Thursday, October 19, 2006

I-AA's version of the BCS

The GPI is our BCS.
It doesn’t get quite the publicity, or draw the same rants and raves.
But it’s ours.
To the cult-like followers of Division I-AA football, the Gridiron Power Index is our version of the Division I-A’s Bowl Championship Series standings.
The GPI, like its BCS counterpart, is calculated using the various power, computer and opinion rankings recognized in Division I-AA.
And while it’s not the exact formula the playoff committee uses to determine the 16-team field for the Division I-AA playoffs (that top-secret formula’s been locked up and buried by the NCAA somewhere high in the Appalachian Mountains), it’s been pretty darn close in recent years.
This week’s GPI lists Cal Poly at No. 7 — three spots lower than the Mustangs’ place in this week’s Sports Network media poll.
The Great West Football Conference remains the top-rated conference in the GPI, followed by the Atlantic 10, Gateway and Big Sky.
Montana is No. 1 in the GPI, followed by UMass, Appalachian State, Youngstown State and North Dakota State.
Two of those top-five teams (Montana and North Dakota State) host Cal Poly in November in back-to-back contests that are sure to have all sorts of playoff implications in the West Region.
But if teams aren't listed in the top 16, that doesn’t mean they don’t have a shot at the playoffs.
Teams like North Dakota State, No. 13 Harvard and No. 14 UC Davis aren’t eligible for the postseason. So if your team is in the top 20 toward the end of the season, your team will be in the playoff conversation.
The committee unveils the 16-team field Nov. 19.

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