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

Look for CPJ to be Clemson's next head coach..

October 19th, 2010
7:11 am

per Doug Roberson, yesterday CPJ called out the GT fans and we were too stupid to know; wrote Doug:

“Johnson said he doesn’t have a favorite road stadium, but noted that Clemson should be fun because, “they seem to fill their stadium up no matter who they play.”

If Dabo doesn’t get the job done next year I see them making a change – Clemson still has to pay T. Bowdon for one more year, then they will have to buy out Dabo (they gave him a $1mil raise this year, to $1.8mil), and I don’t believe CPJ has a buyout clause in his contract, plus Clemson is closer to his NC roots, and would thus be a logical “final stop” for his coaching career…

SatchelBuzz

October 19th, 2010
7:27 am

Boise State and TCU should be ranked in the 10-15 range. They don’t deserve to in the MNC discussion,….end of story.Thier respective inclusion in the top 5 is nothing more than political correctness run amok and it’s time it stops,…NOW!

..And it’s obvious that the initial poster this morning is a worried nadlicker,…nothing more,…move along now,…payback’s coming.

THWG!!

ATL is TigerTown

October 19th, 2010
7:29 am

Boise is a good football team, nobody is denying that. However, if they’re not in a BCS conference, they shouldn’t even be in the discussion. They have no business in a BCS Bowl. When they get with the program they can reap the benefits. Until then, as far as I’m concerned, they can sit on the sidelines with TCU and watch the big boys play ball.
For the record, Auburn runs the table. War Eagle!

See, SatchelBuzz..

October 19th, 2010
7:34 am

…the obsession with UGA continues – no one has mentioned UGA and you bring them into a discussion, and end it with the proverbial “good word” – that poster yesterday was correct, Techies ARE totally consumed with UGA, no matter what the topic…

Jake

October 19th, 2010
7:35 am

LSU’s nine lives will end this weekend. Auburn looks outstanding. Seems Newton just picks a hole and moves forward. No one has learned how to stop him and I don’t feel LSU can either. Auburn is now in the hunt for the National Championship. Tony too over looked them at the start of the season. No, I’m not an Auburn guy, but they look really great.

BIRDDAWGONE

October 19th, 2010
7:36 am

Want to see the lowest rating in the BSC championship history. Let Boise State and TCU play. This might just be what we need to get a playoff and have the champion decided on the field.

You Ain't-Know Gaily Whacker

October 19th, 2010
7:38 am

The Reporter: Mr. McGarity, are you pleased with the team in the last two games ?

Greg: You better believe it. Happy days are here again, until Saturday.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sBq8b0vrJYg&feature=related

Nobody could have predicted..

October 19th, 2010
7:41 am

..what Auburn has done so far – they ended last season in a regular season downspin; they had a new QB who had never played a down in D1 who had been kicked off his previous D1 team; and their defense was suspect (and still is) – but Cam Newton has played exceptionally well so it is what it is – how long it lasts remains to be seen…

Personally, I would love to see Boise State and TCU play for the MNC – that would mean they were the only undefeated teams left standing…

jumbeauxtiger

October 19th, 2010
7:43 am

Jake, Auburn looks outstanding on offense but to make it to Glendale their defense will have to improve.

Auburn grads couldn't get into UGA

October 19th, 2010
7:45 am

LSU has the best defense in the nation. Don’t see Cam “likes to steal laptops” Newton running over that defense. It has been a great ride Auburn. All good things must come to an end.

Jake

October 19th, 2010
7:47 am

If a team can score 60+ points against the Hoggs,, you can get by with an average defense.

Who is Boise?

October 19th, 2010
7:49 am

If Boise was willing to play more games on the road in opposing venues without requiring the home and home…they’d have at least another quality opponent or two and we could see how they play in a rabid opposition place. Currently they play nobody of note on the road! Probably twenty teams in the nation could run through that schedule without a loss.

Dawg_Mike

October 19th, 2010
7:49 am

I am interested to see what Chavis dials up to slow down Newton. I don’t think you can STOP him, just slow him down until help arrives.

lanier

October 19th, 2010
7:50 am

If Boise wants to play in the big game they should play a big time schedule. The qualification for the big game is beating big time opponents and they dont do that. There is no free lunch Boise

Jake

October 19th, 2010
7:51 am

Dawg_Mike,, that’s my point, once he gets a seam in the line,, he’s already gained 7-9 yards.

Dontavius Supremo

October 19th, 2010
7:54 am

Boise State, to be taken seriously by knowledgeable football fans, must play a serious schedule. Unless and until they do, no one in his right mind will compare them to a real football team. End of debate.

MURPHY

October 19th, 2010
7:54 am

Im pulling for Auburn to win this game. This is going to be tough for Cam and the offense though,Chavis is a very crafy D-Coord. The good part is the AU defense will have a better chance with the LSU offense than they did Arkansas. I dont see this to be high scoring. Im taking AU 21-14

MURPHY

October 19th, 2010
7:55 am

My last post was to Dawg_Mike,not on the subject of this article.

Jake

October 19th, 2010
7:58 am

The Vols played LSU staight up at LSU and should have won the game, but they put in their 5-4-4 defense which cost them the game on the final play.. Auburn has LSU at home and should take care of business. Yes, Chavis will have something up his sock, but I’m not sure his defense can not defend 11 players.

Charlie Bama

October 19th, 2010
8:00 am

Great analysis, Tony! But when the dust settles at the end of this season, it may take an Alabama, Auburn or Oklahome CHOMP & ROMP over Boise State to shut this whole arguement down for a few years. We’ll see.

Not a Tech or UGA Fan.....

October 19th, 2010
8:06 am

I totally agree with the BCS standings but you really can’t blame Boise St for not playing anyone because they have been willing to schedule anyone for their non-conference games and have had very few takers. VaTech agreed to play in DC but wasn’t going to do a home & home with them. Why would a team like Alabama or Flordia want to give up a sure win against Georgia St or Appalanchian St and play Boise St? In todays BCS system nothing good can come from playing teams like Boise St, Utah, or TCU right now but you sure can lose a lot.

SECisFootball

October 19th, 2010
8:08 am

Jake….Alabama had a few close games against lesser teams last year (UT and AU) and it turned out ok for them. AU is a one man team this year and if he is taken out of his running game (and forces to pass) or if he gets injured, AU is screwed. AU plays NO defense at all. For a league like the SEC, which prides itself on always having great defensive teams, AU is an embarrassment. On O, there is Cam and no one else. The running backs are irrelevent and the WR’s are stuck with a QB who cant really throw anything over a 15 yard pass…with any accuracy. The Auburn University Cam Newtow’s will face a team with a great defense and could very well be exposed. Win or lose, the Newton’s will lose to BAMA to end the season.

jumbeauxtiger

October 19th, 2010
8:08 am

Jake, if I recall Auburn has won several close games as well. That’s football and at the end of the day they still count as wins.

I’m sure Chavis will have a sound game plan. Whether the players execute is another thing.

KAW

October 19th, 2010
8:09 am

@Nobody could have…. FYI, Cam chose to leave the Gators. He was not kicked off.

KR

October 19th, 2010
8:11 am

A couple of clarifications here:

Newton did play D1 football prior to Auburn. If you’ve watched any of the games this year, you should have seen game footage of him wearing #13 for Florida.

Newton was not kicked off his previous D1 team.

Newton did not steal a laptop computer.

LSU should have the toughest defense Auburn has seen so far this year. As it has been every week this season, it should be interesting to see how AU adapts to the competition. However, THIS Auburn fan knows better than to discount the magic of “The Hat.”

Hopefully it’s another good game to watch.

SECisFootball

October 19th, 2010
8:12 am

Not a Tech or UGA Fan….why would BAMA give up playing a home and home with Oklahoma and Penn State or neutral site games with Clemson, Florida State, Virginia Tech or Michigan (2012 in Dallas)to play a home and home series with Boise State. As was writted a few weeks ago in the Birmingham News, Boise said they would play anyone anywhere and the BAMA AD was quoted as saying…”they never called me.” I think you arguement against Florida’s schedule is valid, but not Alabama.

