With the emergence of the Internet and the entire computer boom in the early 1990s, many in society felt that computers would make their lives easier. While computers and computer programs have had a phenomenal impact on our daily lives, one computer system continues to haunt one of the greatest games every played: college football. Of course I speak of none other than the infamous Bowl Championship Series.
Created in 1998, the BCS standings have created nothing but controversy and turmoil for college football fans around the United States. Heck, the UCI Football team is probably the only team that the BCS has not affected.
Unlike other sports, which determine their champion through a playoff system, the BCS relies heavily on computer rankings. It is a system in which a computer statistically determines the best teams in the nation using different types of variables such as coaches’ polls, strength of schedule, number of losses and other factors. In the end, the top eight teams determined by the BCS play in the four major bowls, with the top two playing in the national championship game. The other teams with a winning record play in minor bowl games.
The main controversy centers around major bowl games, the national championship in particular. While the BCS has only been around for eight years, it has made sports fans question who the best team is at the end of the season. One example was the 2004 college football season. USC, the University of Oklahoma and the University of Auburn all posted undefeated records of 12-0. The computer system left Auburn out of the national championship, game. How can an undefeated team not even play for the national championship you ask? Welcome to the BCS.
In 2001, Miami University and the University of Nebraska played for the national title. The BCS left Colorado University, ranked third in the nation, out of the title game even though they demolished Nebraska earlier in the year.
This season the BCS looks like it is going to take another credibility hit as there are three teams still undefeated halfway through the year. With USC, the University of Texas and Virginia Tech all compiling 6-0 records, a repeat of 2004 seems imminent.
One of the alternatives to the BCS