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

Following college football's 12th weekend of play, eight teams now becomes harder to ignore-Louisiana Tech, Kansas, West Virginia, Missouri, Ohio State, Arizona State, Hawaii and Boise State. All have only 1 loss except Kansas and Hawaii remain unbeaten.

Sunday night's (11-18-07) new AP Top 25 Poll shown LSU ranked 1st, Kansas 2nd, Missouri 3rd, West Virginia 4th, Ohio State 5th, Arizona State 7th, Hawaii 14th and Boise State 17th.

Monday's (11-19-07) new BCS Standings shown LSU 1st, Kansas 2nd, West Virginia 3rd, Missouri 4th, Ohio State 5th, Arizona State 6th, Hawaii 15th and Boise State 19th.

The AP Poll by sports writers and broadcasters has no affect on who will play in the national championship game.

The BCS standings determine the participants based upon a complicated formula from 3 components: the USA Today coaches Poll, the Harris Interactive College Football Poll, and an average of 6 computer rankings, including the Sagarin Ratings. Each component counts as one-third of a team's overall BCS score in the BCS Standings.

All of that sounds pretty boring and it is, but do not underestimate the importance of the BCS Standings because millions of dollars are at stake. It is not just the BCS National Championship Game in New Orleans on Jan. 8, 2008 that generates huge payouts to the teams and conferences involved.

It is also 4 other official BCS Bowl Games as well: the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 1, 2008, the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1, 2008, the Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 2, 2008 and the Orange Bowl on Jan. 3, 2008.

The total payout from the 5 BCS games this year will be $ 85 million and the total economic impact on the 5 hosting cities is estimated at more than $ 1.2 billion.

The bottom line is that at least 10 teams in the top BCS Standings will play in these games. The champions of the 6 major NCAA conferences-the Atlantic Coast, Big East, Big 10, Big 12, Pacific 10 (Pac 10) and Southeastern Conference (SEC) -are guaranteed a spot in 1 of the 5 BCS games. The other slots are up for grabs under a complicated 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 salient fact you can better understand why Hawaii (at 15th place) and Boise State (at 19th place) are so upset about their current BCS Standings-though is in the Top 12 despite Hawaii's 10-0 record and Boise State's 10-1 record.

Western Athletic Conference Commissioner Karl Benson spent most of the rest of his weekend trying to convince "everyone and his dog Spot" about the great win Hawaii had against Nevada, currently rated 97th by Sagarin amongst 119 Division 1A schools. Hawaii finally won 28-26 on a 45-yard field goal with 11 seconds left.

Given the polls and the BCS Standings no one was listening or believing a word Benson had said.

Given the …

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