College Football Talk

Commentary, Picks of the Week, Polls and More…

The polls…..

with 14 comments

This next poll is used to choose national champion but is usually not recognized as much since the BCS was instituted.  Once since the BCS was institutted has the AP poll not agreed with the national champion that was selected by the BCS.

The AP poll consists of 60 sportswriters and broadcasters from across the country.  Each with their own affiliation for their newspapers or news stations they work for.  Austin’s own Kirk Bohls is a voter for the poll.  This link here shows who they are and what they each personally voted for this past week.


These next 3 scoring systems consist of the BCS scoring system which is supposed to select a national champion.

The Coaches Poll consists of 59 head coaches at D-1 schools. It is in D-2 and D-3 schools as well.  This link will show you who is in the 2009 board of coaches.

The 2009 Harris Interactive College Football Poll is comprised of 114 panelists and includes former coaches, players, administrators and current and former media. Panelists are randomly drawn by Harris Interactive from among more than 300 nominations supplied by the 11 Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly Division I-A) conferences and independent institutions. 

The computer ranking makes the last 1/3 of the BCS total.  The computers are made up of the following 6 systems

Jeff Sagarin, Anderson & Hester, Richard Billingsley, Colley Matrix, Kenneth Massey, Dr. Peter Wolfe

The mathematics that are put into these ratings are just mind blowing.  I would rather just let you check out this link to make your own minds up on how indepth they are.

IMO, the BCS has the ability to choose the correct national champion with more accuracy than the AP poll alone, the remaining other teams are always going to be up in the air.


Written by Jon Castano

November 25, 2009 at 7:12 pm

Posted in Commentary

14 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Allow me to point out that the NCAA disagrees with you. There are 23 NCAA-sanctioned men’s and women’s collegiate sports, of which only one has no NCAA-sanctioned championship or tournament to decide a national champion. Instead, the Official NCAA Football Records include a number of “selectors” in their official history of college football, which have included the BCS, the AP Poll, and the USA Today Coaches Poll (among more than a dozen others).

    None of them are “more accurate” than the other, and since bowl games are by definition exhibition games, what you or I think is more accurate is pretty much indefensible hyperbole.

    I think we are all aware of the controversies and problems with the BCS… whether it’s which polls to include and not to include, the transparency (or lack thereof) in voting, the use of arbitrary mathematical formulas, etc. etc. But here is the real nitty-gritty of WHY the BCS feels like it doesn’t work:

    1) Teams with identical records (undefeated or not) can finish the season at the top of the polls without ever playing each other, and…

    2) A team can enter the BCS national championship game after losing it’s last regular season or conference championship game, and…

    3) The USA Today Coaches Poll is contractually obligated to name the BCS winner the national champion.

    These things don’t happen all the time, but the simple fact that they can (and have) is in my opinion at the root of what really irritates most college football fans. The system has created an artificial formula for success that is not as simple as “win all your games” (as one might hope). Instead, you have to be concerned with preseason rankings, out-of-conference schedules, and a plethora of other factors that are not in any shape or form related to fielding the best team you can and performing at the highest level you can for the entire season.

    I just don’t think the terms “contractually obligated” and “accurate determination” mix particularly well.

    I think it is also an important historical note that prior to the “modern bowl era” in the mid 1970’s, when TV contracts became a huge source of income for the NCAA, the national championships were determined prior to the bowl games.

    The fact is there has been controversy over the BCS national championship (either in the selection of the teams to play for it, or in the declaration of the champion after the bowls) in every year the BCS has existed except for perhaps 2002 and 2005. (Thank you, Ohio State and Texas!):

    2000 – Florida State gets invited over Miami
    2001 – Nebraska gets invited over Colorado
    2003 – LSU gets invited over USC
    2004 – Auburn and Utah both left out of the NCG
    2006 – Michigan and Boise State left out
    2007 – LSU gets invited over Kansas
    2008 – Utah, Boise State, and Texas all get left out

    In all but one of these cases, there was no way to compare head-to-head the eventual winner of the BCS National Championship to any of the controversial snubs, so to describe those championships as “accurate” is being pretty loose with the term.

