New BCS system is better

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 29, 2004

Finally, sports fans won't have to pull out their calculator to figure out if their favorite college football team will advance to the Bowl Championship Series (BCS).

Thursday it was announced that league commissioners had revamped the formula that decides whether a team advances to the BCS, which consist of the Sugar Bowl, Orange Bowl, Fiesta Bowl and Rose Bowl.

The question remains whether the new system will work.

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Under the new format, which goes into effect this season, the ESPN/USA Today coaches', The Associated Press writer's poll and computer rankings will each count for one-third of each team's ranking.

Components eliminated from the old system include, strength of schedule, team record and quality wins. The reasoning behind the elimination of these components is that all are already factored into the computer rankings.

In the past, the coaches' and AP polls were averaged, then factored in with the other components, which many believed lessened the significance of the polls.

Personally, I agree with the changes with one minor disagreement. I believe strength of schedule should be considered because I believe it will eliminate many rival games between rival programs that may not be equal.

Why should they play each other if it doesn't matter?

The changes were made in an

attempt to find a simpler, more equitable way to come up with a 1 vs. 2 matchup in the college football title game.

Last year, the old format resulted in a split national championship, with LSU winning the BCS title game over Oklahoma and Southern California remaining atop the rankings in the AP poll by defeating Michigan in the Rose Bowl.

Hopefully the new system will prevent this from happening again.

If the new system had been in place last year, it would have matched USC and LSU in the title game according to BSC calculations, which were assisted by mathematicians from The Art and Science Group, based in Baltimore, with the new system.

The new formula will also no longer average the weekly rankings of each team as well. Instead, teams will be evaluated on the number of voting points they receive in each poll.

All-in-all I believe the new system will work, but we won't know for sure until the upcoming season.

Until then, I'm anxiously waiting.

Adam Prestridge is sports editor of The Greenville Advocate. He can be reached at 382-3111, ext. 122 or by e-mail: