BCS Buster Weekend: The Nitty Gritty

Among other matchups, a 2011 BCS Buster may have produced a rematch of the 1976 Orange Bowl.

Today at the mothership, we're taking a look at how a "BCS Buster" weekend (not unlike this weekend's college basketball BracketBusters) could work.

After 12 more months of thought, I think this is the best way to execute this idea:

  • The "BCS Buster" requires a two-year commitment. In one year, 62 of 124 FBS teams will play "BCS Buster" home games; the next year, the other 62 teams do. You know your home-road status well in advance so that you can plan the rest of your schedule accordingly.
  • Matchups are indeed unveiled the same week as the first BCS standings. (Personally, I would like to push back the date of the first release of standings -- the later the release, the less time voters have to manually adjust their own votes in reaction to the computers -- but we'll say this still takes place in Week Eight.) Games are played two to three weeks later.
  • Teams are organized in 10-team (and, at the bottom, 12-team) pods based on a set of computer rankings that ranks all 124 teams. For the example below, I will simply use Week Eight F/+ Rankings. The pods will obviously consist of five home teams and five road teams. The top-ranked pod, then, will consist of the five highest-ranked home teams and five highest-ranked road teams. The No. 1 home team will play the No. 5 road team, No. 2 Home will play No. 4 Road, No. 3 Home will play No. 3 Road, No. 4 Home will play No. 2 Road, and No. 5 Home will play No. 1 Road. The idea here is simple: you shouldn't be punished for starting hot. If you are ranked No. 1 in the BCS after seven or eight weeks, then you are most likely the undefeated team that has played the most difficult schedule to date. Giving you ANOTHER difficult test by forcing you to play the No. 1 team in your pod doesn't make a lot of sense. You get another quality matchup, you don't get the MOST high-quality matchup.
  • For obvious reasons, teams in the same conference cannot play each other.
  • Games take place on Thursday (two marquee games), Friday (two more) and Saturday (the rest).

Just for the sake of playing out the idea to its full finish, below are all the matchups this idea would have produced in late-October or early-November 2011, along with each team's AP ranking after 10 weeks.

  • Pod 1
    No. 3 Oklahoma State at No. 5 Boise State
    Notre Dame at No. 2 Alabama
    No. 4 Stanford at No. 15 Michigan State
    No. 19 Wisconsin at No. 1 LSU
    No. 7 Oklahoma at No. 13 Michigan
  • Pod 2
    No. 12 Virginia Tech at No. 8 Arkansas
    No. 16 Penn State at No. 22 Georgia Tech
    No. 24 West Virginia at No. 18 Georgia
    Texas A&M at No. 20 Arizona State
    No. 6 Oregon at No. 11 Clemson
  • Pod 3
    No. 10 South Carolina at Florida State
    Ohio State at Baylor
    North Carolina at Illinois
    Temple at Miami
    Toledo at No. 14 Houston
  • Pod 4
    SMU at Missouri
    Tennessee at No. 17 Kansas State
    Southern Miss at Florida
    TCU at Iowa
    No. 9 Nebraska at No. 25 Auburn
  • Pod 5
    Virginia at No. 23 Cincinnati
    South Florida at Mississippi State
    Washington at UCF
    Texas at Maryland
    Rutgers at BYU
  • Pod 6
    Texas Tech at Louisiana Tech
    Western Michigan at Florida International
    Utah at Hawaii
    Pittsburgh at Arizona
    No. 21 USC at Navy
  • Pod 7
    San Diego State at Louisville
    Ohio at UConn
    Wake Forest at California
    Northern Illinois at Duke
    Utah State at Arkansas State
  • Pod 8
    Northwestern at Fresno State
    Nevada at Marshall
    Syracuse at Boston College
    UCLA at Air Force
    Tulsa at Bowling Green
  • Pod 9
    Oregon State at Iowa State
    Washington State at East Carolina
    Purdue at Colorado
    UTEP at Indiana
    Vanderbilt at Buffalo
  • Pod 10
    UL-Monroe at Colorado State
    San Jose State at Kentucky
    UL-Lafayette at Middle Tennessee
    N.C. State at Miami (Ohio)
    Ole Miss at Ball State
  • Pod 11
    Wyoming at Kansas
    Western Kentucky at Central Michigan
    Troy at Idaho
    New Mexico State at Kent State
    Rice at Army
  • Pod 12
    New Mexico at Minnesota
    UNLV at Eastern Michigan
    UAB at Akron
    North Texas at Memphis
    Tulane at Florida Atlantic

After the jump: the full Week 8 F/+ rankings, so that you can see how these 'pods' came about. For the sake of sheer randomness, I just went alphabetically -- the top 60 alphabetical teams got home games, the bottom 60 ended up on the road. Obviously there are 14 million different ways to determine this step.

