NFL Power Poll with a BCS Twist

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NFL Power Poll with a BCS Twist
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Who's No.1

Power polls, rankings and any other form of trying to determine the best, and for that matter, the worst in any sport, is a debate that has raged on since the beginning of sports time.

Most notably, college football is often front and center in every rankings controversy simply because they do not have a playoff system to determine its champion. The Bowl Championship Series, which determines what two teams will ultimately play for the National Championship, ranks college football teams according to the following formula.

The USA Today Coaches Poll, Harris Interactive College Football Poll, and an average of six computer rankings each count one-third of a team's overall BCS score in the BCS Standings. If you need a better breakdown of how this all works, then simply click here.

I, like many of you, love the NFL, and anxiously await Tuesday afternoons to see where my favorite NFL team (the Baltimore Ravens) will be ranked in the numerous power polls. Last season, I began to tinker with a system of ranking NFL teams by using a point system. 

I published several NFL-BCS style polls right here on the Bleacher Report and found the reviews favorable. So I decided to give it a shot again this season.

Last season, the Patriots were never ranked higher than No. 3, and last year's Super Bowl participants, the Packers and Steelers, finished the regular season ranked No .5, and No. 2, respectively.

Rankings and poll systems are not perfect, and mine is certainly no exception. Here is an overview of how the point system works for Week 1 of the BCS-style NFL power rankings.

In order to qualify for the poll a team must have a record better than .500 or lead their division. Points are given based on how many teams are in that week’s poll. 

This week, there are 15 teams that have a record exceeding .500, so, if a team finishes first in any category they are given 75 points. The points then decrease all the way down to five.

Quality wins and losses are given points:


1.  5 points- division win on the road

2.  4 points- win at home

3.  3 points- division win at home

4.  2 points- win at home


1.  -5 points- non-division loss at home

2.  -4 points- division loss at home

3.  -3 points- non-division loss on the road

4.  -2 points- division loss on the road

The following categories were used to determine how the points were distributed.

1.  Win/loss percentage of opponent's schedule

2.  Points for

3.  Points against

4.  Net difference in points

5.  Offensive rank 

6.  Defensive rank

7.  Average power poll rankings of three polls (ESPN,, and FOX Sports)

8.  Teams record

Teams are given five extra bonus points for leading a category, and if two or more teams are tied in any category, the points are added together, divided, and then distributed accordingly. Teams are rewarded for their consistency in the poll.

Every team that makes the poll will receive a bonus that they carry forward the following week. I call it the San Diego Chargers rule. Last season the Bolts had the No. 1 ranked offense and defense but were not in the poll until they topped the .500 mark late in the season. Once they finally made it, they were catapulted near the top of the poll unfairly because of their rankings.

The number of points  any team carries forward will be dependent upon where they finish the week before, and how many teams fall out of  the poll. Example: If the Packers finish first this week, and 13 teams return to the poll next week, Green Bay will receive 13 bonus points added to next weeks total

That total will accrue each week, as long as the team returns to the poll. If a team misses a week, the points will not carry forward. They will be eligible to receive bonus points again, once they appear back in the poll during consecutive weeks. 

As I said earlier, every poll is flawed, and this one is no different. However, I like the way this one works, and how  it rewards, or penalizes, every good and bad aspect of a team's performance.

So sit back and enjoy the BCS-style NFL power poll.

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