The sports betting world has a lot of mystery to it, but nothing is more mysterious as to how a college football team makes it into the BCS top 25 ranking. The first, and most important, qualification is that you must be an NCAA Division I college football program. From there, the rules on how to get ranked are not quite as clear cut.
The price per head sports experts that follow college football closely are usually pretty accurate in their assessment of which teams will be ranked and which teams will not get a ranking. But every once in a while, there is a surprise team that sneaks into the top 25 and shakes things up a bit.
The top 25 BCS rankings are important because they help to determine which teams will play in the various BCS bowl games that are held after the season is over. For example, the number one ranked team plays the number two ranked team in the BCS Championship Game in January. The BCS title game is a relatively new creation that was first played in 1998. Prior to the BCS title game, the team that finished as the consensus number one team in the country was named the national champion.
If it seems like the same 30 or 40 teams are always competing for the top 25 ranks in the country, then that could be because those 30 or 40 teams are the barometer the BCS uses to judge all other teams. One of the factors that determines whether a team is ranked or not is the strength of its schedule. A team that plays a schedule full of NCAA division I teams with reputations for being strong programs will have a much better chance of getting ranked than a team that plays a lighter schedule.
The one truly mysterious part of the BCS rankings is the incredibly complicated mathematical formula that is used to help determine rankings. The bookies know the formula exists, but very few of them actually know what it is. The mathematical formula generates a number for each team and that number is used to help determine rankings.
Another important part of the BCS ranking system is wins and losses. Many college football fans felt that the Alabama Crimson Tide was the best team in the country in 2012. But because Alabama had one loss on the season and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish finished the season undefeated, the Irish wound up finishing the season with the top ranking.
The college football rankings are much more regimented than most casual fans realize. In the end, it is these complex mathematical equations and respect for the histories of certain programs that dictate where the teams fall in the BCS rankings. At the end of the day, a college team’s bowl fate rests in the hands of this mysterious ranking system.