The Associated Press poll will count for one-third of each team's ranking under the new formula Bowl Championship Series officials unveiled Thursday
in their latest attempt to find a simpler, more equitable way to determine a national champion.
Under the new formula, which begins this season, the AP writers' poll, the coaches' poll and a combination of computer rankings will each count for
one-third of a team's overall BCS ranking.
Strength of schedule, team record and quality wins, three components used under the old system, have all been eliminated.
"In analyzing the BCS standings, we wanted to develop a ranking formula that would be simpler and more precise," said BCS chairman Kevin Weiberg, the
commissioner of the Big 12 Conference.
In three of the last four seasons, there have been at least three teams with legitimate claims for a spot in the BCS title game.
Last year resulted in a split national championship, with LSU winning the BCS title game over Oklahoma and Southern California protecting its top
ranking in the AP poll by defeating Michigan in the Rose Bowl.
Those who vote in the coaches' poll are obligated to name the winner of the BCS title game the national champion. Writers in the AP poll are under no
BCS officials consulted mathematicians to help come up with a new formula that would give them a better chance at ensuring the top two teams in both
polls meet in their title game.
"This formula goes a long way to eliminate some of the controversy surrounding previous matchups as we continue to improve upon the system," Weiberg
The new formula will no longer average the weekly rank of each team. Instead, teams will be evaluated on the number of voting points they receive in
each poll. A team's score in the AP poll will be divided by 1,625, which is the maximum any team can receive. A team's score in the coaches' poll will
be divided by 1,500.
The final component will come from six computer rankings. A team's highest and lowest computer ranking will be thrown out and the other four will be
used to determine a figure to add to those from the two polls.
Had the new system been in place last year, it would have pitted USC and LSU in the title game. In 2001, Miami would have played Oregon instead of
Nebraska, which made it over the Ducks despite a late-season 62-36 loss to Colorado that knocked the Cornhuskers out of the Big 12 title picture. In
2000, the game would have pitted Oklahoma and Florida State -- the two teams that made it -- with Miami being left out despite having one loss, and
having handed the Seminoles their only loss of the season.