2011 Final BCS Poll: Ranking Each Top 25 Team's Strength of Schedule

David Fidler Correspondent IDecember 4, 2011

2011 Final BCS Poll: Ranking Each Top 25 Team's Strength of Schedule

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    I put together this system at the end of the 2010 regular season, and, as I said at the time, I went into it with certain preconceived notions.

    This season, I went in with a less biased outlook, which is funny, because I also found the results less surprising. Unlike last season, the non-AQ conference teams along with the Big East team had decidedly underwhelming schedules. On the other hand, while the unquestioned top teams are SEC teams, the disparity between the SEC and the other conferences is not as overwhelming as it was last year.

    That said, my ranking system is fairly simple. A team receives or loses points based on the following criteria:

    • Out-of-conference road games: .5 points each
    • Games against top 25 teams (at time of game): One point each
    • Games against bowl eligible teams: Two points each
    • Games against top 25 teams (final BCS poll): Three points each
    • Games against top 10 teams (final BCS poll): Four points each
    • Games at a top conference venue: .25 points each
    • Games against FCS opponent: Minus-one point each

    The majority of the system is as objective as it can be. The one subjective area is the games at the top conference venue. In that case, I just didn't think it was fair to say an away game at Florida was equal in difficulty to an away game at Vanderbilt.

    However, I also didn't think it was fair for me to be the arbiter of which venues were particularly challenging and which weren't. In effect, the venues that qualified ranked amongst the top 30 in attendance in 2010. I also included non-AQ venues that filled up its stadiums to 90 percent capacity or more.

    Again, there is some degree of subjectivity, but not much. Besides, at .25 points, the effect was minimized.

    Also, I gave Southern Cal credit for being a top 25 team, though not for being a top 10 team.

    As regards to one of the BCS National Championship competitors, the cream rose to the top. As regards to the other one...well, you'll have to judge for yourself.

    My opinion is the rightful team was not only 11-1, but also its conference's champion. Still, in terms of strength of schedule, the two teams vying for the right to play in the BCS National Championship Game were pretty close.

Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles

1 of 25

    Conference: C-USA

    Final BCS Ranking: No. 21

    Final Record: 11-2 (7-2)

    Out-of-Conference Road Games: Two (one point)

    Games Against Top 25 Teams (at time of game): One (two points)

    Games Against Bowl Eligible Teams: Five (10 points)

    Games Against Top 25 Teams: One (three points)

    Games Against Top 10 Teams: None (zero points)

    Games At Top Conference Venues: One (.25 points)

    Games Against FCS Opponent: One (minus-one point)

    Total Points: 15.25 points

Houston Cougars

2 of 25

    Conference: C-USA

    Final BCS Ranking: No. 19

    Final Record: 12-1 (8-1)

    Out-of-Conference Road Games: Two (one point)

    Games Against Top 25 Teams (at time of game): One (one point)

    Games Against Bowl Eligible Teams: Six (12 points)

    Games Against Top 25 Teams: One (three points)

    Games Against Top 10 Teams: None (zero points)

    Away Games At Top Conference Venues: None (zero points)

    Games Against FCS Opponent: One (minus-one point)

    Total Points: 16 points

West Virginia Mountaineers

3 of 25

    Conference: Big East

    Final BCS Ranking: No. 23

    Final Record: 9-3 (5-2)

    Out-of-Conference Road Games: One (.5 points)

    Games Against Top 25 Teams (at time of game): Two (two points)

    Games Against Bowl Eligible Teams: Six (12 points)

    Games Against Top 25 Teams: One (three points)

    Games Against Top 10 Teams: One (four points)

    Away Games At Top Conference Venues: None (zero points)

    Games Against FCS Opponent: One (minus-one point)

    Total Points: 20.5 points

Boise State Broncos

4 of 25

    Conference: MWC

    Final BCS Ranking: No. 7

    Final Record: 11-1 (6-1)

    Out-of-Conference Road Games: Two (One point)

    Games Against Top 25 Teams (at time of game): One (one point)

    Games Against Bowl Eligible Teams: Eight (16 points)

    Games Against Top 25 Teams: Two (six points)

