BCS computers all over the map

This week's BCS ratings show just how widely varied the computers that are used can be.  In short, each computer is measuring strength of schedule and how each team did against its schedule.  SOS is one of those things that means different things to different people.  Ask ten people to define strength of schedule and you'll probably get 15 different answers.  With 17 undefeated teams still, the computers have a hard time sorting it all out.

Alabama's numbers are pretty steady.  All five available computers have the Tide in the top 5.  After that, things get skewed.  Clemson has four top five ratings and an 11 (Sagarin).  Stanford has two No. 1 ratings and a 12 (also Sagarin).  Oregon is the top team in Sagarin, but has two No. 10s.  Baylor is third in Sagarin, but no better than 12 in any other, and 22nd in Massey.  Unfortunately for the Bears, scoring 70 doesn't mean anything to the computers.  Point totals and margin of victory aren't considered.

As the season progresses and attrition starts to occur, the computers will start to mirror each other better, and will more closely resemble the polls.  Until then, enjoy the roller coaster that is October BCS rankings.

Next week, we will welcome the Harris poll.  The first official BCS is the following week.

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Jerry Palm started writing about sports on the Internet right after Al Gore invented it. He was the first to bring RPI out in the open and is one of the pioneers of predicting the March Madness bracket.... Full Bio

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