The Humans Love Boise; the computers don’t

In 2003 USC finished No. 1 in the two human polls used in the BCS Standings (AP and Coaches). But when the final numbers were crunched, LSU and Oklahoma were the top two teams in the BCS standings and played for the national championship in the Sugar Bowl. USC won the Rose Bowl and finished No. 1 in the AP poll and was decared national champs by that news service.

Not wanting to have split national champions again,  the BCS changed its formula so that the human polls would count two thirds while the computers only accounted for one third. The thinking was that if the human polls agreed on the top two teams, the computers  would not override the will of the voters. The powers that be talked about making it a rule where the computers would only be used if the human polls did not agree. They ultimately decided not to put that language in the rules.

But right now  Boise State is No. 2 in the human polls but No. 3 in the BCS Standings. And Boise’s computer rankings (No. 7 average right now)  are only going to get worse as the season goes along.

Here are a couple of charts that show you what Boise is up against. The Broncos  may have won the hearts and minds of enough voters, but the computers, as we all know, don’t have a heart.

Here is a chart of the Top 10 teams in the BCS Standings and the teams in the Top 25 that they have played or are scheduled to play:

OKLAHOMA (4) : Florida State (17), Texas (19), Missouri (11), Oklahoma State (14)

BOISE STATE (1): Virginia Tech (25)

OREGON (2): Stanford (12), Arizona (18)

AUBURN (5): LSU (6), Alabama (8), Miss. State (24), Arkansas (23), South Carolina (21)

TCU (1): Utah (9)

LSU (5): Miss. State (24),  West Virginia (20), Auburn (4), Alabama (8), Arkansas (23)

MICHIGAN STATE: (2): Wisconsin (13), Iowa (15)

ALABAMA (5): Arkansas (23), S. Carolina (21), LSU (6), Miss. State (24), Auburn (4)

UTAH (1): TCU (5)

OHIO STATE (2): Wisconsin (13), Iowa (15)

You’ll note that Boise State has played or will play only one team in the Top 25: No. 25 Virginia Tech.

 Just for fun, here are the rankings of the rest of Boise State’s opponents according to the CBSSports.com Top 120:

Nevada (6-1)………….29

Hawaii (5-2)…………..38

Fresno State (4-2)..…63

La. Tech (3-4)…………77

Idaho (3-3)…………….82

Utah State (2-5)………86

The point is that as the season goes along Boise’s computer numbers are only going to drop. But chances are the voters won’t move them from No. 2 as as long the Broncos keep winning impresssively. The  exception I could see to that is if Auburn or LSU stays undefeated. One of those teams could eventually jump Boise.

So we could be in a situation where Boise stays No. 2 in the human polls but does not play in the Big Game.

Won’t that be a fun argument?  Would you have a problem with that? Woud it/Shoud it blow up the BCS?

And if it happens, could we have split national champions again? Could the AP decide to make Boise its national champ?

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338 comments Add your comment

Dave

October 19th, 2010
8:49 am

Cam Newton is a beast. He simply drops back and if he can’t see an open receiver, he takes off. Most of the time when he runs, he gets 5+ yards. Even in the close games, you could see Newton put his team on his shoulders and he simply couldn’t be stopped. If you don’t think AU has any running backs, you haven’t been paying attention to Dwyer and that other water bug they have. Defensively, yes, they give up a LOT of yards and a LOT of points. But when push comes to shove, I can’t see Newton being stopped. As a UGA fan, we will have to get to Newton QUICKLY before he gets past the line of scrimmage. It will be interesting to see how a team like LSU with a dominant defensive line handles him. Every SEC team will be watching to see if there is any way to slow him down.

Realist

October 19th, 2010
8:49 am

In another year or two Boise St. will suck again. The SEC scheduled Boise in 2005 and was 38-0 in the fourth quarter. If an SEC schedules them again now then it will probably be a crappy team they get then too. Boise won’t make it to the NC again and in two years Peterson will leave and all this talk will be over.
More than likely an SEC team won’t go to the NC either so it sounds like a great year to put Boise against LSU or Alabama. I think it would go a lot like Sugar Bowl a few years back when the much hyped Hawaii went against UGA.