    Games Against Top 10 Teams: None (zero points)

    Away Games At Top Conference Venues: None (zero points)

    Games Against FCS Opponent: None

    Total Points: 24 points

TCU Horned Frogs

5 of 25

    Conference: MWC

    Final BCS Ranking: No. 18

    Final Record: 10-2 (7-0)

    Out-of-Conference Road Games: One (.5 points)

    Games Against Top 25 Teams (at time of game): One (one point)

    Games Against Bowl Eligible Teams: Seven (14 points)

    Games Against Top 25 Teams: Two (six points)

    Games Against Top 10 Teams: One (four points)

    Away Games At Top Conference Venues: One (.25 points)

    Games Against FCS Opponent: One (minus-one point)

    Total Points: 24.75 points

Stanford Cardinal

6 of 25

    Conference: Pac-12

    Final BCS Ranking: No. 4

    Final Record: 11-1 (8-1)

    Out-of-Conference Road Games: One (.5 points)

    Games Against Top 25 Teams (at time of game): Four (four points)

    Games Against Bowl Eligible Teams: Six (12 points)

    Games Against Top 25 Teams: Two (six points)

    Games Against Top 10 Teams: One (four points)

    Away Games At Top Conference Venues: One (.25 points)

    Games Against FCS Opponent: None (zero points)

    Total Points: 26.75 points

Virginia Tech Hokies

7 of 25

    Conference: ACC

    Final BCS Ranking: No. 11

    Final Record: 11-2 (7-2)

    Out-of-Conference Road Games: Two (One point)

    Games Against Top 25 Teams (at time of game): Four (four points)

    Games Against Bowl Eligible Teams: Nine (18 points)

    Games Against Top 25 Teams: Two (six points)

    Games Against Top 10 Teams: None (zero points)

    Away Games At Top Conference Venues: One (.25 points)

    Games Against FCS Opponent: One (minus-one point)

    Total Points: 28.25 points

Michigan Wolverines

8 of 25

    Conference: Big Ten

    Final BCS Ranking: No. 13

    Final Record: 10-2 (6-2)

    Out-of-Conference Road Games: None

    Games Against Top 25 Teams (at time of game): Two (two points)

    Games Against Bowl Eligible Teams: 11 (22 points)

    Games Against Top 25 Teams: Two (six points)

    Games Against Top 10 Teams: None (zero points)

    Away Games At Top Conference Venues: Two (.50 points)

    Games Against FCS Opponent: None

    Total Points: 30.50 points

Wisconsin Badgers

9 of 25

    Conference: Big Ten

    Final BCS Ranking: No. 10

    Final Record: 11-2 (7-2)

    Out-of-Conference Road Games: None (zero points)

    Games Against Top 25 Teams (at time of game): Four (four points)

    Games Against Bowl Eligible Teams: Eight (16 points)

    Games Against Top 25 Teams: Four (12 points)

    Games Against Top 10 Teams: None (zero points)

    Away Games At Top Conference Venues: Two (.50 points)

    Games Against FCS Opponent: One (minus-one point)

    Total Points: 31.50 points

South Carolina Gamecocks

10 of 25

    Conference: SEC

    Final Ranking: No. 9

    Final Record: 10-2 (6-2)

    Out-of-Conference Road Games: None (zero points)

    Games Against Top 25 Teams (at time of game): Two (two points)

    Games Against Bowl Eligible Teams: Seven (14 points)

    Games Against Top 25 Teams: Four (12 points)

    Games Against Top 10 Teams: One (four points)

    Away Games At Top Conference Venues: Three (.75 points)

    Games Against FCS Opponent: One (minus-one point)

    Total Points: 31.75 points

Oregon Ducks

11 of 25

    Conference: Pac-12

    Final BCS Ranking: No. 5

    Final Record: 11-2 (9-1)

    Out-of-Conference Road Games: None

    Games Against Top 25 Teams (at time of game): Four (four points)

    Games Against Bowl Eligible Teams: Seven (14 points)

    Games Against Top 25 Teams: Three (nine points)

    Games Against Top 10 Teams: Two (eight points)

    Away Games At Top Conference Venues: One (.25 points)

