BCS: Why bother with the computers?
The BCS is either unbelievably brilliant or completely idiotic. They use computer rankings to legitimize themselves, while at the same time, completely ignoring the computer rankings.
Louisiana Tech is a perfect example of this. Currently, Louisiana Tech is 25th in the BCS standings in spite of the fact that exactly ZERO computer polls have them in the top 25. They crack the BCS standings by coming in at 23 and 24 in the USA Today and Harris polls, respectively. The polls outweigh the computers in such a way that they practically don’t matter.
Another good example of this is Florida State who currently sits at 9 in the BCS rankings. Five of the six rankings have the Seminoles in the top 25 with ranks of 12, 18, 21, 22, and 25, while Sagarin leaves them out entirely. Their average computer rank is 21. In both polls, however, they are currently ranked 7th. And thanks to the way the BCS performs the weighting the average of 7, 7, and 21 is 9. That’s BCS math for you.
The weighting for the BCS is one-third each for the two polls and one-third for the computer rankings. However, if you look at the top 13 in both BCS polls, they are exactly the same. This has the effect of essentially using only one poll but giving it two-thirds weight and giving the computers only one-third. Voters can simply get together and vote in such a way that renders the computers meaningless. Only one of the six computer rankings, Richard Billingsley, has Alabama ranked number 1, and yet they are nearly a unanimous number one in the voting. Some more solid BCS math for you.
Whoever set up the BCS either had no idea what they were doing, tried to set-up a fair, rational system of ranking incorporating human voters and computers, and failed spectacularly, or knew exactly what they were doing, incorporated computers to make themselves look legitimate, and was wildly successful in maintaining the status quo. Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference between genius and insanity.