FSU, who sat just outside the BCS top-10 at No. 12 in last week's standings, climbed three spots up to No. 9. Despite a handful of teams in front of FSU losing in week nine the Seminoles only moved up three spots due to an average rank of 21st in the six computer polls.
There have been numerous requests lately for a breakdown of the BCS and how it views FSU. So, to either refresh your memory, or perhaps give you a brief introduction, here is a rundown on the basics of the system. I will use FSU's week nine rank in the BCS as an illustration. The BCS has three equally contributing parts that are averaged together to determine each team's rank.
The Human Element
The "human element" part of the equation refers to the two polls that are voted on by humans and make up two-thirds of the formula. The two polls used are the USA Today Coaches' Poll and the Harris Interactive Poll, which are voted on each Sunday of the season.
The Harris Poll has 115 voters that rank teams 1-25 and award points on a reverse basis – 25 points for a first place vote, 24 for second place, so on and so forth until the 25th ranked team receives one point. From there, the points are tallied from all 115 voters, added together and divided by the highest possible value of 2,875 (amount a team would receive if all 115 voters voted them first overall – 25 x 115) which will give a decimal value of 1.000 or less.
Harris Poll Example Using week nine rankings where FSU's total number of points received was 1,911 – (1,911/2875 = .6647)
The Coaches' Poll closely mirrors that of the Harris Poll but only has 59 voters, which makes the highest number of possible points 1,475 (59 x 25).
FSU in the week nine Coaches' Poll where they received a total of 948 points – (948/1,475 = .6427)
The Computer Element
The third and final part of the BCS formula is the computer element. The computer element is an aggregate ranking of six different computer polls to give a composite computer ranking for each school. The BCS takes the six point values from each computer poll and removes the highest and lowest ranking for each school, which leaves four point values. The score for each poll is determined on a reverse basis just as in the human polls. After removing the highest and lowest rank for each team, the highest point total a team can receive is 100 (25 x 4).
Here are the week nine rankings for FSU in the Six Computer Polls:
A+H – 22 (4pts)
RB – 22 (4pts)
CM – 15 (11pts)
KM – 0 (Unranked)
JS – 23 (3pts)
PW – 20 (6pts)
CM/KM are thrown out as the highest and lowest ranks. When averaged together FSU has an average rank of 21st in the computers and a value of .170 (4+4+3+6/100 = .170)
The final calculation is a decimal between 0.000 and 1.000 that is an average of the three values – (.170 + .6427 + .6647 / 3 = .4925)
Despite beating a 6-2 Duke team handily, having a .200 lead in points over South Carolina in week nine, and having five teams in front of FSU lose on Saturday, the Seminoles still moved up just three spots and were jumped by the Gamecocks in the BCS Standings which illustrates yet again how flawed and biased the system is. And it all starts with the SEC where the conference is represented by five teams in the top-eight.
Obviously FSU has no one to blame but themselves for losing to NC State and being out of the National Championship picture at this point, but even if the ‘Noles had managed to win that game and remain undefeated, they would be no higher than fifth in the BCS and in need of help. West Virginia backing out on FSU has hurt the Seminoles much more than expected. FSU has a strength of schedule hovering right around 99th nationally which is a large part of why the computers have FSU so low.