Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Marshall Football: Clarification from C-USA & Jerry Palm on BCS Standings

This will be our last post about Rice being awarded Saturday’s Conference USA Championship game, promise.

Paul Swan and Woody Woodrum spoke with Jerry Palm of CBSSports.com on Supertalk 94.1 FM yesterday. Palm worked with C-USA on the extended BCS formula that helped determine the title game host. You should listen to the entire interview, but here is a Cliff Notes version.
  • C-USA reached out to Palm last week in anticipation that the BCS standings would determine the host of the conference championship.
  • No one anticipated that Marshall or Rice would receive votes in the two human elements of the BCS standings, the USA Today Coaches and Harris Interactive Poll. When the Thundering Herd received 23 votes among the two polls, C-USA and Palm had to devise a way to honor those numbers but still take into account the computer standings.
  • In the interview, Palm explained that he and league placed more value on the computer rankings as they covered more data. Palm and C-USA did not believe that the 23 votes Marshall received among the 164 individuals who voted in the human polls should unfairly skew the computer data.
  • As you can see in C-USA’s press release from Sunday, Marshall received credit for its Coaches and Harris poll votes, but instead of basing the computer rankings on just the BCS top 25, the league decided to extend the numbers to 125 teams. It was that decision that put Rice over the top.
  • Palm was adamant that the BCS standings are a poor way to decide a tiebreaker.
  • Palm also confirmed that per the actual BCS standings, which bases its computer rankings on just 25 teams, places Marshall in front of Rice.
Doug Smock of the Charleston Gazette communicated via email with Jeff Sargin, who puts together one of the six computer rankings that make up the BCS standings. Sargin criticized C-USA’s interpretation of his rankings.

For those of you who think C-USA benefits by having the championship at Rice, read Grant Traylors article in today’s Huntington Herald Dispatch. C-USA is footing the entire bill for Saturday’s game, including flights, accommodations, and tickets for Marshall’s band. While the league is taking on all the expenses, they also receive the money from ticket sales. Given that Rice’s attendance pales in comparison to Marshall’s, it’s fair to assume the C-USA stood to make more money at Joan C. Edwards Stadium. 

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