BCS Methods Reviewed: An overview of the math and the “math” of the BCS.
Every year, undergraduate super fans follow every pass, every defensive stop, and every concussion of the season attempting to will their team to a national championship. Alas, it is not meant to be for most. But fear not, for the powers that be have provided an ample, perennial scape goat for each and every fan of all of the also-rans: The BCS.
Now, I have no problem with anyone blaming the BCS. I’d even argue that part of the excitement of college football is arguing about the stupidity of the BCS system (But it’s still absurd), and, apparently, getting fans to argue is a fantastic way to make money (Lots of money, in fact, on the backs of essentially unpaid labor).
But what exactly is the BCS? It’s some combination of humans and computers getting together in a black box and spitting out some sort of ranking system that is used to decide which schools go the the BCS bowls and which schools spent way too much money to end up in the Papa John’s Pizza Bowl. Of course, all of this is going away for the 2014-15 season, so this is our last year of BCS “joy”. That also means it’s my last chance to really take a look at how the BCS sausage is made.