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

3rdn8

October 19th, 2010
9:58 am

jumbeauxtiger

Dooley’s first season at UT mirrors Mullen’s first year at MSU. Mullen managed a “signature win” against Ole Miss, and it made the MSU season. It also set the tone for MSU’s 2010 season. I think if Dooley can win one of either the Bama, USC, or UK games it will serve the same purpose.

Kenny Powers

October 19th, 2010
10:01 am

Booger and Louis from Revenge of the Nerds must not be Boise fans

Tide60

October 19th, 2010
10:02 am

The problem with computer rankings is that Cam stole their computer. Seriously, computers rankings are subjective data fed into subjective algorithms which results in subjective rankings.

TommyJack

October 19th, 2010
10:04 am

Chavis is saving Miles’ chessnuts, just as he did Fulmer’s. For years.

Boise Not Deserving

October 19th, 2010
10:07 am

Sure it’s difficult for Boise to go undefeated.

It’s also difficult for a 1-AA team to go undefeated through their schedules. Doesn’t mean they’ve earned the right to play for the BCS national title.

Wandering Dawg

October 19th, 2010
10:11 am

TUC will jump Boise if they beat Utah.

Wandering Dawg

October 19th, 2010
10:12 am

TCU will jump Boise if they beat Utah.

5IML

October 19th, 2010
10:12 am

I don’t care if:

1. Fulmer is gone
2. Dooley is a Saban protege
3. Dooley is a nice guy
4. UT is down on their luck

I still want BAMA to stomp UT on Saturday.

My favorite BAMA quote regarding UT comes from Saban’s locker room speech after the UT game in 2008:

“You leaving (the field after the game) and you look up and ain’t nobody (UT fans) there, aight! That’s the earmark of an *ss kicking!”

BroncoBilly

October 19th, 2010
10:15 am

Can you name another team sport where it’s champion is crowned based on it’s strength of schedule? We need to play it off on the field. If not, all the rest is opinion. Nothing wrong with having an opinion but it’s just that.

MURPHY

October 19th, 2010
10:15 am

5IML,

I think Bama wins but UT will give them fits. I see Chavis loading the box and making Bama beat them throwing the ball..AKA-Carolina

MURPHY

October 19th, 2010
10:16 am

5IML,

Sorry not Chavis-so used to him being at UT-My bad

5IML

October 19th, 2010
10:23 am

Murph,

It will be a close game only because of our injuries and offensive inconsistency. We really need to get through this one and limp into the bye week. Hopefully, Julio, Dareus, Upshaw, Fluker, Jordan, Dequan, and Milliner will be full-strength for LSU.

anotherdawg

October 19th, 2010
10:25 am

Can’t blame Boise, cause they are willing. Can’t blame SEC cause the’re schedule is already off the charts. I blame the BCS for putting teams such as Ohio State, who play a soft schedule and have no conference championship game, at the top year after year. If we are not going to give Boise credit because of a weak schedule, then why give the others. I’m not for a all-out play-off like basketball, but it sure would be nice to keep the bowls, match at least the top four teams against each other, and then play one final game for all the marbles. Maybe play no#1 against no#4, no#2 against #3 in bowl format, then a final NC game. No system is perfect, but this would take most of the controversity out of it.

T3

October 19th, 2010
10:27 am

INtersting comments from Barnhart refently about BCS vs Playoff system.

He said its no question a playoff system would earn way more money than the BCS. He said the main issue is the REVENUE-SHARING part of all the new money that would be generated from a playoff system.

So, if there can be an agreement on the revenue-sharing,
then a playoff system will happen.

GTBob

October 19th, 2010
10:27 am

I still find it absurd that there are three teams in the top nine of both polls that have zero chance of winning a MNC. If we aren’t going to allow these teams to compete for a championship then why rank them in the first place? Why even let them compete in the FBS? What is the point in having teams in the FBS that have no chance of winning before the season even starts?

MURPHY

October 19th, 2010
10:29 am

5IML,

UT/Bama is always a tough,physical game. Hope both sides come out with no injuries. Is it a 3:30 kickoff-What network?

Sivahc

October 19th, 2010
10:30 am

Yet this morning on 680 Perry and that moron Pat Forde from ESPN were both crying about the “humans” not liking Boise? Hmmm……

MURPHY

October 19th, 2010
10:31 am

5IML,

Bama will be catching LSU at the right time-This game with AU could really cause them to be tired and beat up for yalls game. Man noone gets a break/rest in this conference!

Canton

October 19th, 2010
10:34 am

@ anotherdawg,

Exactly. It’s all the Midwestern homers that make up a large majority of the sports media that try each and every year to inundate us with crap from the Big 10. They FINALLY had a good bowl showing last year and look what that gave us? Half the freakin’ teams in the top 10 to begin this season were Big 10 pasties.

wheelz007

October 19th, 2010
10:34 am

LSU also played UNC and Florida while each team was ranked.

