NCAA Regression


NCAA college football rankings represent, in some sense, a forecast of the relative likelihood of success of the top 25 teams in the country. Please identify the components that likely most influence the voter polls, as well as the actual components that make up the computer-based BCS rankings (you will need to do some research on the BCS system). In your discuss, post the pros and cons of the subjective voter rankings (forecasts) vs. the more objective computer BCS rankings (forecasts). Look up the data from the past few seasons, on how well the initial BCS rankings predicted the big five bowl winners vs. the voter polls that came out in the same week. (Note that there is definite correlation because the voter polls themselves make up part of the BCS formula.)

Due to the fact that there is no end-or-season in case of college football, it became a challenging job to rank football teams like other National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) sports (“How are the college football rankings determined? | HowStuffWorks,”). BCS is calculated based on three components i.e. USA Today Coaches Poll, Harris Interactive College Football Poll and Computer Ranking Percentage (“BCS Calculation,”). BCS is an average of these components while there is an equal weightage for all these components. For the computer average score, the top and low ranking are not considered in the final average (“BCS computer rankings,”). If a team is ranked 1, total points of 25 are assigned to it in the computer ranking. For ranked 2, 24 points are assigned and so on points are assigned in inverse order. 6 computer scores are averaged and then a percentage is calculated which then contributes to the actual BCS average.

Advantages: In playoff system that replaced the BCS, the teams that are frontrunners enjoy special care and they are in advantage vs other low ranking teams towards the end of the season even if the low ranking teams perform better. In BCS system, top ranking teams could well drop down if they performed badly towards the end of the season and low teams had an opportunity to come up.

Disadvantages: According to this ranking system a single defeat had a high impact on the overall ranking. Critics say that I was not fair as a single failure should not be so determinant.

The main advantage of a computer poll is its accuracy in regards to the up to date information it gets through the shared information system straight from the football stadium and other data centers. It has the capacity to accurately forecast on weekly basis in my opinion.



BCS Calculation. Retrieved from