    It is my opinion that the BCS no more accurately chooses a legitimate NCAA football champion than the AP Poll. While the BCS has more intimate ties to the sport than the sportswriters, it has plenty of it’s own problems, not the least of which is the financial and political incentives built into the system.


    November 25, 2009 at 10:25 pm

    • I don’t entirely agree because I think you need the human element to evaluate what’s actually happening on the field. The biases that go along with that are an unfortunate part of the plan, but so system is perfect.

      That said, I don’t entirely agree with what you’re saying, either. People always point out the games you did to point out flaws in the system. I don’t think the BCS has gotten it quite as wrong as everyone wants to think. Looking at the same games:

      2000 – People always make a fuss about FSU being invited over Miami. But it’s not like Miami was undefeated. They lost to Washington. FSU lost to a one-loss team, as did Miami. People want to punish FSU for losing late in the season rather than losing early. If you say Miami deserved it because they beat FSU, you’re also saying Washington deserved it because they beat Miami. FSU had just as good an argument as Miami or Washington.

      2001 – That’s legit, though the problem was Nebraska getting invited over Oregon. Nobody thought Colorado deserved the championship.

      2003 – Not sure why you say it was a problem that LSU got invited over USC. LSU won the championship. LSU, USC and Oklahoma all lost one game that season. Oklahoma lost late to a ranked team (Kansas State, which went to a BCS Bowl). LSU lost mid-season to a ranked team (Florida, which was 8-4 and went to a bowl game). USC lost early to Cal, which was 7-6 at the end of the regular season. Once again, you want to punish teams for losing late rather than losing to bad teams. I think that stinks. USC didn’t deserve the championship that year, I don’t care what the AP voters say.

      2004 – Auburn dug its own grave by playing a joke of a schedule. Playing in the SEC is no excuse for playing the garbage schedule they had that year. You can make a legitimate case for Utah, but I think it’s not terribly realistic to expect the first non-BCS team in a BCS Bowl to go to the championship. They opened the door by beating Pitt, but I can’t imagine it would have made a difference that year. USC was far and away the best team in the country that year. It wasn’t even close.

      2006 – Michigan was left out because Ohio State beat them. It was a different Big 10 team in the championship and, oh…by the way, they got CRUSHED. Boise State, again, got burned by their schedule. And again, I doubt it mattered. They played an OU team that lucked into a BCS Bowl they shouldn’t have gotten and Boise State still almost lost.

      2007 – LSU had a worse record than Kansas, but Kansas was in the same boat as Nebraska in 2001. They finished third in the conference. They were hurt by their weak schedule (Central Michigan, Southeastern Louisiana, Toledo, Florida International, and they dodged Texas, Oklahoma and even Texas Tech). Missouri beat Kansas but lost the Big 12 championship and was left out of a BCS Bowl because they got smoked by Oklahoma. If anyone got hosed by the BCS that year, it was Missouri.

      2008 – You have a legit point about Utah and Texas, even though I think Texas punished themselves. They should have beat Tech, plain and simple. But I do think they got that championship game wrong. That was a horrible game.

      Austin Swafford

      November 26, 2009 at 1:25 am

      • All good points, Austin. But I’m not saying any of those situations were actual mistakes, just that they were controversial. Part of my point about the BCS being purely exhibition is that they encourage controversy rather than try to eliminate it. It is also my point that even though the “controversial” team in the BCS NCG may have won, that doesn’t mean that the snubbed team would not have won (against either opponent) and thus claimed the title for themselves… they never played each other (except for the one year when Michigan had already lost to Ohio State) and we’ll never know. So, then… “accurate” is relative.


        November 26, 2009 at 1:36 am

  2. The NCAA disagreeing with me has nothin to do with the fact that a system had to be created (both for money and to ATTEMPT to subdue fans such as you for a way to find a champion and not have #3 vs #5 for the national championship at the Rose bowl or some rediculous way they did it before the BCS.) Other sports are moot point because there is no other sport in the college realm that that has as many teams with such a short season, therefore you are all but forced to use variables that are more than just W-L if it were the then you would have maybe 10-12 or more undefeated teams every year. What would we do then? Crown them all national champions? If it comes down to money maybe we should pick the one that sells the most tickets throughout the year or the one that has won the most “away” bowl games.

