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Tag:Boise State
Posted on: December 21, 2011 12:22 am
Edited on: December 21, 2011 12:23 am
 

Mountain West/Big East behind the numbers

The Mountain West has applied for an exemption that would allow it to become an AQ conference for the next two seasons.  They base that in part on their performance over the last four years, and in part because of an exemption granted to the Big East in the past.  So let's look at the numbers.

The league is measure in three categories: highest rated team, average computer ranking of all teams, and a score based on teams in the top 25.  It is measured over a four year period, based on this year's membership.  Therefore, Utah and BYU do not count, but TCU and Boise State do, even though Boise was in the WAC the last three years.

The reason the MWC didn't qualify for AQ status outright and has to apply for an exemption is that the league is good at the top, but has no depth.  The league does well in the two categories that measure top of the league performance.  It is fifth in the highest rated team category, and has a score of 60.2% in the top 25 category (only 33% was required to apply for exemption).

In the category that measures all teams, the league is a distant seventh, with an average computer ranking of 61.3.  The Big East is sixth at 50.2.

The problem is, the top two MWC teams in the rankings the last four years have been TCU and Boise State.  Without them, the numbers aren't nearly as good, and both teams are leaving.  TCU is already gone.  The Broncos have just one more year.  San Diego State is also leaving at the same time as Boise State.  Fresno State, Nevada and Hawaii will join.

Without TCU and Boise State, the MWC would be the ninth rated league in the highest rated team category, an even more distant seventh in the average computer category (67.1) and would score only 6.9% in the top 25 category.  Among the new lineup, only Nevada (15th) and Hawaii (24th) finished in the top 25 of any season in the last four years, both in 2010.

Those are numbers the presidents can't ignore, and the reason why the league won't get its exemption.

The Mountain West document states that the Big East was granted an exemption after the 2007 season to retain its AQ status.  While I don't doubt that, I have been told repeated by Bill Hancock that there is no provision for removing AQ status from a league, which is why the Big East's status isn't in doubt for the next two years, so I am confused as to why such an exemption would have been necessary in 2008.  In any event, the only category the Big East fell short in was the top 25 percentage, where it scored 49.11%, just below the 50% requirement.  The MWC, even with it's current membership, cannot say is just barely missed in the category in which it failed to meet the standard.

The new Bigger East, which along with the Mountain West schools, has added Houston, SMU and UCF from Conference USA, is doing ok for the first two years of the cycle that the new members will count for, which is the 2010-13 seasons.  The league is fifth so far in the high ranking category and a very comfortable sixth in the average computer rankings.  They only score 29% in the top 25 category, but only three leagues, the SEC, Big Ten and Big 12 are doing better than 50% so far.

Of course, if this turns out to be true, all this will be moot.

Posted on: December 5, 2011 12:06 am
Edited on: December 5, 2011 8:30 am
 

Close, but no Cowboys

It was close, relatively speaking.  Oklahoma State came up .0086 short of catching Alabama. That is the closest No. 2 and No. 3 have been since the BCS formula was changed for the 2004 season. In 2006, Florida beat out Michigan by .0101, which was coincidentally the last time we debated the merits of a rematch.

OSU ended up 74 points short of what it needed in the Harris poll to finish ahead of the Tide. That's still a decent sized number. So, it's not like we were in a position where one or two voters could have impacted the outcome.

I can almost always explain why a team got picked for a bowl (it's my job, after all), but I am stunned by the selection of Virginia Tech for the Sugar Bowl.  There were, of course, higher rated teams available, but we all know that rankings don't really mean much.  It's about selling tickets and creating an attractive matchup.

The Hokies haven't traveled especially well to the Orange Bowl in recent years. They aren't necessarily a great TV draw. They lost their conference championship game, which is usually perceived as a big negative by the BCS bowls. I can't think of anything they have over Kansas State.

Boise State might have traveled well too, although they are considerably farther away. Even Baylor, which was eligible to get picked, would have at least given us Denard vs RG3.

Virginia Tech's selection seemed to be a last minute change too. The Sugar appeared to be committed to Kansas State initially.

