First off, this post is not intended to belittle Wes Colley. (Later reports indicate that Peter Wolfe may share responsiblity) The error would not have been discovered if, like the other five BCS computer systems, Colley kept his algorithm secret. He deserves credit for this, and the incident should (but won’t) spur the others to publicize exactly how their BCS ratings are calculated. I could write once again about how this unfortunate occurrence hurts the credibility of the BCS, but it would have to have some for it to be diminished.
The result of a single FCS game which was not originally considered by Colley resulted in two pairs of bad rankings. In Colley‘s rankings, Boise State is now #9, LSU is #10, Nebraska is #17, and Alabama is #18. There was absolutely no impact on Alabama‘s BCS standing. Nebraska‘s rating increases to 0.3967, but its BCS ranking of #18 remains the same.
The significant impacts were on Boise State and LSU – they switched places in the correct BCS rankings – Boise State is now #10 and LSU is now #11.
A screen capture of the uncorrected Colley ratings is here. The uncorrected “official” PDF is here – the “corrected” one is here (but it has even more problems – the “Rank”, “Points”, and “%” columns under “Harris Interactive” are mixed up; the “%” column under “USA Today” is actually a repeat of points in the Harris Poll; and the headers of the other two columns do not match the data).