DawginLex

October 19th, 2010
8:50 am

Everyone is forgetting about alabama. After Auburn beats LSU, Lsu will lose to Bama and Arkansas. Auburn will lose to Bama and Bama will go to Atlanta.

Who they will play is another story………………………

Alphare

October 19th, 2010
8:51 am

As Auburn is playing now, they can outscore any team in the United States of America, and at the mean time allows the opponent to score a ton too.

If Auburn represents the SEC this year, they will bring home the trophy, and SEC will win the National Champ 6 seasons in a row. I don’t think Oregon or Oklahoma or BSU has a chance.

3rdn8

October 19th, 2010
8:53 am

DawginLex

I hope you’re right. But Bama has some serious team issues that have to be fixed before they can make that run. Also, don’t forget that Bama has to play MSU in November.

GaTruth

October 19th, 2010
8:53 am

Hey Mon – get a clue. Getting up for one game when you are completely healthy and have had months to prepare is wildly different than facing that level of competition EVERY week. The toll a real schedule takes is immense. Is Boise good? Yes, good. If they had to play that Fiesta bowl against OU nine more times they would lose all nine becuase the gimmick plays wouldn’t work.

Gen Neyland

October 19th, 2010
8:57 am

The arguement against Boise St going to the BCSNCG is an honest one. The arguement for them earning the right to do so is as well. They’ve proven they can play against the Big Boys, they just don’t do it week in, week out. That is not their fault but that is their problem getting a shot at the Big One. (Tongue in cheek here >>) If the upcoming Lameduck Congress can pass the legislation before they go home, it might happen…

Not a Tech or UGA Fan.....

October 19th, 2010
8:59 am

Boise St did do what they were able to do and joined the Mountain West starting next year. That was going to give the Mountain West TCU, Utah, Boise St, Air Force, BYU, SDSU. Not a bad conference probably as good as the current ACC and much better than the Big East but a strange thing happened along the way, Utah takes the big money and joins the PAC 10 and BYU get’s stupid and thinks they can become an independent and be just as big and popular nationwide as Notre Dame.

dawgfacedboy

October 19th, 2010
9:01 am

What’s your point Tony?? Boise and TCU play nobody!!! If those 2 go undefeated, which i’m not sure why they wouldn’t considering their schedule, and the rest of the country has 2 losses I still don’t think they should play in the NC. THEY PLAY NOBODY!!!!!!

Join a BCS conference and we’ll talk. App St. and Jack St. can win on any given Saturday, doesn’t mean they should be in the same sentence as the best teams in the country.

3rdn8

October 19th, 2010
9:01 am

Gen Neyland

This works out to be the 4th Saturday in October, but it is still my favorite time of year.

I always look forward to the Vols playing my Tide.

Good luck on Saturday, hope it’s a great game.

dawgfacedboy

October 19th, 2010
9:03 am

NOt a tech or uga fan- The MOuntain west is competitive???? Since when???

NASCDAWG

October 19th, 2010
9:06 am

I know its been 5 years but a much ballyhooed No.18 Boise State played No.13 Georgia. 48-13..Just saying.

Not a Tech or UGA Fan.....

October 19th, 2010
9:08 am

dawgfacedboy

Get your head out of the water bowl, can you not read. IF BYU & Utah had stayed next year the Mountain West WOULD HAVE been a good conference. IF those 2 teams had stayed.

robodawg

October 19th, 2010
9:08 am

Sometimes a split national champion is the best solution available.

College Football in its current state — where the main contenders might never play each other — probably needs 3 legit end of season polls, all independent from each other. Perhaps the Legends poll can gain some traction: http://www.legendschannel.com/legends-poll/

Gbal

October 19th, 2010
9:11 am

Computers dont have a heart…. the also don’t watch the media hype of a handfull of media favorite teams…. Which is good. The people polls are the ones that are off right now due to “feelings” for Boise … There is no way that boise is the top program in the nation…probably not a top 5.

