Bryan at Arguing with signposts asks,

who got hosed the most out of the whole Bowl scheduling? My money is on Tennessee (No. 6 in the polls) who gets to play unranked Clemson in the Peach Bowl.

While the obvious answer is SoCal–shut out of the championship game despite being consensus #1–they at least get to play the #4 team in the Rose Bowl for a share of the mythical national championship. How about the #5 Longhorns, who have to go to the Holiday Bowl because of the rule against three schools from the same conference going to BCS bowls. They’re ranked ahead of K-State (#10), but K-State gets an automatic BCS bid because they won the Big 12.

James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Nick says:

    USC didn’t get hosed at all. If it’s so clear that being the consensus #1 means you get to be in the title game, then why ever have any other considerations? It’s obvious that the human polls are just one input into a multi-faceted system. Taken all together, USC was not quite good enough to make it to the title game. Period.

    10 days ago, when the conventional wisdom held that LSU was going to destroy its own quality win bonus if it beat Georgia twice, and thus be held out of the Sugar, I didn’t hear any clamor from USC to make things more “fair”. The truth is, they were pleased as paint to be able to hang their hat on that little glitch.

    Bottom line: you lose to Cal (or anyone) you throw yourself on the mercy of the court.

    The problem with the BCS is the human polls- not the computers.

  2. LittleA says:

    Nick, I’ll concede your larger point, but I have to quibble with your last statement.

    The computers didn’t turn themselves on and decide to start ranking college football teams on their own. The computer rankings were programmed by humans, and they also are prone to, if not error, then differences of opinion. Some person, or groups of people, decided how much weight each aspect of the game would get in their program. The differences in the weighting is why each computer ranking turns out differently. As the old saying goes GIGO. I have heard quite a few people comment this year on the NYT rankings being significantly different from the others. Seems to me that’s just as flawed as “human” polls.

  3. Ron says:

    Disclaimer, I am a K-State alumni.

    Last year K-State was hosed by the BCS (ranked 6th and didn’t play in a BCS bowl), so I’m kinda happy that the BCS was hosed by K-State this year.

  4. Nick says:


    I realize that humans program the computers. But that happens once. And over the course of a season or two, it’s pretty much figured out what’s going on.

    But the idiotic voters can do anything they want, when they want, for any reason they want! Do we really expect journalists to be neutral? Or coaches? There’s just too much conflict of interest. For god’s sake: coming into Saturday, Notre Dame (5-6) was ranked 37th- AHEAD of 7-5 Cal which BEAT USC!!!!!!!! That in and of itself shows the type of traditional-powerhouse bias that USC has also enjoyed all year.