Jake

October 19th, 2010
8:12 am

SECisFootball, I agree with with you about Newton. But if he does not get hurt,, they should keep winning. He’s carried them all season. I do look forward to Iron Bowl if Auburn stays unbeaten. Will be a classic.

jumbeauxtiger

October 19th, 2010
8:12 am

Also Jake Tennessee did not play LSU “straight up”. The Tigers had twice as many yards and the only reason it came down to the last play is because LSU had 4 turnovers, the Vols had none, and the Tigers had over twice as many penalties.

If LSU has more turnovers and penalties than Auburn they will lose to the War Eagles.

Will Collier

October 19th, 2010
8:15 am

The problem with the computer rankings is, well, they’re garbage. Journalism majors are apparently impressed when told “the computer says…”, but anybody with technical training knows the dictum, garbage in, garbage out. Nobody knows–because the “poll” owners won’t reveal–what data goes into the software, and with one exception, nobody knows what math the software uses to generate the rankings. What little we do know tends to indicate that the math is bogus, meaning the output is just as bogus (Tony alludes to this above; Oklahoma was still ranked #1 by computer software in 2003 even after being drilled in their conference championship game).
The human polls aren’t notably better, since they’re compiled by entirely fallible human beings, but placing any faith in “the computers” speaks more to general technical ignorance than any subjective reality.

Max Sizemore

October 19th, 2010
8:19 am

Boise is very good on offense, no question. And VERY well-coached. But they simply do NOT have the athletes on defense to play with Alabama, Oregon, Oklahoma, etc. So, no, they do not belong in the BCS game.

richham

October 19th, 2010
8:20 am

How many times are we going to discuss this??? How many people here in the South really care?

For the record, I hope they get to play in the big game and get destroyed. It’s like ranking Ohio St. in the top three every year while the consistently prove otherwise.

Will Collier

October 19th, 2010
8:26 am

Here’s a bit more about the value (or rather, the lack of value) in “the computers”:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/17/sports/ncaafootball/17score.html

BCS=Barnharts College Shenanigans

October 19th, 2010
8:26 am

http://pricezack.wordpress.com/2010/10/18/the-bcs-who-will-raise-the-crystal-ball/ this is a great article about the bcs rankings, it is a great read for college football fans

Will Collier

October 19th, 2010
8:27 am

And, uh, I should have said “objective reality.” Where’s the edit button on here, anyway…?

travy

October 19th, 2010
8:33 am

we have a system devised by the big boyz for the big boyz and boise st and tcu are not big boyz. sorry kids

Not a Tech or UGA Fan.....

October 19th, 2010
8:34 am

SECisFootball
Alabama is just like Florida and just about every other BCS school when it comes to putting their non conference schedule together. You schedule one tough game and 3 cream puff automatic wins. The last 3 years Alabama has played one so called tough opponent (Clemson, VaTech, PennSt) and the likes of SJSU, Arkansas St, Tulane, Florida Int’l, North Texas, Chattanooga. When they added the 12th game a few years ago why didn’t the SEC or ACC or Big 12 do what the PAC 10 did and make teams play another conference game and not schedule a cream puff? And if what Hootie says is true why hasn’t Alabama called Utah and asked for a re-match?

RxDawg

October 19th, 2010
8:35 am

Computers are always right

Northern Sympathizer

October 19th, 2010
8:35 am

I think should the scenario play out like Tony describes and Boise gets bumped to #3, the AP should crown Boise. And I think they would. Lot of ball left though.

Tidewatch

October 19th, 2010
8:38 am

Sticking to the subject at hand,I will take a computer’s assessment of schedule strength and therefore actual accomplishment, over voters’ “hearts” thank you. I have seen what mistakes voting with one’s heart can make in many political elections (g).

82Dawg

October 19th, 2010
8:39 am

Boise needs to join a conference that has tougher opponents, that would solve all of this..