    I am not arguing the point of people that were “worthy” of playing in the national championship but didnt, I am saying the fact that at the end of the season the AP and BCS polls were in agreement on paper every year but one (which they were)

    BCS/ AP
    08 – Florida/Florida
    07 – LSU/LSU
    06 – Florida/Florida
    05 – Texas/Texas
    04 – USC/USC
    03 – LSU/USC
    02 – Ohio St/Ohio st
    01 – Miami/Miami
    00 – Oklahoma/Oklahoma

    I would say they were accurate to what the team was dealt….yes I am willing to bet that there were times that the eventual national champion wanted to play the underdog team that should have gotten in but didn’t but they played who they had to and won. Therefore they are champions.

    I know the BCS isn’t perfect and it is obviously bad enough for almost anyone in america to find a flaw in it, even with all the brains it took to make it. The hybrid money/fan monster that was created will not be stopped anytime soon and I am quite alright stating that the BCS champion is and has been better accepted and recognized across the board than a AP champion because, it is been.

    Also in answer to your number 3) on ur list….I dont think they had to be contractually obligated to come up with a national champion, remember you dont have to be a unanimous winner just a majority winner to be number 1. I figure that they might just be following the leader or using common sense within the realm of the game at hand but its not that big of a deal to mention the contract in a situation like that. I dont think they would go crazy and name Boise St the national champion if given the chance this year.

    You are right the two terms of contract and accurate choice are not 100 percent in agreement, but contract WILL come up with money being there and accuracy is something everyone should atleast be trying for.

    I just feel that the AP poll has as much weight for choosing a national champion as my fan pick on (btw, I am a Texas homer and would choose first all Texas school then move down to Big 12 and then round out with schools I thought looked good visually that week) meaning my bias would play a HUGE role. The AP is a group of people who make a LIVING off of expressing their opinions, no matter how hard they try you can see it in their writings and it does reflect in their polls. (i.e. Kirk Bohls – he voted Texas number 1, Bama number 2 and Florida number 3. Even I being a Texas fan would not vote UT number 1 for many reasons. I would really like to ask Kirk what warrants them to be number 1 currently in his eyes. Yes they are playing as a number 1 but I have yet to see something that would warrant them jumping an undefeated defending national champion.

    I will stop now because I have a feeling that people might not want to keep reading uber long posts. My bad all.

    Jon Castano

    November 26, 2009 at 12:39 am

    • Don’t get me wrong… I’m not suggesting that the BCS doesn’t do what it sets out to do… it does. But that is not to determine the national championship in NCAA football. It is to pair the #1 against the #2 BCS-ranked teams after the regular season and conference championships have concluded to determine the BCS FBS (Division I-A NCAA football) National Champion. That is all. The other BCS bowl match-ups are just part of the pomp-and-circumstance exhibitionism to generate interest and make money.

      I personally NEVER wanted a system to determine a national champion. Bo Schembechler said it best:

      “You play to win the Big Ten championship, and if you win it and go to the Rose Bowl and win it, then you’ve had a great season. If they choose to vote you number one, then you’re the national champion. But a national champion is a mythical national champion, and I think you guys ought to know that. It’s mythical.”

      The only reason the BCS (or Bowl Alliance previously) was created was because the Rose Bowl was getting all the glory and all the attention (and all the money)… so they came up with a system that didn’t include the Rose Bowl and leveraged their way into the picture (and pocketbook), eventually forcing the Rose Bowl to join or risk financial disaster by becoming inconsequential.

      I liked it better when conference races mattered, and the conference title meant more than getting the automatic qualifier. I really don’t care if somebody’s number one plays their number two, because I probably don’t agree with their picks in the first place. And I certainly don’t care to see these conference tie-in bowls forced on us. I’d rather see some interesting or historic match-ups than Big 10 #3 vs. SEC #2 year in and year out.

