Sunday, September 3

College Football - Computers and the BCS

For our readers who are interested in the specifics about the pile of feces we are fed in place of a small postseason tournament...

BCS Formula:

The BCS forumla remains an equal-weighted average of the AP Poll, Harris Interactive, and Computer Average.

Both the AP and Harris scores are calculated based on the number of points received in each of those polls, not the truncated rankings.

The Computer Average remains the exact average of a team's middle four truncated rankings from Anderson&Hester, Billingsley, Colley, Massey, Sagarin, and Wolfe. To my knowledge, no changes to these computer formulas have been made since last season.

BCS Format:

The BCS has expanded to being five bowls this season. They are the four BCS bowls from before, with one bowl site actually hosting two games - one a full week later. This is NOT a "BCS +1" pseudo-tournament. It just means that two more teams will make it into the BCS this season. This season, the Fiesta Bowl hosts two games.

Rose Bowl: Big Ten champ vs Pac 10 champ
Fiesta Bowl: Big 12 champ vs Open
Orange Bowl: ACC champ vs Open
Sugar Bowl: SEC champ vs Open
National Championship: #1 vs #2. Of course, being #1 or #2 pre-empts any would-be conference tie-ins to other BCS bowls.

BCS Automatic Berths:

The BCS gives automatic qualifications to:
* The champion of the ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac 10, and SEC.
* IF the champion of CUSA, MAC, WAC, or Sun Belt is in the BCS top 12, then they get an automatic bid.
* IF the champion of CUSA, MAC, WAC, or Sun Belt is ranked in the BCS top 16 and is ranked higher than the champion of a BCS conference.
* No non-BCS conference can have more than two teams in BCS bowls. So if two qualify, the higher-ranked team goes.
* Notre Dame qualifies as long as they are either ranked in the BCS top eight, or if the number of points they've scored all season minus their number of losses is a positive integer, or if the selection committee arbitrarily decides to give them a berth.
* If a team finishes second in their conference but is ranked in the BCS top 4, then they get an automatic berth if there are any slots remaining after fulfilling the above qualifications (including Notre Dame being #8).

Compy Ratings:

I will once again be doing my own computer ratings, which last season were of comparable (read: virtually identical) accuracy to the top BCS computer polls. I won't be doing this until October, as is fairly standard for computer ratings. I'll post more about this later.