JUST SAYING

October 19th, 2010
10:35 am

same ole buffoons on here , think their commments run the world….said it before and say it again, Bama you should be ashamed to be the defending national champs and play the Ga States of the world…you get what you deserve…a lower ranking

Commonsense

October 19th, 2010
10:38 am

Sorry, but I’m not sympathetic towards a program that plays 10 high school caliber teams out of a 12 game season. Beating Va. Tech was great, ehh? They lost to f’n James Madison!! Oregon St. lost to a horrible Washington team. Strength of schedule has to be included into the calculations. The media has been trying to shove Boise down our throats for over 10 years now. Most people think they are a new phenomenon but it couldn’t be any further from the truth.

vet

October 19th, 2010
10:40 am

@ just saying,

Yes, buffoons do pollute this blog. Reading your comments prove that. When you play in the toughest conference in the nation it is absolutely absurd to demand these teams to schedule out-of-conference BCS games as well. Don’t be stupid.

MURPHY

October 19th, 2010
10:45 am

just saying,

I guess App State had no business playing Michigan? James Madison had no business playing Va Tech? Jax State had no business playing Ole Miss?
Hmmmmmmmm I dont think tour comment was valid.

Will Rogers

October 19th, 2010
10:45 am

JUST SAYING

So who is your team, or are you too embarrassed to say?

gomdawg

October 19th, 2010
10:46 am

i’M WITH THE COMPUTERS I DON’T LIKE BOISE STATE THEY DON’T PLAY THE SAME TEAMS THAT ALA. AUBURN.OKLA. OREGON, LSU . SO GROW UP AND GET WITH THE BIG BOYS IF YOU WANT TO GET TO THE TOP. BOOO HOOO

Just Saying

October 19th, 2010
10:47 am

Im a Tech fan and we had no business playing Kansas.

Sam Robards, Dawg Fan

October 19th, 2010
10:54 am

An additional note on Boise, they made a good move by moving to the MAC … until Utah left for the Pac-10.

If Utah had stayed when Boise came in, I’d recommend that they add the MAC as a “Big Seven” conference. Too bad Boise walked into a situation EXACTLY like the one they’re leaving in the WAC.

Why didn’t Boise try to petition the Pac-10 for entry or, from the other angle, why didn’t the Pac-10 pursue Boise when they looked to expand? A Pac-12 that added Utah and Boise State would’ve been a pretty intimidating conference.

Too bad for Boise…

Sam Robards, Dawg Fan

October 19th, 2010
10:57 am

Oops, they joined the MWC, didn’t they? Sorry!

MikeP

October 19th, 2010
11:04 am

Thank goodness for the computers! The problem is that a number of the human voters are voting for “poor lil’ ol’ Boise”. If the voters actually thought Boise could beat LSU, Auburn, Oklahoma and the like that would be one thing. But they are voting with their hearts, not their heads.

The voters are giving Boise a sympathy vote, which is not fair to the players on the stronger teams.

tare

October 19th, 2010
11:09 am

Boise couldn’t even beat Tech for cryin’ out loud!!! They would probably finish 4th or 5th in the ACC and probably 10th or 11th in the SEC.

kevin

October 19th, 2010
11:10 am

It seems like Boise State could potentially compete with the likes of an Oregon or Alabama, but I submit they should not be able to. Like many folks have pointed out, they do not play a demanding enough schedule to warrant NC consideration. BS’s poor strength of schedule not only disallows them to prove themselves in terms of being able to be quality teams consistently, it’s more than that. People can speculate at length about whether BS can hang with the “bigger boys”, but that’s pure speculation; sure, it may be educated, but speculation nonetheless. I think the quintessential reason BS should be excluded from NC consideration is not b/c I think they cannot compete with the likes of Alabama or Oregon necessarily, but rather b/c BS does not have to endure a season littered with 300 lb. lineman, bruising backs, big hitting backers and safeties. Put another way, BS’s schedule does not require a battle of attrition. Playing in the SEC or PAC 10 is difficult week in and week out, with 2 or 3 easy games throughout the season, whereas BS’s schedule is the exact opposite. If BS were to play in the SEC or PAC 10, it’s seems that attrition may very well catch up to them; though, we will never know. In any case, it seems the onus is on BS to play a more difficult schedule and show that they can last a year. Till then, they should not receive NC consideration.

m

October 19th, 2010
11:12 am

The only things dumber than the BCS are the idiots like Tony that support the BCS.

The BCS is the most idiotic, convaluted system ever developed by mankind.

Get opinion OUT of football. Only ON THE FIELD results should count…not talking heads like Tony and the idiots on SEC-ESPN.

We need a 16 team playoff. We need it now. Let the teams decide who is the champion….not some idiots opinion,

3rdn8

October 19th, 2010
11:14 am

re: scheduling….specifically Bama’s schedule. I don’t see a lot that Bama can do to strengthen their schedule. In September, Bama played two ranked teams (PSU, and ARK). In October they play Florida, USC, and UT. UT is down this year, but who could have forseen that five years ago? In November, they always play LSU, MSU, and AU. In all, Bama will play seven teams that are either ranked, or were ranked at the time of the game. Six teams on their schedule have two weeks to get ready.

