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November 23, 3:00 PM ET
Chat with Brad Edwards

Travis C. (Lake Highlands)

Nervous Texas fan here trying to figure out if we can be passed. Alabama is very strong in the computers. Let's say that Alabama loses an epic battle to Florida, and every Coach and Harris voter puts Texas #2 and Alabama #3. Any chance the computers would favor Bama enough to put them in over Texas in this scenario?

Brad Edwards
  (3:08 PM)

Not to make you more nervous, but I expect Alabama to be ranked No. 1 in every computer going into the SEC Championship Game. The issue is that the Tide would need to be ranked at least two spots ahead of Texas in every computer after the loss to Florida in order to make up that kind of gap in the polls. It just wouldn't work out that way.

Derek (San Francisco)

Brad, So PSU gets picked over Iowa as the Fiesta's first choice due to TV ratings, assuming everything else is a wash? Is that your logic?

Brad Edwards
  (3:13 PM)

If Oklahoma State loses this week, I believe the Fiesta will take a Big Ten team with its first selection. I think PSU and Iowa would both sell a lot of tickets, but I think the Penn State name just carries more weight - not only with TV ratings, but just in the overall appeal of the matchup. What sounds better to the average fan? TCU/Boise vs Penn State or TCU/Boise vs Iowa? There's no question that Iowa deserves the spot for having won at Penn State and essentially taking both of its losses without its starting QB, who will be back for the bowl. I just don't expect it to work out that way, as of now.

Travis C. (Lake Highlands)

Brad, according to your article today, the guys that run the computer polls don't share their formulas (which makes sense, since they're proprietary). Did you mean that they don't share them publicly, or that they don't even share them with the BCS? If they don't share with anyone, then where is the accountability and how are their results being audited?

Brad Edwards
  (3:17 PM)

Very good question. I meant that they don't share them with me or the general public. To the best of my knowledge, the BCS does know exactly what goes into each formula and how much weight it is being given. That was part of the process of deciding which computers they wanted to include. If you understand higher math well enough to interpret it, the formula for the Colley Matrix is posted on his website, but that's the only one that's available to the average fan.

Mike (Texas)

Is there any chance we could see TCU against the Florida/Alabama loser. That's a game I think a lot of college football fans would want to see. Not TCU against an ACC or Big East team.

Brad Edwards
  (3:20 PM)

I think there's a chance. But it all comes down to whether the Fiesta would choose TCU or Boise State. In the scenarios I've thought through, TCU would play either the second team from the SEC in the Sugar or the second team from the Big Ten in the Fiesta.

Bryan (Cincinnati)

What does UC have to do to get recognized above TCU who isnt even in a BCS conference? And does a big win over Pitt give them any chance at all at playing for the BCS championship??

Brad Edwards
  (3:25 PM)

IF Texas loses one of its next two games, I believe the Longhorns will fall far enough in the computers to open the door for TCU or Cincinnati to reach the national championship game. UC will finish ahead of TCU in the computers. It's just a matter of how much ground the Bearcats can make up on the Frogs in the polls. What it would take from Cincinnati against Pittsburgh to gain significant ground is anyone's guess, but it would help a little that TCU doesn't play on the final weekend.

Jim (Boise)

Does Ok St have to lose for BSU to get into the Fiesta? That seems to be the prevailing thought these days.

Brad Edwards
  (3:29 PM)

If Oklahoma State beats Oklahoma, I think the Cowboys are the easy choice by the Fiesta to replace Big 12 champion Texas. That means Boise's only remaining hope would be for the Orange Bowl to select the Broncos over a team from the Big Ten. I don't think it would happen. If OSU does lose this weekend, Boise probably gets an at-large bid. Whether that ends up being to the Fiesta or Sugar would be the Fiesta's choice.

Bryan D. (Cincinnati)

Whats does UC have to do to be recognized ahead of TCU who isn't a BCS team? Does UC with a big win over Pitt, assuming they win this week, give them a chance to play for the National Championship?

Brad Edwards
  (3:35 PM)

The computers like Cincy better than TCU. The issue is whether the Bearcats can convince voters they are better than TCU with on-field performance. The last two UC games being close really helped TCU stretch its advantage in the polls, so a little style down the stretch could certainly help Cincinnati. And don't underestimate the importance of Pittsburgh beating WVU on Friday. If the Panthers lose this week, it would lessen the significance of a Cincy win next week.

Samantha (TX)

Brad, please explain why the BCS system is a money maker while a playoff system isn't...Logic says that more games in a playoff would equal more money

Brad Edwards
  (3:41 PM)

I think a playoff would definitely make more money than the current BCS setup. One major issue is how that money would be distributed. A revenue-sharing plan similar to what the NCAA uses for the basketball tournament would not allow the major conferences to profit as much from a playoff as they currently make off the BCS. And there are many other issues regarding a playoff that don't involve the bottom line.

Kyle (Minneapolis, MN)

If Oregon St. wins the Pac 10 and Cincinnati beats Pittsburg decisively do they have a shot at the title game over an Alabama team that loses to Auburn then beats Florida? If so, what percentage chance do you give them? Does an undefeated Cincinnatia??s presence help or hurt a 1-loss SEC teama??s chance of finishing in the top two?

