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Wednesday, August 31, 2005

The Truth about the BCS and Polls

What do you hear about the BCS after last year? "It's broken!" "It doesn't work!" "We need to change it!" "Blah blah playoff blah blah AP blah blah blah blah blah...."

Which of those statements is correct? I'll give you a hint. It's not "blah." Need another? Okay, its not "Playoff." Give up? It's "We need to change it!" It being the BCS. Now I know what you're thinking (or again I will pretend to), and its that what could I possibly know about how to change the BCS. More than you think. I'm going to let you in on my little secret to fixing the BCS. Come close. Closer.

Take the human polls out of the equation!

Now before you leave this blog in disgust. Think about it. Human polls are the only polls in the BCS that are subject to bias. Any nut writer or coach voting in these polls can vote however they want, no matter how off-the-wall it may be. Humans are voting directly in these polls and humans are subject to influence from all corners of the world, from media, to friends, family, alcohol, etc. There's no limit to the influencing factors. We'd all like to think that everyone voting in these polls votes with fair mind and without bias, but to be honest, it's not that way. Not that some coaches and writers don't, I'd say more than 50% do, but to be honest, there are more voting on prettiest helmets than you think.

Computers are the only non-biased polls because they take factors from gameplay and put them into an algorithm, and I'd guess that you'd tell me "But humans write those algorithms." So? As long as the same algorithm is applied to all teams, its fair. Even if there is an error in the algorithm, it's still fair as long as the same algorithm is applied to all teams.

I'll go as far as to say to re-introduce computer polls that take into account margin of victory and strength of schedule (opponents and opponents' opponents) to the BCS. I don't think this ever should have been eliminated from the BCS in the first place. They are valid factors in determining the stregth of a team.

And to debunk the idea that the BCS didn't work last year. Let's look at what the BCS is set up to do. The BCS guarantees that number one plays number two. It doesn't guarantee anything about all undefeated teams playing each other or about undefeated teams having a chance to play for the championship. Lets face it, just because you are undefeated doesn't make you the best team in college football. The BCS is a way to determine which 2 teams are the 2 best in the country (regardless of whether or not they are undefeated), and that is all it is. And thats okay! That's all we need. We don't need a playoff.

If people could understand these simple ideas and the media didn't work everyone up into a frenzy because an undefeated Auburn didn't get to play for a championship, then we wouldn't have the rediculous mess we have now about creating a speacial poll just to keep the BCS alive. Why are we creating a poll? Why aren't we just throwing out the human polls? Because that'll never happen.