Weekly BCS Briefing: Week Two

TUSCALOOSA AL - SEPTEMBER 11: Trent Richardson #3 and the offense of the Alabama Crimson Tide lines up against the defense of the Penn State Nittany Lions at Bryant-Denny Stadium on September 11 2010 in Tuscaloosa Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Ah, the finicky science of the BCS. No matter what happens, it seems like college football will always manage to produce interesting BCS results week in, and week out. I detailed some of the methods I used to project the approximate BCS standings in my recap from last week.

However, for week two, I changed some things up to make it a little more realistic. 

  • I included the Colley Matrix rankings, which I had omitted last week. This is one of the six computer rankings used in the BCS. Last week the rankings were very nonsensical, but it looked better this week.
  • I substituted the AP Poll in the place of the Harris Poll, as the Harris Poll won't be submitted until late September. However, I think the AP Poll would probably model the opinion of the media and whoever does vote in the Harris Poll better than the Coaches Poll.
  • I dropped the highest and lowest computer rankings. Some of the computer rankings gave very high rankings to some odd teams, but this got filtered out by dropping the high and low ranking.
  • The final projection numbers are 1/3 AP Poll (subbed for Harris), 1/3 Coaches Poll, and 1/3 Computers.
The numbers are available after the jump. I promise, they are quite interesting.

Note that inactive polls have been grayed out, and the top ranking in each poll has been highlighted. CM (Colley Matrix) ranked USC first, but since they have no postseason implications this season, the 2nd highest ranking was highlighted instead.

Analysis

The best way to think of the above chart is: "this is an estimate of what the BCS poll would look like if it were released today".

On the strength of being ranked #1 in the AP Poll and the Coaches Poll, almost unanimously, Alabama came out miles in first place. They were also ranked in first place in 2 of the 4 computer rankings currently available, quite high in the third, and the Colley Matrix really has to sort itself out yet. If Alabama keeps winning, they'll easily punch their ticket to the title game.

The Sooners were top dog in the Massey Ratings ("MR"), but were also rated quite high in pretty much every computer ranking available. Additionally, they had a big jump in the AP Poll this week after a sound victory over Florida State. 

Also on the big news front, you can clearly see the computers punishing Boise State for a poor schedule as Virginia Tech lost a stinker to FCS James Madison. If the BCS were released today, Boise State would be kept afloat by high marks in the human polls, but the computer rankings would likely keep them from being a legitimate contender.

The computers love unranked Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, and Air Force, and they also love newly ranked Michigan. All four teams saw big boosts in these projected BCS standings when compared to their vote totals in the human polling. You can throw Utah and LSU into the mix as teams that the computers tend to value higher than the human voters. 

Other News

Bowl projections are starting to fly up. ESPN thinks OU will wind up in either the Sugar Bowl (vs. Florida) or the Orange Bowl (vs. Miami). Whoever Andrea Adelson is for ESPN, she has Boise State in the title game. CBS sends us to Glendale (yay!) for the Fiesta Bowl (aww) against West Virginia (boo). They went the safe route and put Alabama and Ohio State in the national title game, but the big shocker is Auburn in the Sugar Bowl. College Football News sends us to the Fiesta Bowl, but matches us up against Pitt. They also have Ohio State vs. Boise State in the national title game.

Somehow Christian Ponder is still in the top 5 on the ESPN Heisman Watch.

Cool stat from the Dr. Saturday Blog:

Oklahoma scored touchdowns on each of its first four offensive possessions, on drives covering 80, 80, 54 and 80 yards, en route to a 47-17 obliteration of Florida State. On those drives, OU quarterback Landry Jones hit 14 of 17 passes for 229 yards and two touchdowns, for a pass efficiency rating of 234.3.

I highly recommend the Final Verdict from College Football Final for some good laughs (from this past weekend). Lou and Mark debate the merits of Boise State and it devolves into chaos. Starts around the 4 minute mark:

9/12/10 Alabama - Penn State Postgame Highlights | Final Verdict (via bamadogDOTcom)

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