on is proud to announce that has chosen to utilize the 2003 Preseason Strength of Schedule as part of an unofficial version of their Preseason BCS Rankings. In an article written by Brad Edwards, the sports site compiled an early look at what the BCS ratings might look like before this season gets under way. Brad's Road to the BCS will appear weekly during the season.

Using the "average team rankings" between the Preseason Coaches Poll and the major preview magazines - along with the 2003 schedule strength ratings from - here is a link to the article and rankings... EARLY BCS CALCULATIONS BY ESPN.COM

The 2003 Preseason Strength of Schedule was compiled while utilizing guidance provided by Richard Billingsley, Home Of The Billingsley Report On Major College Football and a proud member of The Bowl Championship Series. His insight helped derive its own formula based on Mr. Billingsley's past experiences.

The formula used to obtain these results is based on a simple sliding-scale that translates into a ranking point system. Bonus points for playing games at home, as well as on the road, are also utilized based on stadium winning percentages. After months of tinkering with the formula, one of the philosophies being emphasized in the system includes higher rewards for playing a Top 5 team as opposed to playing two teams ranked 25th in consecutive weeks. Accordingly, a sliding scale is implemented.

At the same time, differentiating between many of the lower ranked teams is like splitting hairs, with way too much inaccuracy. There is no way to predict such scenarios, so the margin(s) between each of those schools is minimum. Rankings here become categorized as a group, instead of incrementally breaking each down as an exact science.

Teams are penalized heavily for playing I-AA competition. However, the ground can be made up with more consistency from remaining opponents on the list. In other words, playing a single I-AA opponent should not destroy the entire ranking when other competition exists on the list, such is the case for the Gators vs. Florida A&M. The simplest test rests in the human eye itself - as we went over our sequential calculations, many of the first SOS results just did not add up, so adjustments were made to the formula. Yes, opinions matter. But the numbers are still based on an equation.