The BCS uses six different computer ranking systems to create the Harris poll, that they then combine with a couple human polls to determine a team's final ranking. I know it's confusing, but for better or for worse the computer polls are a huge part of the ranking process. Here are the carious computer polls, and how Maryland stacks up in them. Some of these polls reveal the factors that go into their formula as part of their rankings while others just give you the final result.
When we look at these polls keep in mind that Maryland is coming in just around 30th in the human polls.
First, we'll look at the ratings compiled by Jeff Sagarin at USA Today. Maryland only ranks 59th in this rating system, and the reason why reveals one of Maryand's biggest obstacles in getting the respect it might seem they deserve from a 6-2 record. According to Sagarin Maryland's schedule ranks as the 102nd most difficult in the nation, which isn't very good for a BCS conference team. Most of their victories this year have come against pretty poor opposition, and while humans might give credit for winning those games, they don't really mean a lot to the computers.
Next, the Anderson and Hester poll of AndersonSports.com. They also rank Maryland's schedule as the 102nd most difficult in the nation, but they have Maryland as the 43rd best team.
The Billingsley report has the Terps at 47th overall in the nation.
The Colley Matrix, which is housed on a website I feel like I could have created in Microsoft Word, has the Terps as the 41st best team in the nation. They list their best game as the opening day win against Navy, whom they have ranked at 47th.
The Massey ratings have the Terps as the 51st best team in the nation. They also don't value the schedule the Terps have played so far this season, but they show that it does have the opportunity to get better. According to them all of the games Maryland has played so far gives them the 83rd most difficult schedule in the nation, but if you include the games remaining on their schedule they have the 62nd. Still not very good, but it means the Terps have a chance to impress these polls with remaining games against more difficult opposition.
Finally, the ratings compiled by Dr. Peter Wolfe have the Terps as the 52nd best team in the nation. What I don't understand though, is that Maryland appears to have dropped eight spots in the rankings, even though they won their game this weekend by about a million points. If I created a formula that allowed something like that to happen, I would take it back to the drawing board. But what do I know, I only watched the team and saw them dominate an opponent ...
The BCS brings all those rankings together, drops the highest and lowest scores, and creates the final computer rating. which means they would drop the 59th ranking given to them by Sagarin and the 41st by the Colley Matrix. If you average out the rest of the rankings, the Terps come in as the 48th best team in the nation, give or take a quarter of a point. This is sooooo much easier then just choosing the bowl match-ups based on the human polls. Luckily the computers can't detect my sarcasm, so they won't think that is an insult.
We'll try to update this stream with the various computer rankings each week until all this monotony and tedium forces me to quit my job.