BCS Tweaks Formula for Choosing Teams for Its Title Game

July 12, 2001

By RICHARD ROSENBLATT
AP Football Writer

The Bowl Championship Series has revised its formula for selecting teams toplay in its designated title game, changes that would have added up to Miami -not Florida State - against Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl last season.

The adjustments, announced Thursday, include a new quality-win componentthat will award bonus points in the BCS' mathematical formula for beating ateam rated in the top 15 in the standings.

Also, there will be less importance given to margin of victory, which hasbeen a main concern of coaches in the first three years of the BCS standings.

Had the new rules been in effect in 2000, the title game would have beenMiami vs. Oklahoma - the Hurricanes would have finished second in the final BCSstandings ahead of the Seminoles and behind the Sooners. Bonus points forMiami's wins over Florida State and Virginia Tech would have pushed theHurricanes ahead of the Seminoles in the final standings.

The BCS standings use The Associated Press media poll and the USA Today/ESPNcoaches poll, eight computer ratings, strength-of-schedule and win-loss recordsin determining its overall standings.

In addition, the BCS will replace two of the eight computer services nextseason, including the Dunkel Index, which depended heavily on margin ofvictory. Also out of the mix is the New York Times' computer ratings.

The eight computer rankings to be used in 2001 are operated by: RichardBillingsley, Kenneth Massey, David Rothman, Jeff Sagarin, Scripps-Howard,Seattle Times, Peter Wolfe and Wes Colley.

Of the eight, four do not factor in margin of victory, the others renderexcessive margins negligible.

'After a great deal of thoughtful discussion and research, we believe theserevisions will enhance the BCS standings.' said BCS coordinator John Swoffordof the Atlantic Coast Conference.

'The changes address last year's concern about excessive margin of victoryadversely influencing the computer rankings and the quality-win componentencourages teams to play a stronger schedule and gives a significant reward forwins over highly ranked opponents.'

The bonus points for quality wins will range from a high of 1.5 points for awin over the top-ranked team to a low of 0.1 for a victory over the 15th-rankedBCS team. Should one team defeat a top 15 BCS team more than once during theregular season, quality points will be awarded just once.

Oklahoma beat Florida State in the Orange Bowl to win the national titlelast season, while Miami beat Florida in the Sugar Bowl and finished No. 2.

The Rose Bowl will play host to the BCS' title game after this season, onJan. 3, 2002.

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