Post-Season BCS Rankings Simulation: Alabama A Non-Unanimous Choice For No. 1

Alabama claimed the BCS national title, but was not a unanimous choice among the components of BCS system and the AP poll.

To see just how the bevy of season’s end rankings played out, we’ve set out to simulate a set of BCS rankings, using the AP poll in place of the Harris poll. What we get is a good aggregate of all of the final rankings, and the equivalent of a year-end, final BCS rankings.

We also used the six BCS computers, not all of which declared Alabama as the top team in the nation. In fact, both Oklahoma State and LSU claimed the top spot in one computer ranking.

Mostly, this is just for fun, a good look at what the BCS standings would look like if they were released after the end of the season. The formula is exactly the same as the BCS utilizes during the regular season, except the AP poll is subbed in for the Harris Interactive Poll, which does not release a post-season edition.

Unsurprisingly, Alabama leads the way, despite its non-unanimous support. LSU and Oklahoma State finish in their expected No. 2 and No. 3 spots, respectively.

Arkansas and Oregon see the completion of strong regular seasons and impressive bowl victories to both finish in the top five.

A little further down, we get a surprising sixth-place finish from South Carolina, who are chased closely by Boise State, where the Broncos finish just .0003 behind the Gamecocks. For fun, we placed USC in the mix, as they are named in all six computers and in the AP. We just replicated the portion the No. 9 Trojans got in the AP for the Coaches’ and used the computers as per usual.

Other surprises include No. 10 Baylor, who completes a fantastic season led by Heisman-winning quarterback Robert Griffin III and the non-AQ No. 16 Houston and No. 17 TCU, both of which had shots at BCS bowl bids but were shut out on the last weekend — a Houston loss and TCU finishing outside of the top-16.

Here’s BCS Know How’s simulated post-season BCS rankings:

Simulated Post-Season BCS Rankings

Rank Team BCS Score
1 Alabama Crimson Tide .9922
2 LSU Tigers .9540
3 Oklahoma State Cowboys .9298
4 Oregon Ducks .8260
5 Arkansas Razorbacks .8214
6 South Carolina Gamecocks .7267
7 Boise State Broncos .7264
8 Stanford Cardinal .7193
9 USC Trojans .6981
10 Baylor Bears .5718
11 Michigan Wolverines .5688
12 Wisconsin Badgers .5337
13 Oklahoma Sooners .5250
14 Michigan State Spartans .5234
15 Kansas State Wildcats .5040
16 Houston Cougars .4305
17 TCU Horned Frogs .4156
18 West Virginia Mountaineers .3068
19 Georgia Bulldogs .2689
20 Virginia Tech Hokies .2483

2011-12 Non-BCS Bowl Matchups

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Thirty bowl games in just 22 days feature teams and matchups between schools that might never get the chance to play anytime during the season.

This season, 30 non-BCS bowls will feature teams from across the country. Teams that just missed out on BCS bowls — Kansas State, Boise State, Houston — teams that had surprisingly strong seasons — Baylor, Georgia, Michigan State — and teams that faltered down the stretch — Oklahoma, Penn State, Notre Dame.

All of the games are interesting matchups, so mark your calendars.

