Jul 202004
Authors: Kyle Endres

New changes to the Bowl Championship Series should improve

access for non-BCS football conferences, but they do not go quite

as far as CSU would have liked, the university’s athletic director

said Monday.

“We certainly would like it to move further than it has moved,

but given where we’ve been, it’s OK,” said Director of Athletics

Mark Driscoll.

The new BCS ranking system is designed to be “simpler and more

precise,” said BCS Coordinator Kevin Weiberg in a press conference

transcript announcing the changes last week.

The main difference between the previous ranking system and the

new one is the number of categories included in the formula. The

previous system had five components, including two combined human

polls, computer rankings, a strength of schedule component, overall

team record and a quality-win factor.

The new system would have the two human polls: The Associated

Press and USA Today/ESPN coaches polls. Each count for one-third of

a team’s ranking, and a average of six computers would make up the

final one-third.

“They’re trying to maybe have a little more of the human touch

in it,” Driscoll said.

He said this added human input could help CSU’s chances of

making a BCS bowl game, of which there are currently four, with

plans to possibly add another game.

Driscoll believes having writers’ and coaches’ opinions play a

larger part in the rankings might allow for some “subjective

judgment” in the rankings, rather than set computer formulas

largely determining where a team is ranked.

The fifth bowl game is important, Driscoll said, because there

is the possibility of greater access. However, he said a fifth bowl

game would only be possible if there is a marketplace demand for it

through network television.

Another component to the new ranking system is that non-BCS

conference teams can be eligible for a BCS bowl if they are ranked

12th or higher in the BCS rankings. This could go up to 16th or

higher if one of the six BCS conferences does not have a team in

the top 16.

Previously, non-BCS teams had to finish sixth or higher to make

a BCS bowl game.

“Certainly this puts more weight on the human polls, and so if

there is a strong consensus about a team having a Cinderella-type

season, that’s great. That’s part of the interest that’s associated

with college football,” Weiberg said.

The Mountain West Conference has contracts with three bowl

games, none of which are BCS bowls. The eight-team conference is

looking at adding a fourth bowl contract.

“We’re actively looking for another bowl game or even two if

they’re out there,” Driscoll said. “Should we get a fourth bowl and

should we have four teams bowl-eligible, we could have half the

league go.”

Driscoll said he hopes the new rankings will help the Rams’

chances of getting in the “mix” of elite college football


In 2000, CSU finished 14th in the AP ranking but was not invited

to a BCS bowl.

Last year, the University of Miami (Ohio), a non-BCS conference

school, finished 10th in the BCS rankings and was invited to the

GMAC Bowl, a non-BCS bowl. Also last year, Mountain West Conference

champion Utah finished 21st in the BCS rankings after a 10-2 season

and a 17-0 victory over Louisville in the AXA Liberty Bowl, also a

non-BSC game.

“One year we were ranked in the final poll 14th, so it’s

possible that we could have been there and there have been some

other non-BCS teams in the last five years that have had records

good enough – you know inside the top 12 – to be able make it, so

yeah, we’re hopeful to make it,” he said.

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