    Games Against FCS Opponent: One (minus-1 points)

    Total Points: 34.25 points

Kansas State Wildcats

12 of 25

    Conference: Big 12

    Final BCS Ranking: No. 8

    Final Record: 10-2 (7-2)

    Out-of-Conference Road Games: One (.5 points)

    Games Against Top 25 Teams (at time of game): Three (three points)

    Games Against Bowl Eligible Teams: Eight (16 points)

    Games Against Top 25 Teams: Four (12 points)

    Games Against Top 10 Teams: One (four points)

    Away Games At Top Conference Venues: Two (.5 points)

    Games Against FCS Opponent: One (minus-one point)

    Total Points: 35 points

Michigan State Spartans

13 of 25

    Conference: Big Ten

    Final BCS Ranking: No. 17

    Final Record: 10-3 (7-2)

    Out-of-Conference Road Games: One (.5 points)

    Games Against Top 25 Teams (at time of game): Four (four points)

    Games Against Bowl Eligible Teams: Eight (16 points)

    Games Against Top 25 Teams: Four (12 points)

    Games Against Top 10 Teams: One (four points)

    Away Games At Top Conference Venues: Three (.75 points)

    Games Against FCS Opponent: One (minus-one point)

    Total Points: 35.75 points

Alabama Crimson Tide

14 of 25

    Conference: SEC

    Final BCS Ranking: No. 2

    Final Record: 11-1 (7-1)

    Out-of-Conference Road Games: One (.5 points)

    Games Against Top 25 Teams (at time of game): Four (four points)

    Games Against Bowl Eligible Teams: Seven (14 points)

    Games Against Top 25 Teams: Four (12 points)

    Games Against Top 10 Teams: Two (eight points)

    Away Games At Top Conference Venues: Two (.5 points)

    Games Against FCS Opponent: One (minus-one point)

    Total Points: 38 points

Nebraska Cornhuskers

15 of 25

    Conference: Big Ten

    Final BCS Ranking: No. 20

    Final Record: 9-3 (5-3)

    Out-of-Conference Road Games: One (.5 points)

    Games Against Top 25 Teams (at time of game): Four (four points)

    Games Against Bowl Eligible Teams: Nine (18 points)

    Games Against Top 25 Teams: Four (12 points)

    Games Against Top 10 Teams: One (four points)

    Away Games At Top Conference Venues: Three (.75 points)

    Games Against FCS Opponent: One (minus-one point)

    Total Points: 38.25 points

Oklahoma State Cowboys

16 of 25

    Conference: Big 12

    Final BCS Ranking: No. 3

    Final Record: 11-1 (8-1)

    Out-of-Conference Road Games: One (.5 points)

    Games Against Top 25 Teams (at time of game): Four (four points)

    Games Against Bowl Eligible Teams: Nine (18 points)

    Games Against Top 25 Teams: Four (12 points)

    Games Against Top 10 Teams: One (four points)

    Away Games At Top Conference Venues: Three (.75 points)

    Games Against FCS Opponent: Zero

    Total Points: 39.25 points

Penn State Nittany Lions

17 of 25

    Conference: Big Ten

    Final BCS Ranking: No. 22

    Final Record: 9-3 (6-2)

    Out-of-Conference Road Games: One (.5 points)

    Games Against Top 25 Teams (at time of game): Four (four points)

    Games Against Bowl Eligible Teams: 10 (20 points)

    Games Against Top 25 Teams: Three (nine points)

    Games Against Top 10 Teams: Two (eight points)

    Away Games At Top Conference Venues: Two (.5 points)

    Games Against FCS Opponent: One (minus-one point)

    Total Points: 41 points

Arkansas Razorbacks

18 of 25

    Conference: SEC

    Final BCS Ranking: No. 6

    Final Record: 10-2 (6-2)

    Out-of-Conference Road Games: None (zero points)

    Games Against Top 25 Teams (at time of game): Five (five points)

    Games Against Bowl Eligible Teams: Seven (14 points)

    Games Against Top 25 Teams: Four (12 points)

    Games Against Top 10 Teams: Three (12 points)

    Away Games At Top Conference Venues: Two (.5 points)

