Monday, November 7, 2011

Boise State in the BCS Title Game will require vigilante voters

By Nate Noy (posted by Rick Morris)

As we all now know, Alabama is in a prime position to play for the BCS Title should Stanford and Oklahoma State both lose and Bama win their remaining games. But what about Boise? Some have speculated that the voters could simply move Boise to #2 on their ballots and the result would be a LSU v. Boise matchup (assuming LSU wins out as well). However, the math simply does not add up, and the ONLY way Boise will play LSU (again assuming a loss by Stanford, loss by Oklahoma State, LSU at 13-0, Bama at 11-1, and Boise at 12-0) is for a very small handful of voters from the Harris Poll to take matters into their own hands and apply what many would see as vigilante justice.

To understand the above, we must first illustrate the extreme measure the voters must take to assure we don’t have a LSU v. Bama rematch. Assume that LSU and Boise are the only undefeated teams (excluding Houston) and Bama is 11-1 at the end of the regular season. Advocating that the voters move Boise to Number 2 in the polls will NOT create the desired effect, absent another extreme measure. Here is why:

If you flip Boise and Oklahoma State in the current Harris Poll (thus moving Boise to Number 2), the revised BCS Standings would look like this:

1 LSU .9931

2 OK State .9171

3 Bama .8836

4 (tie) Stanford, Boise .8749

So even if Boise were to surpass Alabama in the Harris Poll, it still would NOT leapfrog them in the BCS Standings. We have to assume that the coaches are highly unlikely to attempt to game the system, leaving the Harris Poll and the potential for vigilante voters as the last line of defense from a LSU v. Bama rematch.

So moving Boise to #2 in the Harris Poll won’t be enough. The reason for this is that, currently, Alabama has an average computer ranking of 3.5, while Boise is at 4.75. Boise is behind Alabama in four of the six computer polls. Since you drop the highest and the lowest in the formula, the net for Alabama is 1.25 places, or .05 in terms of BCS points. Unless Alabama loses, they are likely to maintain this advantage over Boise for the remainder of the season, regardless of what the other teams near the top of the BCS achieve.

So what can the Harris voters do?

^ It’s this simple: in the current Harris Poll, Alabama received 2505 points spread over 114 voters, or an average of 21.97 points. That is a shade under fourth on most ballots and that resulted in a #4 ranking in the Harris.

^ If 15 of the Harris Poll voters were to move Bama from #4 on their ballot to off their ballots altogether, the result would be a net loss of 330 Harris Poll points. This would move the Harris Poll BCS number for Alabama from .8789 to .7632, and result in a new current BCS ranking for Alabama of .8450. And this would move them behind the current Boise BCS number, which is at .8473.

Simply voting Boise #2 will NEVER be enough for them to pass Alabama. The most likely way Boise jumps Alabama in the BCS is for a small number of Harris folks to apply vigilante voting and remove Alabama from their ballots altogether. It only takes 15 of the Harris voters to accomplish this.

We will continue to monitor this as the season comes to a close, keeping in mind that Oklahoma State and Stanford could still help us avoid the necessity of this (if you don’t want an Alabama/LSU rematch).

No comments: