Bowl Championship Series officials want to keep as much of the human factor in their determination formula as possible.
Now all they have to do is identify which humans.
Instead of using more number crunching or using an NCAA basketball-type selection committee, BCS coordinator Kevin Weiberg said a poll replacing The Associated Press poll is the preferred tack. The AP poll begged out of the BCS equation after last season, when there were differences of opinion as to which teams should play in the title game and which teams should earn BCS bowl berths.
But after the second day of talks at Scottsdale’s Royal Palms Resort and Spa, who will do the voting or in what form wasn’t decided — although it probably will be before the BCS’s self-imposed July 15 deadline.
The leading candidate appears to be a panel of former coaches and administrators housed under the National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame. The size of the poll would likely number about 60 — the same number used by both the AP and the USA Today/ESPN coaches’ poll.
"The panel of voters would be comprised of individuals who have had experience with the sport, either as administrators, coaches, perhaps former players, things of that kind,’’ Weiberg said. ‘‘That’s where we’re putting most of our focus at this point.’’
Whoever agreed to take part in the poll would likely have to agree to make their final poll vote public — something the coaches’ poll will likely do for the first time beginning next season. Both polls would begin on Oct. 1.
The Scottsdale meetings will conclude this morning with discussions on whether changes should be made to the 11 current conferences that receive automatic bids to a BCS bowl game. Several teams have left one conference for another since the BCS was formed in 1998, weakening some conferences and strengthening others. Last year the Big East champion, Pittsburgh, went to the Fiesta Bowl despite being ranked 21st in the BCS poll.
No changes to the current system will be made until at least 2007, so Weiberg said there is no hurry to finalize anything now.
EXTRA POINTS: With the announcement that Glendale and the Fiesta Bowl staff will host the new BCS championship game in 2007, it assures that the current rotation will remain intact. The 2008 game will be held in New Orleans (Sugar), 2009 in Miami (Orange) and 2010 in Pasadena (Rose). . . .
BCS officials released a letter sent to members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives Tuesday, showing the overwhelming support of NCAA member schools to the current system. Congressional hearings were held in the fall of 2003 to probe problems and complaints with the way a champion is determined.