Week 8
F/+ Rk
Team Record Home/
1 Boise State 6-0 H
2 Alabama 7-0 H
3 LSU 7-0 H
4 Oklahoma 6-0 A
5 Wisconsin 6-0 A
6 Stanford 6-0 A
7 Notre Dame 4-2 A
8 Oklahoma State 6-0 A
9 Oregon 5-1 A
10 Texas A&M 4-2 A
11 Michigan State 5-1 H
12 Michigan 6-1 H
13 Georgia Tech 6-1 H
14 Arkansas 5-1 H
15 West Virginia 5-1 A
16 Penn State 6-1 A
17 Georgia 5-2 H
18 Clemson 7-0 H
19 Virginia Tech 6-1 A
20 Arizona State 5-2 H
21 Toledo 4-3 A
22 Temple 5-2 A
23 North Carolina 5-2 A
24 Florida State 3-3 H
25 Ohio State 4-3 A
26 Illinois 6-1 H
27 South Carolina 6-1 A
28 Nebraska 5-1 A
29 TCU 4-2 A
30 Southern Miss 5-1 A
31 Baylor 4-2 H
32 Tennessee 3-3 A
33 SMU 5-1 A
34 Miami-FL 3-3 H
35 Rutgers 5-1 A
36 Texas 4-2 A
37 Washington 5-1 A
38 South Florida 4-2 A
39 Houston 6-0 H
40 Missouri 3-3 H
41 Kansas State 6-0 H
42 Florida 4-3 H
43 Iowa 4-2 H
44 Auburn 5-2 H
45 Virginia 4-2 A
46 USC 5-1 A
47 Pittsburgh 3-4 A
48 Utah 3-3 A
49 Cincinnati 5-1 H
50 Mississippi State 3-4 H
51 Central Florida 3-3 H
52 Maryland 2-4 H
53 BYU 5-2 H
54 Louisiana Tech 2-4 H
55 Western Michigan 4-3 A
56 Texas Tech 4-2 A
57 Utah State 2-4 A
58 Northern Illinois 4-3 A
59 Florida International 4-2 H
60 Hawaii 3-3 H
61 Wake Forest 4-2 A
62 Ohio 4-3 A
63 San Diego State 4-2 A
64 Tulsa 3-3 A
65 UCLA 3-3 A
66 Arizona 1-5 H
67 Syracuse 4-2 A
68 Nevada 3-3 A
69 Navy 2-4 H
70 Northwestern 2-4 A
71 Louisville 2-4 H
72 Connecticut 3-4 H
73 California 3-3 H
74 Vanderbilt 3-3 A
75 Duke 3-3 H
76 Arkansas State 4-2 H
77 UTEP 3-3 A
78 Purdue 3-3 A
79 Fresno State 3-4 H
80 Washington State 3-3 A
81 Marshall 3-4 H
82 Oregon State 1-5 A
83 Ole Miss 2-4 A
84 Boston College 1-5 H
85 NC State 3-3 A
86 UL-Lafayette 6-1 A
87 Air Force 3-3 H
88 San Jose State 3-4 A
89 Bowling Green 3-4 H
90 UL-Monroe 2-4 A
91 Iowa State 3-3 H
92 Colorado 1-6 H
93 Rice 2-4 A
94 East Carolina 2-4 H
95 New Mexico State 3-3 A
96 Indiana 1-6 H
97 Troy 2-4 A
98 Buffalo 2-5 H
99 Colorado State 2-4 H
100 Kentucky 2-4 H
101 Middle Tennessee 1-4 H
102 Miami-OH 2-4 H
103 Ball State 4-3 H
104 Western Kentucky 2-4 A
105 Kansas 2-4 H
106 Central Michigan 2-5 H
107 Idaho 1-6 H
108 Kent State 1-6 H
109 Wyoming 4-2 A
110 Army 2-4 H
111 Minnesota 1-5 H
112 Eastern Michigan 4-3 H
113 Tulane 2-5 A
114 North Texas 2-5 A
115 Akron 1-5 H
116 Florida Atlantic 0-6 H
117 UAB 0-6 A
118 Memphis 1-6 H
119 UNLV 1-5 A
120 New Mexico 0-6 A

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