In an effort to avoid the controversy that has dogged college football's Bowl Championship Series standings, the new BCS formula will put equal weight on three components: the Associated Press poll, the coaches' poll and the computer rankings.

"In analyzing the BCS standings, we wanted to develop a ranking formula that would be simpler and more precise," Kevin Weiberg, the incoming BCS coordinator and Big 12 commissioner, said of the new formula, which will be used starting this fall.

The BCS formula determines the two teams that meet in the national championship game. Had the new system been in place during the 2003 season, Southern California and Louisiana State would have played in the Sugar Bowl, Weiberg said. And Miami would have faced Oregon instead of Nebraska in 2001.

The old system included five components: an average of the two polls of people, computer rankings, strength of schedule, team losses and quality wins. Because the BCS thought the latter three were given too much weight, those have been eliminated under the new system.

Instead of averaging the weekly rankings in the AP and coaches' polls, the new formula assigns a percentage to each, dividing the number of votes a team receives by the total possible number of votes in each poll, which is 1,800 for the AP and 1,500 for the coaches.

The computer ranking, which is based on six formulas, will be tallied after each team's highest and lowest scores have been discarded. The New York Times no longer will participate in the BCS standings.

-- Amalie Benjamin