    Games Against FCS Opponent: One (minus-one point)

    Total Points: 42.5 points

Baylor Bears

19 of 25

    Conference: Big 12

    Final BCS Ranking: No. 12

    Final Record: 9-3 (6-3)

    Out-of-Conference Road Games: None (zero points)

    Games Against Top 25 Teams (at time of game): Five (five points)

    Games Against Bowl Eligible Teams: Eight (16 points)

    Games Against Top 25 Teams: Five (15 points)

    Games Against Top 10 Teams: Two (eight points)

    Away Games At Top Conference Venues: Two (.5 points)

    Games Against FCS Opponent: One (minus-one point)

    Total Points: 43.5 points

Clemson Tigers

20 of 25

    Conference: ACC

    Final BCS Ranking: No. 15

    Final Record: 10-3 (7-2)

    Out-of-Conference Road Games: One (.5 points)

    Games Against Top 25 Teams (at time of game): Five (10 points)

    Games Against Bowl Eligible Teams: Nine (18 points)

    Games Against Top 25 Teams: Four (12 points)

    Games Against Top 10 Teams: One (four points)

    Away Games At Top Conference Venues: Two (.5 points)

    Games Against FCS Opponent: One (minus-one point)

    Total Points: 44 points

Georgia Bulldogs

21 of 25

    Conference: SEC

    Final Ranking: No. 16

    Final Record: 10-3 (7-2)

    Out-of-Conference Road Games: One (.5 points)

    Games Against Top 25 Teams (at time of game): Five (five points)

    Games Against Bowl Eligible Teams: Eight (16 points)

    Games Against Top 25 Teams: Four (12 points)

    Games Against Top 10 Teams: Three (12 points)

    Away Games At Top Conference Venues: One (.25 points)

    Games Against FCS Opponent: One (minus-one point)

    Total Points: 44.75 points

Oklahoma Sooners

22 of 25

    Conference: Big 12

    Final BCS Ranking: No. 14

    Final Record: 9-3 (6-3)

    Out-of-Conference Road Games: One (.5 points)

    Games Against Top 25 Teams (at time of game): Five (five points)

    Games Against Bowl Eligible Teams: 10 (20 points)

    Games Against Top 25 Teams: Four (12 points)

    Games Against Top 10 Teams: Two (Eight points)

    Away Games At Top Conference Venues: One (.25 points)

    Games Against FCS Opponent: Zero

    Total Points: 45.75 points

Texas Longhorns

23 of 25

    Conference: Big 12

    Final BCS Ranking: No. 24

    Final Record: 7-5 (4-5)

    Out-of-Conference Road Games: One (.5 points)

    Games Against Top 25 Teams (at time of game): Four (eight points)

    Games Against Bowl Eligible Teams: Nine (18 points)

    Games Against Top 25 Teams: Four (12 points)

    Games Against Top 10 Teams: Two (eight points)

    Away Games At Top Conference Venues: Two (.5 points)

    Games Against FCS Opponent: None (zero points)

    Total Points: 47 points

LSU Tigers

24 of 25

    Conference: SEC

    Final BCS Ranking: No. 1

    Final Record: 13-0 (9-0)

    Out-of-Conference Road Games: One (.5 points)

    Games Against Top 25 Teams (at time of game): Eight (eight points)

    Games Against Bowl Eligible Teams: Eight (16 points)

    Games Against Top 25 Teams: Six (18 points)

    Games Against Top 10 Teams: Three (12 points)

    Away Games At Top Conference Venues: Two (.5 points)

    Games Against FCS Opponent: One (minus-one point)

    Total Points: 54 points

Auburn Tigers

25 of 25

    Conference: SEC

    Final BCS Ranking: No. 25

    Final Record: 7-5 (4-4)

    Out-of-Conference Road Games: One (.5 points)

    Games Against Top 25 Teams (at time of game): Six (six points)

    Games Against Bowl Eligible Teams: Nine (18 points)

    Games Against Top 25 Teams: Six (18 points)

    Games Against Top 10 Teams: Four (16 points)

    Games At Top Conference Venues: Four (one point)

    Games Against FCS Opponent: One (minus-one point)

    Total Points: 58.5 points