The 8 or 16 team playoff will likely insure that the top 2-6 teams are in the mix for the national title AS LONG AS…. the playoff field is the top 8-16 teams in the polls. NO auto qualifying based on winning a confrence championship.

Run the polls like they are currently… take the top 8 or 16 teams from the polls at the end of the regular season, knowing that theres a damn good chance that the #1 and 2 are captured somewhere in the field…. Let em play it out and decide the national champ on the field where it should be decided.

Alphare

October 19th, 2010
9:11 am

BSU athletes look so small to me. They’d be shellshocked when a good SEC team pound them.

Zebra

October 19th, 2010
9:12 am

The whole idea of a national champion is silly with this format and always has been. For Christ’s sake, Alabama claims championships when they lost their bowl game that year.

Kevin Greene

October 19th, 2010
9:15 am

Enter your comments When will the BCS conferences take their ball and make their own division? Until they wise up, this issue will continue to occur. Boise St. is a good team, and can compete on “the big boy” level for a game or two. But how would they fare over a season? Injuries, classes, hormones (which seem to cause Dawgs and Gators to get into trouble) are all part of the college game. With an 80 player roster limit, the depth of talent at Boise St. isn’t close to a BCS school. Heck look at Tennessee, they are a BCS school hurt by issues and you see where they just don’t have the depth this year to compete.

ugakev

October 19th, 2010
9:15 am

This auburn non sense needs to stop lol yes can newton is a great talent but they have no defense. . Auburn has just Gotton lucky breaks this year they should of lost to Clemson At home for crying out loud. Winning games 65-43 with referee breaks equals no championships

3rdn8

October 19th, 2010
9:16 am

robodawg

I agree re: the Legends Poll.

It is comprised of former coaches and athletic directors who know CFB. They are as impartial, and informed as any group can be. That poll would be a great substitute for the Coaches’ Poll. At least the Legends actually watch the games.

ugakev

October 19th, 2010
9:19 am

3rdn8

October 19th, 2010
9:19 am

Zebra

Agree re: Bama’s championship claims. I don’t count the ones (like the ‘71 season) where we lost to Notre Dame, or ‘63 where we lost to Texas. However, I do add the ‘66 team to the list….they got shafted.

Paul in RDU

October 19th, 2010
9:20 am

Judging from many of the comments that Boise shouldn’t be voted high and shouldn’t play in an MNC because they play weak teams, there are plenty of SEC fans who are overly concerned about an SEC team not playing in the MNC. Don’t worry about Boise. As Tony has pointed out, there is no way that the computer rankings are going to have Boise up at the top – they can’t even improve their computer rankings by beating up on cupcakes. If LSU or AU goes unbeaten the human polls will put them over Boise (or TCU for that matter).

3rdn8

October 19th, 2010
9:21 am

ugakev

Disagree on AU being nonsense. They’re 7-0. That ain’t luck. Just hope that Bama can slow Newton down on November 27th.

Pulpwood

October 19th, 2010
9:22 am

Auburn has no defense, and is a one-man show. They will eventually be exposed, if not Saturday, then later on in the season. Perhaps their journey to Oxford, MS will be a day of reckoning- wouldn’t surprise me, as Auburn seems to play 10 homes games each year, and it will be interesting to see how they do on the road. Auburn was the beneficiary of two calls in Saturday’s game, both of which were reviewed and decided in Auburn’s favor, and both of which resulted in Auburn touchdowns. On top of that, Mallet was knocked out of the game in the first half. My point: Auburn is getting ALL of the breaks. They are a decent team, but certainly not a great one; they have no defense and rely on one player on offense for everything. This cannot last.

McDawg

October 19th, 2010
9:23 am

looking at your breakdown how can anyone deny that the SEC is by far the toughest conference in football

McDawg

October 19th, 2010
9:25 am

Newton can fall forward and gain 4 yds-can’t wait to see him against LSU-perhaps UF made them look godd but LSU has the best defense in the country that i have seen play so far

all i'm saying is...

October 19th, 2010
9:25 am

First of all, Tony (or whoever posted this for you), its ‘Would/Should’ not ‘Woud/shoud’.

Second, what Boise State supporters fail to recognize is beating someone in a bowl game where you have a month to prepare is no great feat and not symptomatic of your prominence. The other item they fail to acknowledge is the collective pounding that your team takes when they have to play three, four, or five teams in the top 25 which makes it difficult to come through undefeated. And when you throw in a conference championship game to boot then that makes your one loss or even two loss performance even more impressive. So from where I sit, even a two loss SEC team deserves more credit than an undefeated Boise State (or TCU/Utah winner) team. But given sentiment, Boise State or TCU or Utah will likely get the nod in a two loss scenario.

My pick is still Alabama. I think Saban can make the adjustments necessary on defense to tighten things up and win out including upsetting an undefeated Auburn team (they have too much for the Mad Hatter) and defeating whoever they match up with in the SEC (L)East.

Oregon defense is highly suspect and I don’t have any confidence in their coaching staff (like I do with Saban) to make adjustments so they will likely stumble (although they don’t have to deal with a conference championship game).

Oklahoma will be primed for an upset in their conference championship game due to the pressure and if they were to lose that after running the table then the hue and cry for a Boise State vs. Alabama match-up will be huge.

Should continue to be fun. I like the BCCS (Bigtime Championship Controversy for Sure) and don’t understand why more folks don’t embrace it. (smile)

Mike

October 19th, 2010
9:26 am

We will have a split national championship. The Oklahoma-Oregon winner will take the BCS title while Boise will beat whoever they play in their BCS game (again) and win the AP title.

jumbeauxtiger

October 19th, 2010
9:28 am

Gen Neyland, I don’t think Ridley will be able to run the ball with much success unless the Tigers can throw it and force Auburn to respect the pass.

As a LSU fan our passing game has been frustrating to say the least as the 3 starting WRs, Toliver, Randle and Shepard were all 5 star players in high school so the talent is there. We have been really poor at getting the ball to these guys this season.

3rdn8

October 19th, 2010
9:28 am

Pulpwood

Auburn falls under my “know your enemy” category. I disagree that AU is a one-pony act on offense. Newton has a lot of playmakers at his disposal. Fannin and McCaleb are good RBs. Adams is the most underrated WR is the SEC. The AU offensive line is one of the better ones in the league. Without Newton, AU could move the ball on most teams. With Newton, they’re scary.

AU’s weakness is defense. They’re probably going to give up four touchdowns to most of the better teams. But most of the better teams are going to have to score 35+ to beat them. Tall order.

Andy

October 19th, 2010
9:31 am

You’ve got a mistake in your article. LSU has also played West Virginia, who is currently ranked in the top 25.

Alphare

October 19th, 2010
9:32 am

It will all work itself out. I don’t believe Oklahoma will go undefeated. When it’s all said and done, a 1-loss SEC team will play in the NC. But it’s where the problem arise for SEC. Who will be the 1-loss SEC team among Auburn-BAMA-LSU? LSU is the weakest link, but BAMA has one loss already. I expect Auburn and BAMA to beat LSU, that will leave Iron Bowl the most important SEC game of the year.

3rdn8

October 19th, 2010
9:33 am

jumbeauxtiger

Your Mr. Chavis has my vote for best DC going. I think this LSU defense rivals the 2009 version of Bama’s. Saturday may be one of the most interesting games of the season.

Sam Robards, Dawg Fan

October 19th, 2010
9:35 am

Boise (and TCU and Utah) are good teams, but in this system, they simply don’t play enough quality competition to be given entry to the BCSCG. I don’t have any problem with them going to a BCS Bowl if they’re undefeated as a potential at-large, but they don’t deserve to play for the championship.

Though I have the feeling that, despite Boise’s horrific strength of schedule, enough human voters will try to get Boise to the CG over an undefeated or 1-loss Big Six team not because they think Boise’s the best team in the nation but to try and “break the system” and bring about a playoff.