      Yeah, the AP and BCS can agree most of the time. You know what? I bet we could all agree on what exactly constitutes a unicorn, too.



      November 26, 2009 at 1:02 am

      • You’re totally right here. I’m furious at the teams they’re talking about still possibly getting a BCS Bowl. USC? LSU? Miami? Even though LSU has lost the only two good games they’ve played, plus the one against Ole Miss. Miami’s only legit win was Georgia Tech, and they just almost lost to DUKE. USC’s only legit win is Ohio State. Other than that, they have a loss to a really bad Washington team and two blowout defeats. That they’re talking about those three for BCS Bowls at all is infuriating.

        Austin Swafford

        November 26, 2009 at 1:30 am

  3. Well quoting someone who was never coaching during the BCS era is a bit skewed but I will take that quote with some weight considering who said it. Also zing on the last comment you made 🙂

    Also it was probably not suprising that he said that considering he won the Big 10 a whopping 13 of his 20 years at Michigan. Though he didnt follow his own counsel going 2-11 at the rose bowl.

    Jon Castano

    November 26, 2009 at 1:29 am

    • That’s why he thought he only had two good years coaching at Michigan. 😉


      November 26, 2009 at 1:37 am

      • now thats just plain vain of him, but then again he is coaching in the Big 10 😛

        Jon Castano

        November 26, 2009 at 1:39 am

  4. @Austin

    I saw the article you are referring to about which teams are still “in the running” for BCS invitations… keep in mind that the committee was only clarifying which teams could be considered under ALL possible outcomes, including bizarre ones like Texas losing twice, Alabama and Florida each losing one or two more times, Pitt beating Cincinnati, etc., etc.

    And more importantly, keep in mind this article is coming from a paid source that has a vested interest in getting everyone to watch both the selection show and the televised bowls on the ABC “family” of networks, including fans who’s teams were left out of the BCS. They don’t care if they are rooting for them or against them, just that they watch.

    This reminds me of one interesting thing we may learn about the BCS committee this year… depending on how things end up, we may learn how much importance is placed on TV ratings vs. ticket sales vs. conference tie-ins. Keep in mind that the BCS TV contracts are guaranteed through I believe 2013-2014 season right now… so does the Fiesta take Oklahoma State (if they beat Oklahoma, for the conference tie-in) or do they or the Orange Bowl take Iowa (for the ticket sales) or Penn State (for the TV ratings)?

    I am actually curious.


    November 26, 2009 at 1:45 am

    • That’s a good point. But I’m concerned about them getting it over better teams, because those were only three of the 10 teams they listed as possibilities. Without them, they’d still have 7 teams they were looking at for BCS Bowls. You still get viewers because it’s an interesting mix this year. I really hope none of them get BCS Bowls. I don’t even care how the rest of it plays out.

      And you’re right that those bowls were controversial. But my point isn’t that they absolutely got them right. It’s that the “controversy” is overblown by those who benefit from public debate about these things. By those who want the BCS done away with. I think I talked about this earlier this season, but I only view one or two of those as genuinely controversial. The others were mildly controversial at best and were quite overblown, in my opinion.

      Austin Swafford

      November 26, 2009 at 2:47 am

      • I actually think the controversies may be more talked about (and encouraged) by media-types that want to keep the BCS… like ABC/ESPN for example. They are the ones that want all the LSU, USC, and Miami fans to keep tuning in to see what the latest scenarios for their teams to make the BCS. It’s the “Howard Stern” effect… love it or hate, as long as they tune in. They can run endless stories about how the BCS gets it right, while simultaneously bringing on endless commentators to talk about how we need a playoff. It’s a gold mine for them.


        November 26, 2009 at 11:00 am

  5. And, oh yeah…


    Hope y’all have a fine holiday, with plenty of food, friends, and football…

    Hook ’em!


    November 26, 2009 at 1:49 am

  6. 6 hours of football isnt a bad way to spend Turkey Day.

    Jon Castano

    November 26, 2009 at 2:03 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: