Strength of schedule could cost 'Noles

Originally Published: November 5, 2003
By Doug Carlson | Special to ESPN.com
The Seminoles thought they had addressed the strength-of-schedule component of the BCS formula when they scheduled out-of-conference games against Colorado and Notre Dame, to go with regular out-of-conference games against Miami and Florida. But Colorado and Notre Dame are a combined 5-13 this season, contributing to a strength-of-schedule rating that is the lowest among the top five teams in the current BCS standings.

The number should improve slightly over the final three games against three teams (Clemson, North Carolina State and Florida) that currently have winning records, though the Tigers would drop to .500 with a loss to the Seminoles on Saturday. "I think the formula has been set and that's the way it is," Coach Bobby Bowden said. "I think all the coaches I know that are in this thing are playing it smart and not even worrying about it and they're just trying to think about the next opponent.

"Because we saw again last week what can happen: you have a team like Miami to go down. The next three weeks, whoever the next closest five teams [behind Oklahoma] are, two or three of them could get upset, you know, so we just have to wait and see."