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One BCS computer still ranks Notre Dame No. 1 ahead of Alabama

Nick-SabanAlabama proved that it is the best team in the nation by destroying Notre Dame in the national championship on Monday, but not everyone is prepared to admit that the Fighting Irish are no longer the No. 1 team in the country. Of course, by “not everyone” we mean that not all of the BCS computers were convinced by Alabama’s performance. How shocking.

As Eye on College Football pointed out, the Colley Matrix poll ranked Notre Dame first and Alabama second in its final rankings of the season. Yes, that includes the Crimson Tide’s 42-14 shellacking of Notre Dame.

How did this happen? For starters, the Colley Matrix Method does not take margin of victory into consideration. It adjusts for strength of schedule and “deservedness” to play in the national championship, while ignoring injuries and other factors. That helps explain why it would rank the Irish ahead of Alabama, but it provides further evidence for why the computer system is a joke.

This happens every year. One of the greatest example of BCS computer failure was when Oregon received low rankings from the computers a few years back despite destroying every team that came into its path. Most people agree that Alabama is the best team in the country, while others will tell you that there are a couple of teams that could have beaten them in the national championship game. However, we don’t need a computer to tell us that Alabama is a better team than Notre Dame. The Colley Matrix poll serves as another reminder that the playoff system can’t get here quickly enough.

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.