BCS Analysis & Breakdown - The Major Glitch

Posted Nov 30, 2008

Oklahoma knocked Texas out of the top two of the latest BCS rankings and will be playing Missouri for the Big 12 title. Longhorn fans, don't be mad at a BCS system set up to determine teams for the national title, be mad at the Big 12 for the tie-breaker. Pete Fiutak shows why it was the wrong way to decide the South in the breakdown and analysis of the top ten teams in the latest BCS rankings.

2008 BCS Analysis

Week 7

By Pete Fiutak   

BCS Rankings | Computer Rankings

- BCS Analysis Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5
- Week 6

- Texas or Oklahoma ... Who Deserved To Win The South?

And welcome to the glitch in the system ... for the Big 12.

The BCS was designed to determine the two teams that deserve to play for the national title. It's not set up to be a conference tie-breaker before the regular season is over because the formula isn't complete.

The computer part of the formula is set up to take the entire season into account from the opening day through the final day, but the regular season and the conference titles still have to be played. The computers have now put Oklahoma No. 1 overall, and Texas No. 2, while the humans are split with Oklahoma beating out Texas by one lousy point (1,397 votes to 1,396) in the Coaches' Poll while the Harris has the Longhorns three and the Sooners four. So if you're a Texas fan, be angry at the computers, but blame your conference for the flip flop that kept your team out of the Big 12 title game.

Don't blame the BCS system for Texas not being in the Big 12 title. Again, this is not what the system is for. The system is set up to determine a national champion, and for the Big 12 to use it as a tie-breaker will cast a pall on the rest of the season.

The Top 25
- Expanded BCS Rankings

1. Alabama
2. Oklahoma
3. Texas
4. Florida
5. USC
6. Utah
7. Texas Tech
8. Penn State
9. Boise State
10. Ohio State
11. TCU
12. Ball State
13. Cincinnati
14. Oklahoma St
15. Georgia Tech
16. Georgia
17. Boston Coll.
18. BYU
19. Oregon
20. Missouri
21. Michigan St
22. Northwestern
23. Pitt
24. Florida State
25. Virginia Tech

Here's the problem. Oklahoma beat Chattanooga, one of the nation's worst FCS teams, 57-2 in the season opener. If you're just going by margin of victory in games against FBS teams, Oklahoma and Texas are almost dead even. If you count the game against Chattanooga in the overall formula, then the Texas strength of schedule is better than OU's. And, of course, Texas beat Oklahoma by ten.

So by almost all measures, Texas and OU are dead even in the statistical parts of the equation, Texas, again, played the stronger schedule, according to the NCAA, and the final score was 45-35 in the Red River Rivalry. However, three computers had Oklahoma No. 1 overall, two had the Sooners No. 2. Texas was ahead of OU in two computer formulas, but the question remains: how much will the computer formulas change after the final week? There are still several games to be played that will change up the computer part of the equation, but by that point, Oklahoma will have already played Missouri in the Big 12 title game and the damage will have been done.

Basically, here's what you need to know ...

1. The upsets didn't come. The Alabama - Florida winner in the SEC title game will play for the national title. Oklahoma will be in the title game if it beats Missouri, but ...

2. There's still hope for Texas. If Missouri beats Oklahoma, the possibility of USC moving up the No. 2 spot is almost zero. Everyone will feel bad for the Longhorns, and no one will have a problem putting them into the national championship game if the Sooners lose.

3.  Everything up top basically stayed the same outside of the Texas-OU flip-flop. Boise State stayed at No. 9, meaning Utah will be in the BCS as the highest ranked non-BCS conference school. The question now will become Boise State vs. No. 10 Ohio State for the final BCS slot. If USC beats UCLA, it'll be a USC - Penn State Rose Bowl, and there will be one open spot. If USC loses to UCLA, Oregon State will go to the Rose Bowl, the Fiesta Bowl will snap up USC, and the spots will be filled. In other words, the Broncos and Buckeyes were very happy with Oregon's blasting of the Beavers in the Civil War.