I don’t like to see Bama playing teams like SJSU, or Ga State either. I would prefer games against Troy, Jax State, or UNA (keeps the money instate). But I don’t think it’s realistic to expect a team to strengthen that schedule, and still go 14-0.

AJ

October 19th, 2010
11:15 am

The only reason Boise State is beating all the teams they play is because they are all highschool teams. If they played even one 10 team…they would go down in the crap they came from. If you kiddies want to be taken serious…play a few decent games in your season and then come talk…

GTBob

October 19th, 2010
11:16 am

Yes MikeP, its hard to imagine a team like Boise St ever beating a team like Oklahoma or Oregon the current top two teams in the country. Oh wait, they already did.

5IML

October 19th, 2010
11:17 am

Murph,

BAMA v. UT is the 7 Eastern on ESPN.

[...] News Sources wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerpt [...]

3rdn8

October 19th, 2010
11:19 am

51ML

A lot of finger pointing has started…..hope it is just the fans.

Sakes

October 19th, 2010
11:22 am

GTBob,

Yes, beating the most overrated coach in the country and one of the most overrated programs in the country is quite a feat.

He’s called “Big Game Bob” because he always finds ways of losing the big games.

5IML

October 19th, 2010
11:22 am

3rd,

In my opinion, it’s all on McElroy right now. He is going through the same midseason slump he endured last year. Like last year, he will work through it. Benching him for AJ would be a mistake. If Spurrier was our coach, McElroy would be in trouble of losing his position as the starter.

4 jacks

October 19th, 2010
11:27 am

Boise has no business even being in a BCS bowl until they play more than one game a year. I am sure they are a good team, but until you have to play 3 to 5 ranked or top 30 say teams and play some of them back to back without sisters of the poor in between they should not even be in the discussion. At some point to “play” for it all you have to man up and schedule like the big boys do. You say its your conference, the do like BYU and go independent, but the fact is you play one fairly tough game to start the season then you get a BCS bowl and a team that is not happy, nor wanted to play you in the first place. Please, until you get yourselfs a real schedule, just STFU…most of us are tired if hearing it and the Boise whining.

Va Dawg

October 19th, 2010
11:28 am

Get real people Boise is A PRODUCT OF ESPN they want Boise to play in the game so they have something to talk about . Until they play at lease 3 top 20 teams they should’nt be ranked in top 10 final line they DON’T PLAY ENOUGH QUALITY GAMES……….

3rdn8

October 19th, 2010
11:28 am

51ML

You’re right….there isn’t a lot of mystery here. McElroy starts hitting the 20 yard passes more consistently, most of the offensive problems go away. Right now, he appears to be about 20% accurate on those throws.

Don’t know about you (taking into account the injury bug), the defense seems to be gelling. These guys get a bit more healthy, and they can still make some noise.

Smokey

October 19th, 2010
11:36 am

Boise St would be ranked about #7 in my mind due to its schedule. What I see being overlooked in all the arguments is talk of playoffs instead of the Bull*CS. I think I have a good playoff system proposal to offer. The top 8 teams are in. 4 games in first round using the 4 existing major bowls. 2 games the following week in a bidded host site. The big game in the 3rd week at a bidded host site. And please don’t give me that hypocritical BS about playoffs making the season too long. If that’s the case, drop the 12th game in the regular season as well as a patsy.

Dean Vernon Wormer, Faber College

October 19th, 2010
11:36 am

This thing is so easy. Just get about 40 or 50 of the best football-playing colleges in the country to withdraw from the NCAA, form their own new organization, keep their same conferences, sign new (or amend existing) TV contracts for a bazillion dollars, create a 32-team playoff system, and crown the natinal champs every year.

The time has come for someone to put his foot down. And that foot is me.

Micah

October 19th, 2010
11:38 am

Oklahoma also faced Air Force which was ranked until this week. Also, given their performances against Texas A&M and Auburn, it appears more and more that Arkansas’s near win versus Alabama was a fluke. Do they really belong in the Top 25?

Micah

October 19th, 2010
11:42 am

GTBob – Boise beat Oklahoma in 2007 and Oregon last year. By your logic, Alabama shouldn’t be ranked because they lost to Lousiana-Monroe in 2007. Stay in the current season.

Boise sucks

October 19th, 2010
11:43 am

So far Boise has played only 2 teams that are currently over .500. And only 3 teams out of their next 6 opponents are currently over .500. This isn’t the schedule of a champion, it’s a schedule of a 9th grade freshman team. Pathetic.

5IML

October 19th, 2010
11:43 am

3rd,

McElroy is missing open receivers on the deep throws. He, then, loses confidence and starts checking down to short throws and RB dump-offs. Currently, there’s no penalty for stacking the box with 9 defenders.

When he hits one deep pass, everything (i.e. McElroy’s confidence in himself, McElwain’s confidence in McElroy, the defense’s strategy) will change.