Davis, Hurricanes Perplexed By BCS Rankings

Davis, Hurricanes Perplexed By BCS Rankings

Nov. 7, 2000

AP Sports Writer

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – Defensive tackle Matt Walters stared at the latestBowl Championship Series rankings, analyzing Miami’s position in each poll andtrying to figure out what the Hurricanes need to happen to move into one of thetop two spots.

Walters, like many of his teammates, is learning more and more about the BCSevery day. Even coach Butch Davis is studying the system for the first time.

Miami has to, especially since beating the top two teams in the country andbeing ranked second in both major polls may not be enough to get the Hurricanesinto the BCS championship game.

“It’s getting kind of interesting,” Walters said. “The BCS was a goodattempt to do something other than the polls, but right now it doesn’t looklike it’s the best idea. I’d be really disappointed if we won out and didn’tplay for national title. But we’ll see. Hopefully, it will take care of itself.

“Who knows? It might work out.”

Or it might not.

The Hurricanes (7-1, 4-0 Big East) might need to win big against Pittsburgh,Syracuse and Boston College, their three remaining opponents. They also mighthave to hope for help, despite already beating then-No. 1 Florida State 27-24last month and then-No. 2 Virginia Tech 41-21 on Saturday.

Miami moved up two spots to third in Monday’s BCS rankings, but is a littlemore than three-tenths of a point behind the Seminoles. And by the end of theyear, FSU’s strength of schedule will rank higher than Miami’s. The Seminolesplay No. 5 Florida on Nov. 18, Miami does not have a ranked opponent remaining.

But perhaps the biggest reason Miami trails FSU is the computer polls, oneof four components used to determine the BCS rankings. Of the eight computerpolls, seven factor in margin of victory.

Florida State is beating teams by an average of 37 points a game, Miami iswinning by an average of 26 points. FSU’s 54-7 win against No. 10 Clemsonprobably means more than the Hurricanes’ 20-point win against Virginia Tech.

“It used to be there was a time when only the bookies were concerned withhow many (points) people won the games by,” Davis said. “Obviously now,that’s become a factor.”

Also hurting Miami is an 11-point win over lowly Louisiana Tech and aseason-opening win over McNeese State that doesn’t factor into the BCS becausethe Cowboys are a Division I-AA school.

Miami could make up the difference by running up the score in its finalthree games. If not, the Hurricanes might need to start rooting againstOklahoma, Nebraska and Florida State.

“We have to continue to keep scoring points,” receiver Reggie Wayne said.”It’s going to be real important because that’s what it’s all going to boildown to. It’s different when you’re running up the score for no reason. Butwhen you’re running up the score to try and get some where, to the nationalchampionship, it kind of makes you look good.

“We’re trying to get to the national championship. (The computers) don’tcare who’s running up the score. People have to understand it’s out of ourhands, so we have to do what we have to do to get there.”

Davis, once opposed to a playoff system for college football, seems to beleaning toward one after what has transpired in the BCS rankings the last fewweeks. He paused for a few seconds when asked about how he would like to seethe national title determined.

Then he said, “Ask me in a month and I’ll tell you.”

By then, the Hurricanes will know their BCS fate.

“Ultimately all that really matters is winning,” Davis said. “If you justkeep winning, everything else will take care of itself.”