“At Least We Got The Humans” – Why The Ducks Are #4

OK BCS….Game On!

Since about 5:30pm PST my phone has been blowing up with all my ladies asking “What the heck?”, “K-State?”, “How is Oregon #4?” For those of you that haven’t looked at ESPN, Facebook or Twitter in the past hour, the BCS rankings, which are released every Sunday evening (starting in the 8th week of the season), moved Oregon down from #3 to #4 this week, despite a blow out win against Arizona State. AND despite the fact that the two major human polls still have Oregon at #2. Now you know why most people (especially Duck fans) hate the BCS ranking system. I hate to say it, but honestly I saw this coming last night after my marathon football Saturday. Matter of fact, I bet my husband $10 bucks last night Oregon would fall to #4. Bad news: I was right. Good News: I can buy two Starbucks Mochas this week.

I know there is a lot of confusion about what happened, so I’m going to do my best to explain. Like I explained last week, the BCS rankings are determined by averaging two human polls (Harris and USA Today) along with “computer rankings”. The computer rankings are a bit complicated, but they take into consideration a team’s strength of schedule (meaning how good their opponents have been), etc. They also include a group of “voters” and associated averages. It’s kind of a mess, but frankly the computers don’t seem to like the Duck’s much. In all honesty, I can sort of see where the computers are coming from, but I don’t like it. The issue is that Oregon’s schedule is kind of weak. Although they have dominated every opponent, they haven’t played a considerably tough team yet. There were a couple of teams (Arizona and Washington) that were ranked in the top 25 when the Ducks played against them, but both teams have fallen off the radar. So basically, the computers don’t love the Ducks, but the  humans do. when averaging them together, the Ducks make a controversial land at #4.

So now what?

The Ducks have 3 ranked opponents left to play (USC, Stanford and Oregon State). If the Ducks win against these, and all other opponents, including the PAC 12 Championship game, they should still make it to the BCS championship. The Ducks also need USC, Stanford, and Oregon State to keep winning, so when they beat them, the win looks better (That is why you will hear the crowd at Autzen cheering sometimes when PAC 12 team scores are announced). Yes, you will have to root for the Beavers until the Civil War.

What if Alabama, Florida and K-State continue to win out?

They wont. Alabama and Florida have to play against each other, so one of them has to lose eventually. They both also have some tough games ahead, so one of them will fall. K-State could win out, but they don’t have many ranked opponents left to play compared to Oregon, so Oregon should theoretically leapfrog back into #2 by the end of the season- again if they win out.

So as a Duck fan, you have permission to hate the BCS Ranking system right now. But at the end of the season when the Ducks are headed to Miami, FL(Championship Game), we will all like them again.

Go Ducks!


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