’s Jerry Palm Uncovered Boise State-LSU BCS Rankings Error

The minor controversy in college football’s Bowl Championship Series ratings that resulted in Boise State being moved up to No. 10 and LSU being dropped to the No. 11 spot was the result of an error discovered by Jerry Palm of

Palm wrote:

The final BCS ratings show LSU ranked 10th and Boise State 11th. But I discovered a mistake that would switch the order of those teams. Boise State should be 10th in the overall BCS standings and LSU should be No. 11.

Wes Colley’s final rankings, as submitted to the BCS, were incorrect. The Appalachian State-Western Illinois FCS playoff game was missing from his data set. I will spare you some of the gory, mathematical details, but the net result of that omission in Colley’s rankings is that LSU, which he ranked ninth, and his No. 10, Boise State, should be switched. Alabama and Nebraska, which he had 17th and 18th, would also be swapped.

Palm’s discovery led to a scathing email from Boise State president Bob Kustra, as reported by

How many times have we heard calls for transparency on our campuses, and how many times have we shared our governance and communicated with our faculties and other constituencies in transparent fashion?. Yet, in intercollegiate athletics, with the NCAA standing silently on the sidelines, we allow the BCS to work its magic with no idea of how accurate its rankings are on a week-to-week basis.