ESPN is projecting that the first 2010 BCS rankings will have Boise State at No. 1. Brad Edwards claimed that the BCS won’t even have Ohio State close to the top when they come out on Sunday, Oct. 17. According to ESPN, Boise State would be No. 1, followed in order by Oregon, TCU, Oklahoma, and Ohio State. This is a shock to the system when it comes to the college football rankings because it would mark the first time that the Boise State Broncos have ever been No. 1 in one of the polls. It also shows how fickle the computer rankings can be.
Right now, Ohio State leads the Coaches’ Poll, the AP Top 25, and the Harris Poll for college football. Boise State is ranked No. 3 in all of them, but only the USA Today Coaches’ Poll and the 2010 Harris Poll play into the BCS rankings. The third component that they use to come up with the 2010 BCS standings is a set of six computers that each has its own methodology for figuring out college football rankings. Those six computer ranking systems are averaged out to present one-third of the ultimate BCS rankings. It is there that Ohio State is being punished, with the computers placing them at No. 10 overall.
The reason that the BCS have tried to use these computers in figuring out their rankings is that it takes a bit of the human element out of the equation. They work with strength of schedule in addition to the results against their opponents, and there are no extra points given to anyone for margin of victory. Where a typical voter might think that beating one team by 21 is better than beating another team by one point, the computers take that out of the system. It’s certainly not a perfect way to come up with the BCS standings by any means, but it seems to be what many athletic directors still like working with.
There are a couple of things to consider when looking at the first projections, with maybe the most important one being that these are just projections. It’s also important to keep in mind that some of the schools have played some easy schedules with their toughest games to come, and some schools (like Boise State) have played many of their best opponents already. Things are definitely going to shift massively in the first few weeks of the 2010 season, but the starting line is almost here for schools and college football fans to get their first look at how things might play out. If the season ended today with these BCS rankings, Boise State vs. Oregon would be the 2010 National Championship Game.
ESPN BCS Rankings Projections
1. Boise State
5. Ohio State
9. Michigan State