Brad Edwards
  (3:43 PM)

Regardless of computer strength, I just don't see a one-loss Alabama being ranked behind Cincinnati on many ballots. My belief is that the polls would keep Cincy and TCU out of the BCS title game.

Zach (Iowa City)

Iowa or Penn State to the BCS? Very nervous because of the JoePa factor and the fact that Penn State has all these huge margins of victory, does what happens on the field matter at all?

Brad Edwards
  (3:50 PM)

What happens on the field doesn't matter to the bowls choosing at-large teams. If it did, Notre Dame wouldn't have made any of its three BCS appearances. It's not about which team is best or most deserving. It's about the overall marketability of that team. Iowa would definitely sell enough tickets to satisfy any BCS bowl. The problem for Iowa, potentially, is that it doesn't have as big a name as Penn State, and Kirk Ferentz doesn't have as big a name as Joe Paterno. Even on the field, Iowa doesn't have a player that fans really want to watch.

mike (nc)

Can gt lose to clemson and still get to the BCS.

Brad Edwards
  (3:52 PM)

Not a chance. The Jackets would be eligible, but they wouldn't sell as many tickets coming off an ACC Championship Game loss as most other at-large candidates would.

J.B. (Dunmore, PA)

Let's say both Alabama and Florida actually lose this weekend (I know, a stretch). Would the SEC championship game winner still be going to the BCS title game or would we more likely see an all-Texas final between the Longhorns and Horned Frogs?

Brad Edwards
  (3:54 PM)

If both lost this week, it would be less likely that a one-loss SEC champion would be in the BCS title game, although it still could happen.

Josh (Knoxville, TN)

Outside of the name recognition, can anyone really say Texas deserves it more than TCU? The computers are .01 apart on the two teams. Might as well flip a coin, if you ask me.

Brad Edwards
  (3:55 PM)

When the polls carry two-thirds of the weight in the BCS formula, name recognition means a great deal. Not saying that's right, but that's reality.

realbbbb (FLA)

"At the beginning of the season, every bowl subdivision team starts out with an equal chance to become national champion." --chairman of the BCS Presidential Oversight Committee; whew, that sure makes me feel better...

Brad Edwards
  (3:57 PM)

Somehow, I doubt TCU, Cincinnati and Boise State agree with that assessment.

James (PA)

Follow up to Derek. Is it any more likely for PSU to get an Orange Bowl bid?

Brad Edwards
  (4:01 PM)

If Oklahoma State wins this week, I think the second team from the Big Ten goes to the Orange. If the Cowboys lose, I think the second Big Ten team goes to the Fiesta. Just to clarify some of my earlier responses... I think there's a very real chance Iowa could be chosen over Penn State by one of the BCS bowls, but based on how these bowls have traditionally made their decisions, my lean is toward Penn State right now. I haven't been told anything by anyone affiliated with these bowls to lead me to believe Iowa has no shot.

Nate (Boise)

Boise wins out and Oregon wins the Pac-10, who finishes ahead in the computers?

Brad Edwards
  (4:03 PM)

Not sure why this matters, but Oregon would. Only one of the six computers (Billingsley) has any type of head-to-head condition in his formula, and Oregon has offset those losses by having more quality wins than Boise.

JJ (Boise Idaho 83705)

What are the chances of Boise State playing in the NCG?

Brad Edwards
  (4:05 PM)

What are the chances of Florida, Alabama and TCU all losing this week? Figure that out, and that's pretty much what the odds are.

James (PA)

Who do you think has a better BCS resume, Iowa or Penn State?

Brad Edwards
  (4:07 PM)

Iowa does. It's not even close. But if you find a bowl executive who's extending an invitation based on resumes, please let me know. That would be news to me.

Thomas (Texas)

Why isn't Nebraska ranked in the BCS after winning the big 12 north?

Brad Edwards
  (4:09 PM)

Did you see who Nebraska beat to win the Big 12 North?

Alex (Cincy)

If UC loses to Pitt on the last game of the year would they still go to a BCS bowl?

Brad Edwards
  (4:11 PM)

I doubt it. Teams with a fan base the size of Cincy's rarely get consideration for at-large bids, and when you consider the blow of losing an undefeated season in the final game, it's even less likely they would travel well.

Casey (CA)

Brad, If TCU gets into the NC would the BCS be required to take Boise State or is it still just one they are required to take?

Brad Edwards
  (4:13 PM)

There is no condition that would ever require the BCS to take a second team from a non-AQ conference. It can only be done voluntarily.

Doug (Fairfax, VA)

Brad, If Clemson beats GT in the ACCCG, could we be looking at a Clemson/TCU rematch in the orange bowl?

Brad Edwards
  (4:16 PM)

Doubtful. The Orange would probably have an opportunity to make it happen, but most people don't want to see a rematch of a game unless it was a very high-profile game the first time it was played.

Brad Edwards
  (4:17 PM)

Thanks for your questions, everyone. Will this be the week one of the six undefeated teams finally takes a loss? Happy Thanksgiving!