TCU didn't make it. The Horned Frogs finished 18th, same as they were last week. I felt that three of the teams ahead of them that lost this week had to fall behind them, and that they couldn't get jumped by Clemson or Baylor in the polls. They got the first part. Houston, Georgia and Oklahoma did drop behind the Frogs, but Clemson jumped them. If TCU and Clemson switched point totals in the polls, TCU would have finished 16th and qualified for the BCS.

Houston dropped like a rock after losing to Southern Miss.  The Cougars fell from sixth to 19th.

Posted on: December 3, 2011 3:56 pm
Edited on: December 3, 2011 3:57 pm
 

Bye bye Houston, TCU up next

Houston lost its shot at the BCS with style.  Southern Miss won the C-USA title 49-28.

That knocks Houston out of the BCS.  It was such a bad loss, it might even knock the Cougars out of the at-large pool (not that it matters -- they wouldn't get picked).  A blowout like this could cause a precipitous fall.  They might even fall far enough to help out Michigan.

Now, the clock is on TCU.  If the Frogs win today and can move up two spots to 16th in the BCS rankings, they would automatically qualify for the BCS as the highest-rated non-AQ conference champion.  TCU is up 21-3 in the first half as I type this.

If TCU is unable to move up two spots, it opens the door for a Big 12 team (Bedlam loser, especially if Oklahoma State, or Kansas State) or even Boise State.

The day is still young.  This could change again.



Posted on: November 27, 2011 10:50 pm
Edited on: November 28, 2011 10:03 am
 

BCS eligibility rules

There is some confusion out there about how teams become eligible for the BCS, so to clear it up, here are the rules.

1. The champions of the ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC (the AQ conferences) will play in BCS games, regardless of rankings.  There is no exception.  That accounts for six of the ten bowl spots.

2. The top two teams in the BCS standings play for the BCS title.  There are no restrictions.  The teams do not have to be conference champions.  They do not have to be from different conferences.  The top two, whoever they are, play.

3. No more than two teams from any conference can appear in the BCS games.  Exception: if No. 1 and No. 2 in the BCS standings are from the same AQ conference and neither is the conference champion, the conference champion also plays in the BCS (rule #1), thus giving that conference three teams.  Many think this exception would come into play if Georgia beats LSU this week.  Under normal circumstances though, the four at-large teams must come from different conferences.

4. The highest rated non-AQ conference champion automatically qualifies for an at-large spot if it is in the top 12 of the BCS standings, or in the top 16 and ranked ahead of one of the AQ conference champions.  That's why Houston did not have to pass Boise State in the rankings to automatically qualify.  Boise will not be a conference champion.  If Houston loses, it could open the door for TCU, which is 18th this week and would have to get up to the top 16 to qualify.

5. Notre Dame automatically qualifies if it is in the top eight.  lol.

6. If a team from an AQ conference that did not win its league is ranked third or fourth, it automatically qualifies for an at-large spot.  This rule cannot be used to supersede the two-team limit per conference, and only one team (the higher rated) can qualify under this rule.  Stanford qualified under this rule last year, and is positioned to possibly do so again.

7. If there are any spots left after all that, any team with nine wins and a top 14 ranking can be selected at the discretion of the bowls.

There was some erraneous reporting tonight that indicated that the BCS could go down to the top 18 to grab a team from an AQ conference if its league only had its champion in the top 14.  That is NOT true.  Michigan fans - this means you.  Michigan has to be in the top 14 to be eligible, period.

There is a provision to go outside the top 14 for at-large teams, but it only comes into play if it is not possible to fill the at-large spots with teams in the top 14.  That will not be a problem this year.  It almost happened in 2007, which is the year that rule was introduced.

Hope this clears things up!

Posted on: November 14, 2011 1:49 am
 

BCS, bowl thoughts, Nov. 13

The more I think about it, the more I think Bedlam will decide one participant in the BCS title game.  Obviously, Oklahoma State controls its own destiny as one of the last two major undefeated teams.  However, if we are in a situation where the Cowboys get beat, especially if Oklahoma is the team to beat them, the Sooners may be the voters only reasonable option if they want to avoid a rematch for LSU.

If that scenario arises, we are looking at three likely opponent choices for LSU:

1. Alabama, which gave the Tigers the better game, but it was a short time ago and the Tide lost to LSU at home.  Alabama won't even be a division champion.

