following site: bcsfootball.org

Standings are published late Sunday afternoon (usually no later than 5:45pm MT).


While BYU's BCS hopes were extinguished in September, the standings are still fun to analyze ("fun" being a relative term), and I have a few observations after looking at the latest rundown.


Of the 25 ranked teams, the breakdown is as follows:

SEC: 7 teams

Big 12: 4 teams

Pac 10: 4 teams

ACC: 3 teams

Big East: 3 teams

Big Ten: 3 teams

WAC: 1 team


So, one non-BCS team appears in the BCS Standings--the University of Hawaii. The Warriors are ranked 17th, but must finish in the top 12, or top 16 ahead of a BCS conference champion, to secure a spot in a BCS bowl. Chances of that happening: somewhere between slim and none.


Hawaii's biggest problem is the "leapfrog factor." There are teams ahead of Hawaii from the SEC (4 teams), ACC (3), Big 12 (3), Pac 10 (3), Big East (2) and Big Ten (1). Jumping ahead of 5 of those teams into the top 12 is extremely unlikely, and while moving into the top 16 is more likely, the Warriors would need to finish undefeated and then hope for a massive upset in one of the four conference championship games--putting a league champ into a BCS game from outside the top 16. The two leagues without a title game (Pac 10 and Big Ten) will almost certainly have champions in the top 16.


Also hampering Hawaii: strength of schedule (or lack thereof). The computer rankings used in the BCS Standings formula account for schedule strength, and as will be described below, UH gets no love from the BCS hard drives.


Biggest BCS movers this week: Oregon from 10th to 5th, Michigan from 25th to 20th.

Biggest droppers: South Carolina from 6th to 16th, California from 12th to 21st, South Florida from 2nd to 10th.

Overrated (high poll numbers/low computer numbers): Texas (19)--ranked 16th in the polls, unranked by the computers, Oklahoma (6)--ranked 4th in the polls, 14th by the computers, USC (12)--ranked 7th and 8th in the polls, 21st by the computers, and even Hawaii (17)--14th in the polls, unranked by the computers.

Underrated: (low poll numbers/high computer numbers): Virginia (15)--ranked 20th and 18th by the polls, 6th by the computers, South Florida (10)--ranked 12th by the polls, 5th by the computers, and Connecticut (23)--ranked 29th and 28th by the polls, 16th by the computers.

Note: the polls mentioned are the USA Today Coaches' and Harris Interactive polls. There are 6 computer rankings--each team's high and low computer numbers are tossed out, leaving the four computer rankings to make up the team's computer score.


Now is as good a time as any to note how the evolution of the BCS has elevated heretofore irrelevant football programs (South Florida, UConn, Cincinnati, etc.) while relegating tradition-rich programs (BYU, primarily) to "lightning in a bottle" territory. In the BCS world, conference membership and television exposure are as important as on-the-field results, and BYU could not be in worse shape in those two particular areas--its league gets little respect (despite a respectable number of wins against BCS conference foes), and its TV deal is a disaster.


OL Garrett Reden will undergo surgery Monday morning to repair the dislocation fracture of his right ankle.


QB James Lark has received his LDS mission call to St. Petersburg, Russia.


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