A change in BCS fortunes for Florida State


The role of computers in BCS rankings that appeared to hurt FSU last year is now providing a boost for Jimbo Fisher’s team this season.

Florida State Seminoles head coach Jimbo Fisher celebrates after defeating the Clemson Tigers 51-14 at Memorial Stadium on October 19, 2013 in Clemson, South Carolina
Florida State Seminoles head coach Jimbo Fisher celebrates after defeating the Clemson Tigers 51-14 at Memorial Stadium on October 19, 2013 in Clemson, South Carolina
Streeter Lecka / Getty Images

Miami Herald Writer

“You can only control what you can control, which is to go win,” FSU coach Jimbo Fisher said last November. “But we’re going down the wrong [road]. I think it stinks. I think the BCS stinks. How we go with all these computers and stuff, I think we’re ruining it.”

It’s funny what a year can change.

Last year, Florida State was hardly a favorite of the six computer polls used to compile the BCS rankings.

At one point the Seminoles found themselves in the top 10 of both the AP and coaches’ polls but were ranked as low as 33rd by the computers.

This year? Florida State [6-0, 4-0 Atlantic Coast Conference] is second in the BCS despite being third in the polls. And those computers? Three of the six have FSU ranked No. 1, and two others have them at No. 2.

“Oh, I love the computers now,” Fisher joked on Monday.

“No, I mean there’s a fine line. The only thing I ever asked with the computers last year, we were as high as six in one poll and we weren’t in the Top 25 [with the computers]. Whatever it is — that part of it — just give me some consistency. You hear me say it all the time, that’s my word: consistency. You can’t tell me one team can be fifth in one poll and not in the Top 25 in the other, you know, whatever that is.”

So all kidding aside, Fisher still isn’t crazy about the computers and prefers the human element or “the eye test,” as he also calls it.

“It is what it is, and we can’t change it,” Fisher said. “And the other thing, again, I think the coaches poll and the human polls have to be a big part of how you pick this thing. Because of the eye test and people’s [knowledge]. The computer doesn’t know what humans know.

“Whatever things you have in [the formula] just give me some consistency. I think that’s what we all [want].

“It would be like you having a referee calling a block in the back on that block and the next official’s saying, ‘That’s the best block I’ve ever seen.’ How do you — that’s all I’m asking — give me consistency.”

That last portion — about the officials — is just called being a member of the ACC. But Fisher’s point is well made about BCS computers and their inability to weigh certain factors such as injuries. For instance, the Georgia team Clemson beat and the Georgia team Vanderbilt beat count the same, but — given the injuries Georgia has endured — probably should be weighted differently.

As for next year’s move to a playoff and selection committee, Fisher sounded more resigned to it than enthusiastic.

“To me it’s as good as anything else,” Fisher said. “I don’t have another answer.”

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