Date Bowl Team Team
Dec. 17 New Mexico Bowl Wyoming vs. Temple
Dec. 17 Idaho Potato Bowl Utah State vs. Ohio
Dec. 17 New Orleans Bowl Louisiana-Lafayette vs. San Diego State
Dec. 20 Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl Marshall vs. Florida International
Dec. 21 Poinsettia Bowl TCU vs. Louisiana Tech
Dec. 22 MAACO Bowl Las Vegas Boise State vs. Arizona State
Dec. 24 Hawaii Bowl Southern Miss vs. Nevada
Dec. 26 Independence Bowl Missouri vs. North Carolina
Dec. 27 Little Caesars Pizza Bowl Western Michigan vs. Purdue
Dec. 28 Belk Bowl Louisville vs. NC State
Dec. 28 Military Bowl Toledo vs. Air Force
Dec. 29 Holiday Bowl California vs. Texas
Dec. 29 Champs Sports Bowl Notre Dame vs. Florida State
Dec. 30 Alamo Bowl Washington vs. Baylor
Dec. 30 Armed Forces Bowl Tulsa vs. BYU
Dec. 30 Pinstripe Bowl Rutgers vs. Iowa State
Dec. 30 Music City Bowl Wake Forest vs. Mississippi State
Dec. 30 Insight Bowl Oklahoma vs. Iowa
Dec. 31 Car Care Bowl of Texas Northwestern vs. Texas A&M
Dec. 31 Sun Bowl Georgia Tech vs. Utah
Dec. 31 Liberty Bowl Vanderbilt vs. Cincinnati
Dec. 31 Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl UCLA vs. Illinois
Dec. 31 Chick-fil-A Bowl Virginia vs. Auburn
Jan. 2 Ticket City Bowl Penn State vs. Houston
Jan. 2 Outback Bowl Georgia vs. Michigan State
Jan. 2 Capital One Bowl Nebraska vs. South Carolina
Jan. 2 Gator Bowl Ohio State vs. Florida
Jan. 6 Cotton Bowl Arkansas vs. Kansas State
Jan. 7 BBVA Compass Bowl Pittsburgh vs. SMU
Jan. 8 Bowl Arkansas State vs. Northern Illinois

MWC: Mountain West Conference

WAC: Western Athletic Conference

MAC: Mid-Atlantic Conference

C-USA: Conference USA

ACC: Atlantic Coast Conference

SEC: Southeastern Conference

Pac-12: Pacific 12 Conference

2011-12 Bowl Season Bowl Selection Order

Amazingly, bowl selection Sunday is less than a month away, where the five BCS bowls and 30 non-BCS bowls are filled.

The teams the 35 bowls can choose are determined by contracts each games holds with certain conferences, and the selection order in which they are allowed to pick their competitors.

All 11 Football Bowl Subdivision conferences have at least one bowl affiliation. The following is the selection order for each conference from the New Mexico Bowl to the BCS.

Selection order is not necessarily the same as finishing order. For example a bowl that has second pick from the conference is not required to choose the team that finished second in that conference.

Instead they are allowed — unless otherwise agreed upon — to select any bowl-eligible team from the conference with which they have an agreement.

If a conference does not provide enough bowl-eligible teams, the bowl can choose from among the other bowl-eligible teams around the FBS unless otherwise specified.

For more information on the BCS selection process, click HERE.

BCS Automatic Qualifying Conferences

Atlantic Coast Conference

1. Orange Bowl (BCS)
2. Chick-fil-A Bowl
3. Champ Sports Bowl
4. Sun Bowl
5. Belk Bowl
6. Music City Bowl
7. Independence Bowl
8. Military Bowl
9. Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl (contingency)

Big East Conference

1. Bowl Championship Series Automatic Bid
2. Champ Sports Bowl
3. Belk Bowl
4. Pinstripe Bowl
5. BBVA Compass Bowl or Liberty Bowl (the No. 5 Big East team will either play an SEC opponent in the Compass Bowl or the C-USA champion in the Liberty Bowl)
6. Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl

Note: Notre Dame can be chosen as a replacement for any Big East team in any non-BCS bowl.

Big Ten Conference

1. Rose Bowl (BCS)
2. Capital One Bowl
3. Outback Bowl
4. Gator Bowl
5. Insight Bowl
6. Care Care Bowl of Texas
7. Ticket City Bowl
8. Little Caesars Pizza Bowl

Big 12 Conference

1. Fiesta Bowl (BCS)
2. Cotton Bowl Classic
3. Alamo Bowl
4. Insight Bowl
5. Holiday Bowl
6. Care Care Bowl of Texas
7. Pinstripe Bowl
8. Ticket City Bowl

Pacific-12 Conference

1. Rose Bowl (BCS)
2. Alamo Bowl
3. Holiday Bowl
4. Sun Bowl
5. Maaco Las Vegas Bowl
6. Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl
7. New Mexico Bowl

Southeastern Conference

1. Sugar Bowl (BCS)
2. Capital One Bowl
3/4. Outback Bowl and Cotton Bowl Classic (alternates)
5. Chick-fil-A Bowl
6. Gator Bowl
7/8. Liberty Bowl and Music City Bowl (alternates)
9. BBVA Compass Bowl

Non-Automatic Qualifying Conferences

Conference USA

1. Liberty Bowl
2. Hawai’i Bowl
3. Armed Forces Bowl
4. Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl
5. New Orleans Bowl
6. Military Bowl
7. Ticket City Bowl

Mid-American Confernece

1. Little Caesar’s Pizza Bowl
2. Bowl
3. Humanitarian Bowl

Note: The MAC will supply an alternate to the Military Bowl for the ACC if it cannot supply enough bowl-eligible teams.

