It's rather amusing to hear the assorted TV knuckleheads bellyache about the computer rankings in the BCS. They don't understand how the computers work. They think the BCS formula gives the computers too much influence. Blah blah blah.
So here's a hint: Don't worry about it.
That's right, don't worry about it. As in, the computers don't make a whit of difference when it comes to the only BCS standings that matter - the final one. It might as well not be part of the formula.
Since the adaptation of the current formula, in 2004 after the hue and cry over the 2003 split championship debacle, every single team that ranked either first or second in the two human polls (AP in 2004, Harris since 2005, and the Coaches poll) played in the BCS national title game.
Let's take a look: (Coaches-AP/Harris)
2004: USC (1-1) vs. Oklahoma (2-2)
2005: USC (1-1) vs. Texas (2-2)
2006: Ohio State (1-1) vs. Florida (2-2)
2007: Ohio State (1-1) vs. LSU (2-2)
2008: Oklahoma (1-2) vs. Florida (2-1)
2009: Alabama (1-1) vs. Texas (2-2)
It's a perfect 12-for-12. If the BCS formula never existed, these teams would've still met for the title anyway.
On the other hand, finishing first or second in the computers meant nothing. A few teams did that and ended up watching the BCS title game on TV:
2006: Michigan (T-2 in computers), lost out to T-2 Florida
2007: Virginia Tech (1), lost out to No. 2 LSU and No. 3 Ohio State
2008: Texas (2), lost out to No. 3 Florida
2009: Cincinnati (2), lost out to No. 3 Texas
For the context of this year, it means that all the speculation about Boise State's computer ratings is mere sound and fury. At the end of the season, it's entirely up to the 173 voters in the Coaches poll and Harris poll to decide whether they're willing to put the Broncos in the top 2 of their ballots.
Take last year for example. The Broncos went undefeated but finished sixth in the Coaches and Harris polls. They also finished sixth in the computer ratings. But if you take No. 2 Texas' poll points and apply them to the Broncos, they would've made it to the BCS title game to face Alabama, despite being sixth in the computers ratings.
See, that's the genius of the current BCS formula. It pretends to be a lot more than what it really is: A beauty pageant. In reality it's no more scientific than the Miss Universe contest or American Idol, but every bit as political. Your knowledge of the voters' biases will produce a better prediction of the final standings than your ability to comprehend Wes Colley's methodology.
So if you're a Broncos fan, curb your enthusiasm over this week's standings that placed Boise State No. 2. And don't get too dismayed when it fell to No. 6 as was the case a week ago. Stop wasting your time trying to figure out the Broncos' strength of schedule. But do put pressure on these voters (if you know how, and here's a little help) to give Boise State a fair shake.
It's just like writing your congressman, and probably just as satisfying and useful. But at least now you know better than to blame the machines.