2. Oregon, which was not especially competitive in its season opening loss to LSU, which took place in Dallas.  The Ducks would be Pac-12 champs though.

3. Oklahoma.  The Sooners haven't lost to LSU yet, which would probably appeal to voters, and would also be a confernece champ.  The champion, in fact, of the highest rated league.  Of course, their one loss was a pretty yucky one (yes, that is a scientific term).

I think what little history we have shows voters would go for the Sooners, and the computers would likely back that up.

---

I recevied some comments about Penn State being so low in the Big Ten bowl food chain in this week's projections.  I think bowls may shy away from the Nittany Lions so that their story doesn't become the bowl's story as well.  There is an old saying that there is no such thing as bad publicity.  I would suggest this is an exception.

The Big Ten has a one-win rule for bowl selections, so Penn State can only drop so far, depending on how other Big Ten teams do.

Is this fair to the players?  No, of course not, but bowl selection has never been about fairness.

---

Boise State is the highest rated non-AQ team this week at No. 10, but because it very likely won't win the Mountain West, it cannot automatically qualify for an at-large BCS berth.

Houston at No. 11 controls its own destiny for that berth, which goes to the highest-rated, non-AQ conference champion as long as it is in the top 12 of the standings, or in the top 16, but ahead of one of the AQ champions.  With the Big East cannibalizing each other, it's pretty likely top 16 is good enough again this year.

That means, if Houston falls, TCU, which is currently No. 19, could end up with that spot.  Or even Southern Miss at No. 20, if the Golden Eagles were to win out and knock the Cougars from the ranks of the unbeated in the C-USA championship game.

Southern Miss in the BCS.  We are a ways still from that happening, but who had that at the beginning of the year?  Put your hands down, liars.

Posted on: November 13, 2011 9:24 am
Edited on: November 13, 2011 4:09 pm
 

BCS projections, Nov.12, Stanford, Boise fall

The BCS projections are up for this morning.  I have Stanford dropping to 9th, just above Houston, and Boise State down to 12th after each team suffered its first loss of the season yesterday.

Voters could be in a conudrum if Oklahoma St goes down, especially if it's Oklahoma that beats them.  Right now, lined up behind No. 2 Oklahoma St is Alabama and Oregon, each of which suffered its only loss of the season at the hands of No. 1 LSU.  Voters looking to avoid a rematch may have no good option except the Sooners.

Also, Houston is now in the cat-bird seat for the non-AQ at-large spot.  Even if the Cougars lose, Boise St would not be eligible unless someone beats TCU and the Bronocs are at least league co-champions.  BCS rules say that the non-AQ spot is reserved for a conference champion.,

All data is projected top 25 in each ranking component except the Harris and coaches' polls, Colley and Sagarin, which are actual data through yesterday's games.

The coaches poll showed Boise State doing better than I expected, so I have re-projected Harris to reflect similar thinking.  The result of that has the Broncos now 10th, ahead of Houston.  That does not impact the AQ status for either team.

The Harris poll will was pretty similar.  Stanford is seventh in Harris, but ninth in the coaches' poll.  Virginia Tech is the opposite.

The official BCS release will be at about 8:30 PM ET.


Posted on: November 11, 2011 10:57 pm
 

On field talk: BCS games of the week

It may not be a Game of the Century, but it is the Game of the Week.  Stanford and Oregon in Palo Alto likely for the Pac-12 North title, but also to stay in the national championship hunt.

One of the BCS games of the week was played last night, when Virginia Tech won 37-26 at Georgia Tech.  The ACC Coastal division title could come down to the Virginia-Virginia Tech game at the end of the season.

Clemson hosts Wake Forest this week for control of the Atlantic division.

Texas Tech hasn't won, or even looked competent, since beating Oklahoma a few weeks ago.  Now the Red Raiders get their shot at Oklahoma State.  Maybe they only show up for the big games.

There are two big games in the B1G.  Michigan St is at Iowa.  Both teams control their own destiny for the Legends division crown.  MSU will be looking to redeem itself after getting embarrassed in Iowa City last year.

