Berry Tramel

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Oklahoma football: Sooners rank No. 1 in overall BCS

by Berry Tramel Modified: March 5, 2014 at 12:40 pm •  Published: March 5, 2014

We’ve always said that the BCS has been very good to the Sooners. That stance was mostly due to OU consistently reaching the national title game to the exclusion of someone with a similar argument. OU got in over Southern Cal in 2003, over Auburn in 2004 and over Texas in 2008.

But now comes even more evidence that the BCS, which has died quite the storied death, was good to the Sooners. Researcher Cody Kellner has studied the weekly BCS standings from 1998-2013, the length of its use, and found all kinds of interesting data.

“Ranking college football teams and recording data on Excel spreadsheets to determine unique trends and facts has always interested me,” Kellner wrote in a paper that was published by The College Football Historian, a newsletter produced by the Intercollegiate Football Researchers Association. “I have been posting the results of my college football ratings system online at www.kellnerratings.com since 2002 and I have always been fascinated with the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) and the various polls it included. My interests in tabulating statistics and the BCS is what prompted me to expand on what has been shown in the BCS media guide over the years regarding the weekly BCS standings dating back to 1998.

“Last spring, as college football prepared to enter the last year of the BCS, I decided to produce a comprehensive database of the weekly BCS standings for each school dating back to 1998 and maybe identify some interesting facts along the way.”

So here’s what Kellner tabulated

1. How many times each school has been ranked in the BCS standings;

2. How many different schools appeared in the BCS standings;

3. The best BCS ranking for each school;

4. The number of times each school has been ranked No. 1;

5. The all-time BCS standings using inverse point totals;

6. The number of times each school has held each BCS ranking.”

And here’s what he found.

The three teams with the most appearances in the weekly BCS standings are Texas (104), OU (100), and Florida (92).

Ninety-one schools appeared in the BCS standings from 1998-2013.

Seventeen schools have held the No. 1 ranking in the BCS standings. Only six of these teams did not win a national championship (UCLA, Kansas State, Nebraska, Oregon, Notre Dame and Missouri).

The four schools with the most No. 1 appearances in the weekly BCS standings are OU (20), Alabama (16), Ohio State (15), and USC (15).

Florida State is the only school to have held all 25 possible rankings in the BCS standings at some point in time.  West Virginia held every possible BCS ranking with the exception of No. 1. OU held every possible ranking with the exception of No. 21 and Texas held every possible ranking with the exception of No. 8.

The most times for a school to hold a particular ranking in the BCS standings is Oklahoma’s claim to the No. 1 ranking 20 times.  The second most is Alabama at No. 2 and Florida at No 4. both 17 times.

The all-time weekly BCS standings using inverse point totals are:

1. Oklahoma (20) 1,821

2. Ohio State (15) 1,626

3. Texas (3) 1,611

4. Florida (7) 1,596

5. LSU (10) 1,503

6. Oregon (1,462)

7. Alabama (16) 1,369

8. Southern (15) 1,338

9. Florida State (9) 1,285

10. Virginia Tech 1,201

11. Georgia 1,138

12. Miami (7) 1,130

13. Michigan 1,026

14. Nebraska 946

15. Boise State 937

16. Wisconsin 876

17. Kansas State (1) 8476

18. Tennessee (5) 836

19. Auburn (3) 817

20. Notre Dame (3) 780

21. TCU 732

22. Penn State 723

23. Stanford 721

24. Oklahoma State 680

25. West Virginia 544

So that’s a good list. OU ranks No. 1 over the last 16 years. Which seems intuitive, doesn’t it? The Sooners have been remarkably consistent in the Bob Stoops era. Over the last five years? Sure, Alabama. Over the last 10? Maybe Southern Cal or Florida or LSU, I’m not sure. But over the 16-year life of the BCS? The Sooners. And it’s not close.

Here’s what Kellner wrote: “The information gathered from this research strongly emphasizes the consistency of the Oklahoma, Texas and Ohio State football programs from 1998 to 2013. Even though these three programs won only a combined three national championships during the BCS era, they were among the most consistent programs in the nation on an annual basis.”

