Who Are The Only Undefeated Teams In College Football College Football – Only 8 Teams Now Vie for BCS Title Game, Sagarin Reveals a New View of the Rivals

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College Football – Only 8 Teams Now Vie for BCS Title Game, Sagarin Reveals a New View of the Rivals

After college football’s 12th weekend, eight teams are now getting harder to ignore — Louisiana Tech, Kansas, West Virginia, Missouri, Ohio, Arizona, Hawaii and Boise State. All have just 1 loss except Kansas and Hawaii remain undefeated.

Sunday night’s (11-18-07) new AP Top 25 poll showed LSU at No. 1, Kansas at No. 2, Missouri at No. 3, West Virginia at No. 5, Ohio State at No. 5, Arizona at No. 7, Hawaii at No. 14 and Boise State at No. 17.

Monday’s (11-19-07) new BCS standings showed LSU 1, Kansas 2, West Virginia 3, Missouri 4, Ohio 5, Arizona 6, Hawaii 15 and Boise State.

The AP poll of sports writers and broadcasters has no bearing on who plays in the national championship game.

The BCS rankings determine participants based on a complex formula of 3 components: the USA Today Coaches Poll, the Harris College Football Interactive Poll and an average of 6 computer ratings, including the Sagarin Ratings. Each component counts for one-third of the total BCS points in the BCS rankings.

All of this is very boring and it is, but don’t underestimate the importance of the BCS standings because there are millions of dollars at stake. It’s not just the BCS National Championship game in New Orleans on January 8, 2008 that brings big payouts to the teams and conferences involved.

It is also home to 4 other official BCS Bowl games: the Sugar Bowl on January 1, 2008, the Rose Bowl on January 1, 2008, the Fiesta Bowl on January 2, 2008, and the Orange Bowl on January 3, 2008.

The total revenue for the 5 BCS games this year will be $85 million, and the total economic impact on the 5 host cities is estimated to be over $1.2 billion.

The bottom line is that these games feature at least 10 teams in the top BCS standings. The champions of the 6 major NCAA conferences – Atlantic Coast, Big East, Big 10, Big 12, Pacific 10 (Pac 10) and Southeastern Conference (SEC) – are guaranteed 1 of 5 BCS games. There are other places to get a complex set of qualifications.

One of those qualifications is that a team outside of the 6 major conferences that finishes in the Top 12 of the final BCS standings automatically qualifies.

Knowing this important fact, you can better understand why Hawaii (ranked 15th) and Boise State (ranked 19th) are so upset about the current BCS standings – despite Hawai’i’s 10-0 record and Boise State’s 10 -1 record.

Western Athletic Conference Commissioner Carl Benson spent much of his weekend trying to convince “everyone and his dog” of Hawaii’s big win over Nevada, which is currently ranked by Sagarin among 119 Division 1A schools. It is rated 97th. Hawaii eventually won 28-26 on a 45-yard field goal with 11 seconds left.

Considering the BCS polls and rankings, no one listened or believed Benson.

With 8 teams left in the hunt for a spot in the BCS National Championship Game, Hawaii and Boise State are the few players who have no real chance at all. Fortunately, the two will collide this weekend when Boise State travels to Hawaii for a showdown.

After the game, one team will move up in the BCS standings and the other will likely fade further from sight and mind.

Both Hawai’i State and Boise State are great teams with great records, and both will get more attention as they begin to compete. Sagarin ranks Hawaii’s strength of schedule (the quality of its opponents) at 153rd and Boise State at 122nd.

Considering that there are only 119 teams in Division 1A, you better believe that these two teams are celebrating the best underrated talent and deserve what they’re getting.

Of the remaining 6 teams that are undefeated along with Hawaii and Boise State with just 1 loss, at least 5 of the 6 teams have played much better competition in their pursuit of the national title game.

Arizona State (ranked 6th in the BCS at 9-1) has Sagarin’s best ranking of 26. LSU (ranked 1st by the BCS at 10-1) 27th West Virginia (ranked 3rd by the BCS at 9-1) 42nd Missouri (ranked by the BCS at 10-1 Ranked 4th) 47th, Ohio State (ranked 5th by the BCS at 11-1) 53rd and trailing is Kansas (ranked 2nd by the BCS at 11-0) ranked 101st out of 119 Division 1A schools.

Has Kansas played a weak schedule to string together 11 straight wins? Yes. Kansas may play in the BCS National Championship game and win, but there is no mistaking that Kansas has played a lower schedule compared to BCS competition.

Should Hawaii and Boise State be ranked in the BCS? Probably not, given their level of competition. Is Kansas overrated? Maybe so. All three of them can make me believe more if they win against better competition.

So I guess I’ll ask the question: Who has played the toughest schedule so far this season? Check out the Washington Huskies, which are 3-7 years old.

I seriously doubt that Kansas, Hawaii or Boise State would have the records that Washington did if they all played at Ohio State, UCLA, Southern California, Arizona and Oregon – all in their prime.

That’s why Washington is ranked No. 1 nationally, followed by Kansas at No. 101, Boise State at No. 122, and Hawaii at No. 153.

Kansas meets Missouri this Saturday in a North Division 12 game. The winner will likely play either Oklahoma or Texas from the South Division for the Big 12 title and a spot in the BCS.

Copyright © 2007 Ed Bagley

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