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Thursday, June 21, 2018

BCS Computers Do Not Like Oregon Much

Oregon was the overwhelming number one team in the country this week in both polls. The Ducks received 44 of the available 60 first-place votes in the AP Poll. Likewise, they received 50 of 59 first-place votes in the USA Today Coaches’ Poll. If the human polls had Oregon as the runaway top team in the country, why were they second in the BCS standings behind Auburn? The answer is easy: the computers are down on the Ducks.

There are six BCS computers and the high and low ranking (the outliers) are thrown out. Then, an average is taken of the remaining four rankings to give a team its computer ranking. The ultimate BCS ranking is calculated using 1/3 of the Harris Poll, 1/3 of the USA Today poll, and 1/3 of the computer average. Considering Oregon was number one in both the Harris and USA Today polls, they had to be ranked pretty lowly by the computers and that was the case.

One computer has Oregon ranked 11th in the country, behind one-loss teams Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Ohio State, and LSU. Strangely, though the PW computer is high on one-loss teams, it has Alabama (possibly the best one-loss team in the country), ranked 15th.

Another computer has Oregon ranked 10th behind Oklahoma, LSU, and Ohio State. A third computer has Oregon ranked 8th while three of them have Oregon ranked 6th, giving them a computer average of 8.

I understand that the computers have systems weighing different factors that allows them to arrive at their rankings and I respect all the effort put into the calibration of the computers. However, something is definitely wrong if the Ducks are only ranked 8th by the computers. They are easily a Top 10 team no matter how you look at it, and I would favor them to win against almost every team in the country on a neutral field. Being ranked 8th by the computers is inexcusable.

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