Dick Harmon: More at stake this week than deciding MWC title
Anderson and Hester had the Utes 9th while Billingsley gave Utah the highest ranking at No. 4. The Colley Matrix had Utah at No. 14, Massey 16th, Sagarin 17th and Wolfe 15th. It should be noted that Anderson and Hester bragged about their accuracy in 2008 that they had Utah ranked No. 2 before beating Alabama in the Sugar Bowl.
Compare those computer tallies with votes from the AP's four voters who are described as "national voters," which is to mean they are not associated with any region of the country. (The AP poll is not used in the BCS standings after the organization withdrew its permission in 2005.)
Here are AP's national pollster votes:
ESPN's Chris Fowler: 1. Oregon, 2. Boise State, 3. Alabama, 4. TCU, and the Utes at No. 8.
Greg Autman of the St. Petersburg Times: 1. Oregon, 2. Boise State, 3. TCU, and Utah at No. 6.
Craig James, ABC: 1. Oregon, 2. Auburn, 3. TCU, 4. Boise State, and Utah at No. 14.
Andy Staples, SI.com: 1. Oregon, 2. Boise State, 3. TCU, 4. Auburn, 5. Utah.
The average Utah ranking, mainly due to James' ballot, is 8.5, similar to the computers at 9th.
I was curious to see if voters in the Pac-10 region treated Utah any differently since the Utes would be joining the league next year. The thought was that perhaps those voters may have made an effort to watch Utah games, even with the challenge of finding the games on The mtn., CBS C and Versus and not finding the San Jose State game on any TV.
Here are those Pac-10 region ballots:
Scott Wolf, Los Angeles Daily News: 1. TCU, 2. Oregon, 3. Auburn, 4. Boise State, and Utah 12th.
Ray Ratto, Comcast Sportsnet: 1. TCU, 2. Oregon, 3. Boise State, 4. Auburn, and No. 5 Utah.
John Wilner, San Jose Mercury: 1. Auburn, 2. Oregon, 3. TCU, 4. Boise State, and Utah 14th.
Doug Haller, Arizona Republic: 1. Oregon, 2. Boise State, 3. Auburn, 4. TCU, and Utah at No. 8.
John Hunt, Oregonian: 1. Oregon, 2. Auburn, 3. Boise State, 4. TCU, and Utah No. 9.
Bob Condotta, Seattle Times: 1. Oregon, 2. Boise State, 3. Auburn, 4. TCU, 5. Utah.
The average ranking of the Pac-10 region AP voters for Utah is 8.8, similar to the computers and the national AP voters.
What all this means is the BCS system is an interesting exercise in guessing. It is not really a competition on the football field. What Wilner believes is a No. 14-ranked Utah team is Ray Ratto's No. 5 team.
And these computers? Ahhh, there's the catch.
Did you know there is no accounting system in place that checks to see if what the six computers say they figure is actually what is used by the BCS? The six geeks turn in their ratings on Sunday and that's it. No PricewaterhouseCoopers, No Deloitte & Touche or Ernst & Young checking their math.
According to Dan Wetzel of Yahoo.com, only Wes Colley makes his computer formula fully public.
Welcome to college football.
At least on Saturday, we'll finally have something decided on the field at Rice-Eccles.
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