And, of course, Nebraska is in Unhappy Valley to take on Penn State.  As a Big Ten guy, this is a game that would be must see TV for me (even though neither school was in the Big Ten in my day).  Honestly though, I'm not sure I can bring myself to tune in.  Penn St has a two-game lead in the Leaders division, with three very tough games left under the best of circumstances.

Last call for anyone to beat Boise State comes on Saturday, when TCU takes to the smurf turf and takes on the Broncos.

Also, UCLA keeps its push to save Rick Neuheisel's job going -- not to mention to win the Pac-12 South -- as they face Utah in Salt Lake City.

Posted on: November 8, 2011 10:26 am
 

BCS selection process: Michigan vs Oklahoma St

Most of the comments on this week's bowl picks, besides questioning merely having Michigan in the BCS (one more loss and all this is moot), question why the Wolverines get in ahead of Oklahoma State, which would unquestionably be the higher ranked team.  To understand that, you have to understand the BCS bowl selection process.

You also have to understand what bowls are looking for when creating their matchups.  They want the best possible game they can get, and bowls measure that primarily in terms of ticket sales and TV viewers.  Things like rankings, records and conference standings are secondary considerations at best.  That's why there are so many bowl selection rules, like the one that automatically qualifies the highest-rated non-AQ team for the BCS, or the ACC rule that protects a team from being skipped over by a bowl for another team that won more than one fewer conference games.  If bowls could be trusted to go in conference standing/ranking order, those rules wouldn't be necessary.

The BCS has ten spots.  Six are reserved for the AQ conference champions.  In my projection, those are:

Clemson (ACC), Cincinnati (Big East), Wisconsin (Big Ten), Oklahoma (Big 12), Stanford (Pac-12), LSU (SEC).

There are also four at-large spots, but two teams automatically qualify for those in my projection:

Alabama, as the highest-rated AQ non-champion, ranked in the top four.
Boise State, as the highest-rated non-AQ conference champion, ranked in the top 12.

That only leaves two spots open.  The rest of my at-large pool contains:

Arkansas, Georgia, Houston, Michigan, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Virginia Tech.

Note that with LSU and Alabama automatically qualified for the BCS and a two-team limit per conference, Arkansas and Georgia cannot be chosen.

The first thing that happens is that the top two teams go into the title game, and the other contracted conference champions get put in their bowls.  So, we start with:

Title game: LSU vs Stanford
Rose: Wisconsin vs ?
Fiesta: Oklahoma vs ?
Sugar: ? vs ?
Orange: Clemson vs ?

The next step is that the bowls that lost conference champions to the title game get to choose replacement.  They always choose teams from their conference tie-in if one is available.  The Sugar chooses first because it lost the No. 1 team, and takes Alabama.  The Rose picks Oregon to replace Stanford.  Now, we have:

Title game: LSU vs Stanford
Rose: Wisconsin vs Oregon
Fiesta: Oklahoma vs ?
Sugar: Alabama vs ?
Orange: Clemson vs ?

Boise State and Cincinnati still have to go somewhere, so only one at-large spot is open.

The Fiesta gets the first choice of selections for its game in this year's rotation, followed by the Sugar and Orange.  The Fiesta can chose from Boise State, Cincinnati, Houston, Michigan, Oklahoma State and Virginia Tech.

Michigan blows all of those other teams out of the water in terms of fan base and marquee value.  Not even close.  Also, Michigan's fan base would not be jaded by a recent run of success, as sometimes happens with other schools. 

However, two other choices would be much higher ranked:

Oklahoma State isn't a good choice because conference mate Oklahoma is already there.
Boise State would be OK, but the Fiesta has had the Broncos both times it has been in the BCS (including one memorable meeting with the Sooners), and would probably prefer to leave them for someone else.

So, while the Fiesta might go with Boise, but I think the allure of Michigan will be too good to pass up.

The Sugar gets the next pick, and with only Boise or Cincinnati to choose from, the Broncos are an easy choice.  The Bearcats end up in the Orange, and Oklahoma State and its 11-1 record drop out.

Them's the breaks.  Note that if either of the other bowls had first choice instead of the Fiesta, Oklahoma State would almost certainly be that choice.  Also, if the Fiesta did decide to choose Boise, OSU would almost certainly end up in the Sugar.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com