Aug. 14, 1999
By The Associated Press
Year Two of the Bowl Championship Series will bring a few new wrinkles to
the process of selecting the teams to play in its national championship game.
The BCS made a mostly successful debut last season, with Tennessee beating
Florida State in the Fiesta Bowl and becoming the unanimous choice as the
This time, the BCS modified its guidelines for selecting teams by adding
five new computer ratings and toughened eligibility standards for its four bowl
games. Also, a process is now in place that could strip weaker conferences of
automatic bids, a move aimed at the Big East.
The BCS standings are determined through four factors: a combined ranking in
The Associated Press media poll and USA Today/ESPN coaches’ poll, computer
surveys, strength of schedule, and won-loss record.
The series will again use the computer ratings of Jeff Sagarin, The New York
Times and the Seattle Times. But it also will consider Richard Billingsley,
Dunkel Index, Kenneth Massey, David Rothman and Matthews-Scripps Howard. A
school’s lowest ranking from the eight computer services will be thrown out.
Champions from the Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, SEC, Atlantic Coast and Pac-10
conferences receive automatic bids to the BCS, which also includes two at-large
The 1-2 teams in the BCS standings are matched in a national title game that
rotates among the Rose, Sugar, Orange and Fiesta bowls. Using a regional
format, the other three bowls select the remaining conference champions and
The 2000 title game will be held Jan. 4 at the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans.
Last season, teams were eligible for at-large berths with either eight
victories or by finishing no lower than 12th in the BCS standings. Now, teams
must have nine regular-season wins over Division I-A opponents and at least a
No. 12 ranking.
Also, each of the six BCS leagues must show it is worthy of that status. If
a conference’s automatic qualifiers failed to average at least a No. 12 BCS
rating over a four-year period, it could be stripped of the bid.
Last season, Big East champion Syracuse (8-4) was 15th in the BCS standings
and was routed by Florida 31-10 in the Orange Bowl.
One of the misconceptions of the BCS involved Kansas State, which ended up
in the Alamo Bowl after losing only one game – the Big 12 championship – and
finishing third in the final BCS standings. The feeling was that K-State, which
lost to Purdue in the Alamo Bowl, deserved to play in a BCS game.
“We still feel the bowls, after you get past the 1-2 game, need to have
some regional flexibility,” BCS chairman Roy Kramer said. “You can’t take two
West Coast teams and play in Miami. You’ve got to have regional ties to make
the bowls succeed.”
The first BCS standings will be released Oct. 25.