3rdn8

October 19th, 2010
8:40 am

The truth on conferences vs conferences

Other than bowl games, there isn’t enough conference vs conference games to make an informed judgement on which conference is the best. How many best-on-best matchups actually occur? We in the SEC hang our hats on the last four NC games. But that is four games out of how many hundreds?

So….what we have is a guess-and-by-gosh system. It is far from perfect, but I can’t see anything better coming along for a long time.

SimpleDawg

October 19th, 2010
8:41 am

Let Boise play Auburn’s or Alabama’s schedule and let’s see what their record is. They’d be lucky to go 8 – 4. TCU? Same thing. Utah? Yep, same for them. Heck, let them play Georgia’s schedule. Same result.

It’s easier to beat a really good team if you only have to be ready for 1 or 2 at the most each year. The New Mexicos, San Joses, and Nevado-Renos of the world can be beaten while you’re focused on another opponent.

This is why we need an eight team playoff during bowl season to pare down the candidates to play in the BCS game…..sorta separate the wheat from the chaff.

RxDawg

October 19th, 2010
8:42 am

richham
October 19th, 2010
8:20 am

You literaly took the words right out of my mouth.

Mon

October 19th, 2010
8:42 am

If you really think your team, whoever it is, can beat Boise St., then schedule them. Home and home, meaning you go play on the blue field. The only BCS team to do it so far is Oregon and they are an impressive 0-2 against the Broncos. That’s right Max, 0-2. Oregon did it, and Oregon got run.
Va Tech played ‘em and lost, but you don’t hear of a return game to Boise. Uga played them before and refused to go out there in return. Of course, they didn’t schedule out of conference games out past the Mississippi River back then. Colorado says thanks for coming by the way.
You want this nonsense to stop? Get one or two decent BCS teams with the testicular fortitude to play them straight up home and home without silly demands and let the chips fall where they may. The silence is deafening.

Clay

October 19th, 2010
8:42 am

I hope Boise wins out against thier creampuff “Sisters of the Poor” schedule and they get left out of the big game just so we can watch Pat Forde have a complete melt down. I have never seen a sports writer get so worked up over a team that has done so little.

hdhd

October 19th, 2010
8:42 am

If they can’t get computers to like them, who can they get? I know I don’t.

Paul M.

October 19th, 2010
8:44 am

Why is everybody so upset about “split championships” and controversy about who’s best? It’s been part of college football since before all of us were born.

If you want to be the best you have to play the best, and the strongest conferences with strong traditional rivals will always have the edge there. Nothing keeping Boise from scheduling strong teams for years, just like Penn State and BYU had to do to be taken seriously. Pay your dues if you want to be a member of the “perennial power” club.

Not a Tech or UGA Fan.....

October 19th, 2010
8:46 am

Everyone wants Boise St to join a tougher conference but the fact of the matter is none of the so call major conferences have come calling. 21st century College Football is all about the money and the PAC 10 wanted Colorado & Utah instead of Boise St. The Big 12 already has the Dallas TV market so who knows if they bring in TCU or not next year.

Gen Neyland

October 19th, 2010
8:48 am

jumbeauxtiger : True, your 0812 post
re : Tennessee takeaways and penalities. I couldn’t believe the young Tennessee OL didn’t have any false starts in that enviroment… Your wildcard Saturday, IMHO, will be Ridley and ST play. Also, Chavis takes games like Auburn as a personal vendetta and uses his D as hitmen. If he gets their minds right and stresses disciplined play, Newton et al will know they’ve been in a game. I give the offensive nod to Auburn and the defensive nod to LSU in this one. Makes for an interesting game to the innocent bystander…

GaTruth

October 19th, 2010
8:49 am

ENOUGH!!! Boise can’t join a real conference because they are in the back woods of the back woods. The Pac 10 doesn’t want them – they just added Colorado and would probably rather have another mediocre patsy (Utah? Colorado St.?). If Boise State had any cajones they would renounce their conference affiliation and becime an independent. Schedule six real games a la the SEC, a few lower rung teams that have a chance at an upset, a real RIVAL or two (are there any Boise St rivals?), and two cupcakes. Make it through and you are legit.