Don’t get me wrong, I want a playoff more than anybody but not at the expense of a deserving team’s chance at a national championship.

we need a playoff

October 19th, 2010
9:37 am

That’s because for all the crap the computers are given they are still more logical than the human polls. Most of the “minds” that vote in the human polls can’t handle something this complex.

Gen Neyland

October 19th, 2010
9:38 am

3rdn8 : Our cigars have gone stale waiting on another win over Bama. I think CPF bought the last box back in 2006. This is a no brainer but for fun and to hang on to the past, I’ll say
UT 10 Alabama 9. Yeah, I can hear the laughter all the way up here in NE Georgia…

Quotes : ” You never know about a football player until he has played against Alabama.”
General Robert R. Neyland

” You found out what kind of person you were when you played against Tennessee.”
Paul ‘Bear’ Bryant

jumbeauxtiger

October 19th, 2010
9:41 am

Thanks 3rdn8. I’m glad to see Chavis get his well-deserved recognition especially after some said on this board he was not that good of a coach when the Tigers hired him.

A coach has to have talent and the players have to execute to be successful. Thus far Chavis has had both but will face a huge test on Saturday.

TheItalianDawg

October 19th, 2010
9:41 am

I think LSU will beat Auburn!

SatchelBuzz

October 19th, 2010
9:41 am

No obssession,…but you are worried. Your response cofirms it.

THWG!!

3rdn8

October 19th, 2010
9:42 am

Gen Neyland

Not laughing here. The Vols worry me. I think Dooley has done a fantastic job of keeping a very undermanned UT team in games. Either he, or Dan Mullen have my vote for the SEC Coach of Year.

BAMA dude

October 19th, 2010
9:46 am

Zebra

October 19th, 2010
9:12 am
The whole idea of a national champion is silly with this format and always has been. For Christ’s sake, Alabama claims championships when they lost their bowl game that year.

That’s because the AP determined its champion prior to bowl games in those years. That said, there’s a reason most folks refer to college football’s champion as “mythical”. It’s a beauty contest, nothing more.

MURPHY

October 19th, 2010
9:48 am

General,

I have told you all year that Dooley is gonna win one he shouldnt this year. You got a good one there,he will make yall proud in a couple years.

All Jealous

October 19th, 2010
9:48 am

Alabama also played a #7 ranked Fla team as well. Don’t forget the Gators.

3rdn8

October 19th, 2010
9:48 am

jumbeauxtiger

I didn’t see the negative comments about Chavis. I don’t know how anyone who has watched SEC football for the last twenty years could arrive at any conclusion other than he is just a great defensive coach.

jumbeauxtiger

October 19th, 2010
9:50 am

I think Dooley will turn things around for the Vols if he is given the time. He is a much better coach than his record indicates.

Mullen has done a heckuva job and he has generated alot of excitement in Starkville.

BAMA dude

October 19th, 2010
9:51 am

I’m hearing that UT will start a true freshman QB against Bama- if that’s the case bet on a blowout.

Old School

October 19th, 2010
9:52 am

Bama – UT will be (as often is the case) much closer than expected. Both teams are banged up and it could be an ugly, 20- 13 type win for Bama.

What on earth has happened in Gainesville? And Michigan State is still underrated with the best front 7 I have seen in college football this year.

Bama Dave

October 19th, 2010
9:52 am

Charliebama, you are right. I remember a top-5 Boise team going to Georgia a few years back and getting utterly reamed. For a couple of seasons, that shut people up about letting Boise play with the big boys. But here we are back again. They’re a good high school team that does well once or twice per year. But could you imagine them having a schedule where they had to play Alabama, Florida, Georgia, SC, Auburn, Arkansas every year? They’d become Vandy’s whipping post because they would STAY crippled up. No, Boise should not play in the NC game until they join a real conference with real competition week in and week out… period!

MURPHY

October 19th, 2010
9:54 am

Chavis is the main reason LSU is undefeated right now. If it wasnt for his defense LSU would be a .500 club. Chavis is a very good coach,knows the SEC well!