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
“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
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
“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
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
“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.