Wednesday, July 11
Updated: July 19, 9:29 AM ET
Dunkel Index, N.Y. Times out of BCS mix

The Bowl Championship Series has revised its formula for selecting teams to play in its designated title game, changes that would have added up to Miami -- not Florida State -- against Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl last season.

The adjustments, announced Thursday, include a new quality-win component that will award bonus points in the BCS' mathematical formula for beating a team rated in the top 15 in the standings.

Also, there will be less importance given to margin of victory, which has been a main concern of coaches in the first three years of the BCS standings.

"To some degree this is an evolution in terms of the formula," said BCS coordinator John Swofford of the Atlantic Coast Conference. "It needs to be made better, and if we can make it better, then we feel like we should do so.

"We realize it can confuse people when we change it, but these are substantial and quality changes in the formula that are better for the game and better for our football programs."

Had the new rules been in effect in 2000, the title game would have been Miami vs. Oklahoma -- the Hurricanes would have finished second in the final BCS standings ahead of the Seminoles and behind the Sooners. Bonus points for Miami's wins over Florida State and Virginia Tech would have pushed the Hurricanes ahead of the Seminoles in the final standings.

Oklahoma beat Florida State in the Orange Bowl to win the national title last season, with Miami beating Florida in the Sugar Bowl and finishing No. 2.

Swofford said changes would have still been made even if the Seminoles had beaten the Sooners.

"The issues would have still been there, I just don't think they would have been quite as high on the radar screen publicly as they were before the game," Swofford said. "But those issues would have stayed on our plate in terms of the BCS."

The BCS standings use The Associated Press media poll and the USA Today/ESPN coaches poll, eight computer ratings, strength-of-schedule and win-loss records in determining its overall standings.

In addition, the BCS will replace two of the eight computer services next season, including the Dunkel Index, which depended heavily on margin of victory. Also out of the mix is the New York Times' computer ratings.

The eight computer rankings to be used in 2001 are operated by: Richard Billingsley, Kenneth Massey, David Rothman, Jeff Sagarin, Scripps-Howard, Seattle Times, Peter Wolfe and Wes Colley.

Of the eight, four do not factor in margin of victory; the others render excessive margins negligible.

"The quality-win component encourages teams to play a stronger schedule and gives a significant reward for wins over highly ranked opponents," Swofford said.

The bonus points for quality wins will range from a high of 1.5 points for a win over the top-ranked team to a low of 0.1 for a victory over the 15th-ranked BCS team. Should one team defeat the same top 15 BCS team more than once during the regular season, quality points will be awarded just once.

The bonus points will be awarded on a sliding scale per week, depending on where the opponent was ranked that week, and be added to each team's final point total.

"For example, UCLA beat Alabama early in the season when Alabama was ranked third in the country," Swofford said. "By the end of the year Alabama was unranked, so UCLA would have benefited from that win for awhile but when it got to the final poll they would not have benefited at all."

Swofford said the BCS rankings will still be released in mid-October with the bonus points factored in at that time, and then updated each week until the end of the season.

The Rose Bowl will play host to the BCS' title game this season, on Jan. 3, 2002.

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