BYU COUGARS

BYU Football Would Rank Higher In Old BCS Formula Over CFP Rankings

Dec 2, 2020, 1:08 PM | Updated: 1:09 pm
BYU Football - Gunner Romney...
BYU football wide receiver Gunner Romney during the Cougars win over North Alabama on November 21, 2020. (BYU Photo/Jaren Wilkey)
(BYU Photo/Jaren Wilkey)

PROVO, Utah – The College Football Playoff committee clearly is not impressed with BYU football in 2020. BYU sits at No. 13, one spot away from the top 12 to be considered for an at-large bid in the New Year’s Six.

Each week when the Playoff rankings are released, a heated debate over where the Committee got it right and where they got it wrong emerges. For anyone who supports Kalani Sitake’s team, the focus has been on the latter.

The low ranking for BYU has people –including myself- asking whether the old Bowl Championship Series (BCS) makes a comeback?

Yes, that same system our local elected officials here in the state of Utah were ready to sue now looks far better than the current operation under the 13-person committee.

BCS computers respect BYU football more than the CFP

The College Football Playoff began in 2014, thus ending the 15-year run for the BCS. Since the Playoff began, a website called BCSKnowHow.com has continued to calculate how the old BCS formula would rank teams in a given season.

To the surprise of no one, BYU would rank higher in the BCS formula that primarily used computer polls over the human element.

If the BCS were still around today, BYU would check-in at No. 8 in a simulated BCS poll. That’s five spots higher than where the College Football Playoff currently has the undefeated Cougars.

A no. 8 ranking in the Playoff Top 25 would put BYU in a spot where they couldn’t be denied a bid to an at-large spot in the New Year’s Six. Playoff? No one is expecting BYU to contend for the Playoff. To the Committee’s credit, they’ve been spot on with how the BCS would rank the top four teams the past six years. But after the top four spots, a lot of questions have been raised. Those spots matter because of the lucrative paydays that come from playing in the New Year’s Six.

The Committee ranking BYU at No. 13 makes it far easier for them to keep the Cougars’ hands-off that $4 million big bowl payday.

Determining a champion

The BCS clearly had its flaws. No one can forget when BYU was mulling over a potential lawsuit against the BCS in 2001. Ruling the Cougars ineligible for one of their games before they played their final game of the regular season against Hawaii. But to the BCS’s credit, it had a known formula.

The criteria to determine rankings by the Playoff Committee is not public knowledge. This is all we know, “The selection committee ranks the teams based on the committee members’ evaluation of the teams’ performance on the field, using conference championships won, strength of schedule, head-to-head results, and comparison of results against common opponents to decide among teams that are comparable.”

Whether it’s the BCS, Playoff, or something else, let’s see a system that allows teams like BYU football to settle these heated debates on the field.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12–3 p.m., KSL Newsradio). Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper and the KSL Sports app.

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BYU Football Would Rank Higher In Old BCS Formula Over CFP Rankings