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BCS's fuzzy math mystifies Frogs

By The Associated Press

FORT WORTH — After being criticized for all of its close wins, Texas Christian finally had a decisive victory — then dropped two spots in the Bowl Championship Series standings.

The BCS tumble is big for the Horned Frogs (10-0), who slipped to eighth — and out the top-six range it will need to occupy for a guaranteed spot in one of the top four bowls — following a 43-10 win over Cincinnati.

"I didn't know how we went to sixth with the way we won the Louisville game, then we have a lopsided win," coach Gary Patterson said Tuesday. "Obviously, that doesn't have anything to do with it."

USC won 45-0 Saturday over Arizona, a two-win team TCU beat in overtime on the road, and then dropped from second to third in the new BCS rankings.

Blowout wins mean nothing in the BCS rankings, but strength of schedule is part of the computer formula. And that is what hurts TCU, which has the 90th-toughest schedule of 117 NCAA Division I-A teams.

The Frogs moved up three spots last week to No. 6, the highest ranking ever for a team from a non-BCS conference, after a 31-28 win over Louisville. The seven-win Cardinals missed three field goals, the last hitting the crossbar on the game's final play.

But the win over Cincinnati didn't help because the Bearcats' only wins in the last seven games have been against winless Army — another team TCU beat — and I-AA Rhode Island.

"I don't think strength of schedule has anything to do with anything," Patterson said. "You win your game or you lose your game."

Patterson also doesn't like the impact of the computer that takes into account several factors to formulate the BCS rankings.

"The computers take out all of the intangibles. It doesn't have a thing to do with who was injured and how you won the game," he said. "It doesn't have anything to do with how the crowd was, anything to do with referees. It takes everything out of it, the whole humanistic approach."

The human element in the BCS rankings is the average of The Associated Press media poll and USA Today/ESPN coaches polls. TCU is lower in both of those than the BCS, 10th in the AP Top 25 and ninth in the coaches poll.

"We really don't have any say in it if it's fair or not, and I'm not exactly sure how the whole computer ranking and all of that works," quarterback Brandon Hassell said. "We just have to keep winning and hopefully sway some of the voters to our side."

That might be their only way to gain ground in the BCS.

A win Thursday night at Southern Mississippi (7-3) for the Conference USA title could help. But the Frogs probably will lose ground after its regular-season finale at winless SMU, win or lose.

SEC teams Georgia and Tennessee passed the Frogs in the BCS this week, and one of them could be a conference division champ. No. 9 Michigan is less than a half-point behind TCU, and the Wolverines play No. 2 Ohio State this weekend for the Big Ten title.

Still, Patterson isn't begging for poll votes.

"I don't want to talk somebody into giving this team or myself a sympathy vote. If we've earned their respect, we've earned their respect. If we haven't, we haven't," he said. "The one thing I'm not going to apologize for is being 10-0 or 11-0 or 12-0."


©2003 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

02.23.07 10:48 AM
 

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