BCS Rankings and Standings for Week 14 Reveal Six Computer Scores and Grades

Jeremy EcksteinFeatured ColumnistNovember 25, 2012

CORVALLIS, OR - NOVEMBER 24: Running back De'Anthony Thomas #6 of the Oregon Ducks walks off the field after the game against the Oregon State Beavers on November 24, 2012 at Reser Stadium in Corvallis, Oregon. Oregon won the game 48-24. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
Steve Dykes/Getty Images

The BCS Rankings and standings have already revealed the Harris poll and USA Today poll results. The third part of the formula is figured with the six computers, and not without a lot of controversy to list the current BCS standings.

How have the computers graded out with their one-third contribution to the BCS standings? The following will discuss the particular trends and biases of each computer. They will be graded in order of best to worst in terms of consistency and accuracy.


Richard Billingsley Report

The Billingsley computer can be a maverick, but will often reflect more strongly to match some of the human polls. This week, all of the other computers ranked Florida at No. 2, but Billingsley put the Gators at No. 6.

Billingsley is more favorable with Pac-12 teams, and features Oregon at No. 2 and Stanford at No. 7.

All in all, Billingsley has had a better distribution of conference powers rather than blinding itself to SEC bias.

Grade= 78% C


Peter Wolfe

The Wolfe computer was the only one that does not release results until the very first week it can be offered, and it is usually the last one to submit before the ESPN BCS show reveals its results.

For the most part, it is more consistent than the other computers, and with reasonable results. Two-loss teams including Stanford and LSU are ranked ahead of Kansas St., but the rest of its Top 10 results often show common sense.

Grade= 72% C


Jeff Sagarin

Never mind that Florida St. was not even listed in the Sagarin computer’s Top 30 rankings two weeks ago, or that Arizona was listed at No. 14 last week.

For the most part, Sagarin has been remarkably inconsistent, but it does recognize the weaknesses in Alabama's schedule where the Crimson Tide are ranked only No. 7.

On the other hand, No. 15 Oklahoma St. is much higher than other computers and pollsters rate it. Should Vanderbilt be rated higher than Clemson?

Grade= 65% D

Jeff Anderson and Chris Hester

The Anderson and Hester computer has shown a strong trend to favor Big 12 teams and to sink Pac-12 teams. Kansas St. still tops Oregon and Oklahoma comes in at a strong No. 8.

Notre Dame and the SEC favorites top the rankings, as expected.

For weeks, this computer has spit out enigmatic results, but now has come closer to the middle with some of its results. It has still been a problem to those fans who like to use the "eye test."

Grade= 50% F


Kenneth Massey

This week, the Massey computer buried Kansas St. at No. 11 behind two-loss Texas A&M, Oklahoma and No. 4 LSU. Somehow Massey ignores that Kansas St. beat Oklahoma head-to-head.

Like almost all of the other computers, if Massey was to choose the BCS finalists, it would be Notre Dame vs. Florida. After all, conference championships do not matter to the BCS formula.

Grade= 42% F

Wes Colley Matrix

The Colley Matrix computer has long been programmed to like the Notre Dame schedule, even though it has been relative to schedules like Alabama, Oregon and Kansas St.

Colley Matrix has a simulation in which the user may take a team’s schedule and simulate wins and losses. Curiously, it exposes much of Colley Matrix’s credibility. Last week, for example, the user could take away Oregon’s Arkansas St. victory and substitute it for a victory over Florida. The result would still keep Oregon behind Florida.

It likes Stanford at No. 3 but Alabama at No. 5.

The worst thing about the Colley computer is its unpredictability from week to week. It moves its Top 10 teams around more haphazardly than other polls, often without a sensible way to explain its results. It can be a friend or menace to any team or conference in strange ways.

Grade= 33% F


Blaming the Computers

There is not a lot to love about the computers. They are programmed not to consider scores and matchups, but to evaluate the quality of opponents that play the team that your team defeats. Got that?

Just remember that the human programmers have inserted their own biases.

Thankfully, the computers will be obsolete in two years.