Here is Kellner’s list of number of weeks ranked in the BCS (remember, the BCS ranks 25 teams but didn’t begin until mid-October); in parenthesis is the highest rank of each school:

1. Texas 104 (1)

2. Oklahoma 100 (1)

3. Florida 92 (1)

4. LSU 89 (1)

5. Oregon 85 (1)

6. Ohio State 84 (1)

7. Virginia Tech 82 (2)

8. Florida State 80 (1)

9. Michigan 77 (2)

10. Southern Cal 73 (1)

11. Wisconsin 72 (5)

11. Georgia 72 (3)

13. Nebraska 69 (1)

14. Alabama 66 (1)

15. Miami 64 (1)

15. Boise State 64 (3)

17. Oklahoma State 59 (2)

18. Auburn 53 (1)

19. Tennessee 52 (1)

20. Penn State 51 (2)

20. Notre Dame 51 (1)

22. TCU 50 (3)

23. Kansas State 49 (1)

23. West Virginia 49 (2)

24. Texas A&M 46 (5)

25. Stanford 43 (4)

26. Michigan State 41 (4)

26. Clemson 41 (5)

26. South Carolina 41 (6)

29. Missouri 40 (1)

30. Georgia Tech 39 (7)

31. Iowa 38 (4)

32. Utah 36 (5)

32. Louisville 36 (3)

34. UCLA 32 (1)

34. Arkansas 32 (3)

36. Brigham Young 29 (12)

36. Boston College 29 (2)

38. Texas Tech 28 (2)

39. California 27 (4)

40. Washington State 26 (3)

41. Oregon State 25 (5)

42. Arizona State 24 (4)

43. Virginia 22 (11)

44. Arizona 21 (6)

45. Pittsburgh 20 (9)

45. Cincinnati 20 (3)

47. Mississippi State 19 (10)

48. Washington 17 (4)

49. Minnesota 15 (13)

49. Northern Illinois 15 (10)

49. Houston 15 (6)

49. Baylor 15 (4)

53. Purdue 14 (8)

54. Northwestern 13 (15)

54. Maryland 13 (8)

54. Colorado 13 (3)

54. Fresno State 13 (14)

54. Rutgers 13 (8)

59. Illinois 11 (6)

60. Ole Miss 10 (15)

60. Hawaii 10 (10)

60. South Florida 10 (2)

60. Kansas 10 (2)

64. Bowling Green 9 (16)

64. Central Florida 9 (15)

66. Southern Miss 8 (14)

66. Wake Forest 8 (14)

66. Ball State 8 (12)

69. Tulane 7 (10)

69. Connecticut 7 (13)

69. Miami-Ohio 7 (11)

69. Nevada 7 (15)

73. Marshall 6 (12)

74. Syracuse 5 (15)

74. North Carolina State 5 (9)

74. Texas-El Paso 5 (24)

74. North Carolina 5 (16)

78. Tulsa 4 (18)

78. Kentucky 4 (7)

80. Louisiana Tech 3 (20)

80. Kent State 3 (17)

80. Duke 3 (20)

83. Air Force 2 (16)

83. San Jose State 2 (24)

83. Utah State 2 (22)

86. Colorado State 1 (15)

86. Iowa State 1 (24)

86. Alabama-Birmingham 1 (24)

86. Ohio 1 (24)

86. Toledo 1 (25)

Here’s another list from Kellner. The number of weeks ranked No. 1 in the BCS:

1. Oklahoma 20

2. Alabama 16

3. Ohio State 15

3. Southern Cal 15

5. LSU 10

6. Florida State 9

8. Florida 8

8. Miami 8

10. Nebraska 5

10. Tennessee 5

11. Oregon 4

12. Auburn 3

12. Notre Dame 3

12. Texas 3

15. Kansas State 1

15. Missouri 1

15. UCLA 1

by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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