The Big Winners: Oklahoma (moved from No. 3 to No. 2), Cincinnati (16 to 13), Georgia Tech (22 to 15)
The Big Losers: Texas (from 2 to 3 and out of the Big 12 title game), Oregon State (from Rose Bowl to No. 26 after getting blown out), Missouri (13 to 20)

1. Alabama      Score: 0.9713  Last Week: No. 1
The computers are liking Oklahoma more this week and don't seem to care about the the Tide anymore. Last week's No. 1 team moved down to No. 3 by the computers despite blowing out Auburn. It doesn't matter. Beat Florida, play for the national title.

predicted wins: None
predicted losses: SEC Championship (Florida)
predicted record: 12-1
predicted bowl: Sugar Bowl
toughest test: SEC Championship vs. Florida

2. Oklahoma      Score: 0.9351   Last Week: No. 2
The computers gave the South to the Sooners. Last week the computers had Texas No. 2 and OU No. 3, this week it's OU No. 1 and Texas No. 2. All the Sooners now have to do is beat Missouri and they're playing for the national title.

predicted wins: Big 12 Championship vs. Missouri
predicted losses: None
predicted record: 12-1
predicted bowl: BCS Championship
toughest test: Big 12 Championship vs. Missouri

3. Texas       Score: 0.9223   Last Week: No. 2
This might be the biggest hosing in the history of the BCS system because there's no tangible argument for Oklahoma. Texas can always fall back on the 45-35 win in the Red River Rivalry. Now the Longhorns will have to watch two teams they beat
by a combined score of 101 to 67 play for the Big 12 title

Done ... Record: 11-1
Predicted Bowl:
Fiesta Bowl

4. Florida        Score: 0.8851   Last Week: No. 4
Florida keeps going about its business with blowout after blowout. Oklahoma might have the hottest offense in college football at the moment, but Florida has the hottest team with the defense and special teams dominating as much as Tebow's attack. Even at No. 4, it's a foregone conclusion that the Gators are playing for the national title if they can beat No. 1 Alabama in the SEC Championship.

predicted wins: SEC Championship vs. Alabama
predicted losses: None
predicted record: 12-1
predicted bowl: BCS Championship
toughest test: SEC Championship vs. Alabama

5. USC    Score: 0.8076  Last Week: No. 5
The Trojans needed chaos to kick in to move within range of the top two, but it didn't happen. Even if Missouri beats Oklahoma in the Big 12 title game, USC won't be able to move up enough to play for the national title. Instead, with a win over UCLA next week, it's off to Pasadena to face Penn State.

predicted wins:
predicted losses: None
predicted record: 11-1
predicted bowl: Rose Bowl vs. Penn State
toughest test: at UCLA

6. Utah      Score: 0.7844  Last Week: No. 6
There's no reason to get all huffy anymore about what might have been had USC gotten into the national title over the unbeaten and more deserving Utes. Utah is in the BCS with an automatic selection, and now it's just a question of whether or not it's Glendale or New Orleans. Utah desperately wants the Fiesta Bowl so its fans can drive to the game, but that's hardly a given.

Done ... Record: 12-0
Predicted Bowl: Fiesta Bowl

7. Texas Tech    Score: 0.7805    Last Week: No. 7
Texas Tech didn't even factor in the Big 12 South title discussion, and the close shave against Baylor didn't help the cause. Even so, it's been a dream season that will end in either the Cotton or Gator Bowl. Expect the Cotton.

Done ... Record: 11-1
Predicted Bowl: Cotton Bowl

8. Penn State     Score: 0.7373   Last Week: No. 8
Penn State can rest easily that there's no controversy as far as being excluded from the one-loss teams in the national title discussion. Fortunately for college football, it'll almost certainly be a USC - Penn State Rose Bowl rather than a rematch of the Penn State blasting of Oregon State from earlier in the year.

Done ... Record: 11-1
predicted bowl: Rose Bowl

9. Boise State  Score: 0.7034   Last Week: No. 9
Boise State and the WAC will now start the lobbying effort. With Oregon beating Oregon State, if USC beats UCLA, an open spot will open up in the BCS and it's between Ohio State and Boise State. Boise State beat that Oregon team that's starting to look good, and it's unbeaten, but Fiesta or the Sugar will likely want Ohio State and its fan base. Boise's shot is in the Fiesta against Texas; there's no way the Sugar will take a WAC team two years in a row.

Done ... Record: 12-0
Predicted Bowl: Poinsettia Bowl

10. Ohio State     Score: 0.6340  Last Week: No. 10
Good things always seem to happen for Ohio State at the end of the regular season. With the Oregon win over Oregon State, it's now between the Buckeyes and Boise State for the tenth BCS slot. Let the discussions begin between the Sugar and the Fiesta Bowl about the Utah situation, neither one will want Cincinnati, who'll go to the Orange Bowl. With Utah lobbying hard for the Fiesta, and with the Sugar not wanting Boise State, look for the Buckeyes to go to New Orleans for the second year in a row.

Done ... Record: 10-2
predicted bowl: Sugar Bowl

In Range
11. TCU   Score: 0.5633
12. Ball State   Score: 0.5306
13. Cincinnati   Score: 0.4831
14. Oklahoma State   Score: 0.4276
15. Georgia Tech  Score: 0.4046