Mountain West Conference

1. Maaco Las Vegas Bowl
2. Poinsettia Bowl
3. Independence Bowl
4. Armed Forces Bowl
5. New Mexico Bowl

Sun Belt Conference

1. New Orleans Bowl
2. Bowl

Note: The Sun Belt Conference can supply teams as alternates for the following bowls: St. Petersburg, Independence, and Pizza.

Western Athletic Conference

1. Poinsettia Bowl
2. Humanitarian Bowl
3. New Mexico Bowl
4. Hawai’i Bowl
5. Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl (if needed)

Note: Hawaii is automatically selected for the Hawaii Bowl if bowl-eligible and not selected by the BCS.


2011-12 BCS Bowl Selection Process Explained

More information can be found at the BCS Bowls page.

As it acts today, the BCS facilitates matchups in five bowl games — the BCS National Championship Game along with the Orange, Sugar, Fiesta and Rose bowls.

In the 2011-12 season as in past years, there is a specific selection process for each of the five bowls, with slight changes year-to-year.

On Sunday December 4th, “Selection Sunday” if you will, representatives from the conferences, bowl games and schools meet to decide the matchups in the five bowl games in the following fashion:

Creating the BCS Selection Pool

  • The champions of the six automatically qualifying BCS conferences — the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Big East, Pac-12 and SEC — all receive guaranteed bids to BCS games.
  • The highest-ranking conference champion among the five non-AQ conferences — C-USA, MAC, MWC, Sun Belt, and the WAC — in the final BCS rankings will also be assured of a bid to a BCS bowl if they rank within the top 12 or within the top 16 and rank higher than any BCS conference champion.
  • Any teams which wins nine games and finishes within the top 18 of the final BCS standings will be BCS bowl-eligible, although a team within the top-14 will have priority on eligibility over a team ranked 15th-18th.
  • Though more than two teams from a single conference can be BCS bowl eligible, no more than two teams from a single conference can be selected to play in the five BCS bowls.

BCS National Championship Game Participants

  • The teams ranked No. 1 and No. 2 in the final BCS standings — regardless of conference affiliation or own-conference finish — will be placed in the BCS National Championship Game to be held in New Orleans, Louisiana in January 2012 as the selection committee’s first measure.

Filling Conference Affiliation

  • After the National Title Game is filled, the remaining BCS bowls will fill their bowls with their traditional “anchor host” conference champions as follows:
    • Rose Bowl: Big Ten and Pac-12
    • Fiesta Bowl: Big 12
    • Orange Bowl: ACC
    • Sugar Bowl: SEC

Championship Replacement

  • If any of the bowls’ traditional anchor hosts have been lost to the BCS National Championship Game, that bowl will be allowed to select a replacement team from the eligible pool before any other picks are made.
  • If more than one bowl loses a host conference champion, the bowl which lost the BCS No. 1 will choose its replacement from the pool first, followed by the bowl that lost the BCS No. 2.

Filling the Rest of the Bowls

  • Once all of the affiliation and replacement selections have been made, the Sugar, Fiesta and Orange will select from among the remaining members of the eligibility pool in the following order:
    • Fiesta, Sugar, Orange.
  • One of the three bowls will be required to select the Big East champion and the automatically qualifying non-AQ champion if one exists.
  • If not selected previously, a team which finishes third in the final BCS standings will automatically be awarded a spot in a BCS bowl if they are an at-large team and not an AQ BCS conference champion. If the third team is a conference champion, the fourth-place team will also be afforded this automatic eligibility if not selected previously.
  • The three bowls will also be able to select among the rest of the pool if no other teams automatically qualify for inclusion among the five bowls.