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Rage Against the Machines: BCS Busting Illuminating the .94638-fold Path

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Having raved unproductively about its general existence once already this fall, SMQ resolves to proceed the rest of the season in zen-like serenity and contemplation with regard to the Bowl Championship Series standings, against which one should not rage, nor despair, nor even argue. Rather, one should look upon the process with humility and restraint, in tranquil recognition of its evolution as part of the natural order of the world, and therefore also of the sublimity of its imperfection; to proceed otherwise is a futile revolt against the reality to which all men by definition must be subjected.

Reality this week aligns as such:

1. Ohio State (.9764)
2. Michigan (.9451)
3. Southern Cal (.9430)
4. West Virginia (.7751)
5. Auburn (.7466)
6. Florida (.7261)
7. Texas (.7241)
8. Louisville (.7215)
9. Notre Dame (.6730)
10. California (.6680)

The many-pronged paths merge into one clear, irrefutable destiny whose justice is inherent. Natural order, it must be noted, breaks this week in favor of SMQ's own sensibilities by advancing Michigan over Southern Cal in the name of beautiful - if temporary - harmony, though it also mocks his frailty by advancing West Virginia in front of Auburn, the Tigers having failed in their 25-point dismantling of Tulane without their all-conference running back to impress enough to hold off the computer-spurned Mountaineers; such is the wisdom of nature's fates.

For what other existing wisdom could seamlessly amalgamate the chaotic impulses of formulas which, left to their own devices, rank Arkansas 21st by one, more respected measure but officially fourth by another; which place 0-8 and hopeless Stanford ahead of 4-4 Indiana, ranked more than 50 spots higher in another poll; which rank Rutgers fourth in the nation; which move Georgia Tech, NC State and Pittsburgh up after losses; which punish Tennessee for beating Alabama by a field goal but reward UL-Lafayette for beating Florida International 6-0 on the final play by moving ULL up ten spots to No. 36 and place Middle Tennessee ahead of Miami of Florida? No mortal wisdom could adhere the results of such chaos and idiosyncrasy into a functioning order, but mortal wisdom, of course, the BCS transcends.

Update [2006-10-23 14:52:55 by SMQ]: Brian walks the peaceful path with SMQ this morning - um, maybe:

I must reluctantly agree with the general opinion of computer rankings as a communist plot designed to undermine college football. As they stand they are useless and should be excised. But put the blame in the right place: with the people who decided to give computers the bare minimum amount of information. There is another way. Feed them as much information as they can handle. Let them take into account scoring margin, the time at which the scores occurred, and how they came about. Give them reams of historical data and let them judge what attributes a winning team has and let them project the past into the future without having to resort to the logo on the helmet.
Whether he made it so clear or not, this is what SMQ has been driving at: the current formulas are the problem, rather than the use of computers in general (using formulas alone are an inherent problem because of bias in the input and weighting, but they're not used alone in the process in question). This is an excellent suggestion for fixing the computers as a selection method for stocking a playoff - but still, no selection method via computers or opinion polls or any combination thereof suffices to produce a legitimate championship game.