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November 12, 2012

FSU coach Jimbo Fisher says BCS rankings 'stink'

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Even with a 9-1 record, Florida State is getting no love from the Bowl Championship Series standings in 2012.

FSU coach Jimbo Fisher made it clear during his weekly news conference on Monday that the feeling is mutual.

"I think it stinks," Fisher said to kickstart a 12-minute back-and-forth with the media on the topic of rankings and computer polls. FSU is ranked No. 10 in the BCS Standings released on Sunday night. "I think the BCS and how we go with all these computers and all of this stuff, I think we are ruining it."

On one hand, with a smarting loss at lowly N.C. State, the No. 74-ranked strength of schedule (according to CBSSports.com) and the current college football landscape, the BCS rankings should mean little to FSU. The Seminoles are well out of position to contend for a spot in the BCS Championship Game on Jan. 7.

However, Florida State's rankings in the six computer polls that help comprise one-third of the overall BCS standings are alarming to Fisher. For example, Florida State ranks behind Clemson (9-1), a team it beat head-to-head 49-37 on Sept. 22, in every computer poll. The Seminoles are no better than 14th in any of the six computer polls and remains unranked in two of them.

The weight of computer polls is where the problem lies for Fisher.

"They've got to change how they pick the top teams in this country. They've got to change it. It's not working," he said. "I think it was better in the old days when you did it by the eye test and did it and everybody didn't even have a championship game. You went you your bowl game and figured (out) that is the best (team). When you really get down to it, the way it is going now makes no sense to me."

"If we have to let a computer tell us who's the best team, then we've got an issue. We've got a major problem and it's got to be fixed," he said.

Florida State's computer poll average of 17 puts it behind eight teams (Texas A&M, LSU, South Carolina, Florida, Stanford, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Texas) with two losses and two more (Michigan, Oregon State) with three losses. That's thanks mostly to a weak schedule; including this week's opponent Maryland, the teams FSU will play in conference are a combined 41-39 this season. FSU also beat up on a pair of FCS opponents (Murray State, Savannah State) to start the year.

Fisher's critique of college football rankings continued to a comparison of the AP and USA Today Coaches' Polls. Fisher believes that there's more value in the way the coaches vote because of their familiarity and understanding the game.

"Because they understand what winning is," Fisher said. "They understand the importance of winning, you understand how you win. There are more style points put into the AP (Poll) than there is the Coaches (Poll). Coaches understand the grind."

While FSU is ranked No. 6 in the Coaches' Poll released on Monday, FSU dropped two spots in the AP Poll despite a 28-22 win at Virginia Tech. Three two-loss SEC hold the three spots of FSU in the AP Poll.

Fisher, who votes in the coaches' poll, says he spends about two hours per week collecting information to make an educated decision. He called the argument that coaches are too busy to keep an eye on the college football landscape nationwide "bogus."

"It's my job to have the integrity to put the time into to pick the best team and leave politics out of it of who's the best team," he said.

Fisher said that he ranked Kansas State No. 1 followed by Oregon at No. 2, Notre Dame at No. 3. He also put Florida State at No. 4 ahead of Alabama at No. 5.

"I think we're as good as any of them," Fisher said of the one-loss teams.

Florida State can clinch a spot in the ACC Championship game with a win at Maryland on Saturday. Kickoff is set for Noon ET.

Fisher aplogizes for using the word 'retarded'

When told during Monday's news conference that some of the BCS computer polls had FSU behind four-loss teams, Fisher stated rhetorically "How retarded is that?"

Fisher later issued an apology through the FSU's Sports Information Office's Twitter account.

"It was brought to my attention I used a word during today's conference that I did not intend to use. That's not the way I think. It was a poor choice of words. I didn't mean to offend anyone in any way. Please accept my sincere apology."



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