Things that Make Me Mad

The BCS is changing is formula to minimize computer rankings in determining which college football teams play in the title game. I think it’s a stupid idea, but I really don’t care. In my opinion, the BCS is only slightly better than the old format and far inferior to a playoff. However, this quote about the change angers me.

The ESPN-USA Today poll of college coaches and The Associated Press poll of football writers will each count for one-third under the new formula Bowl Championship Series officials unveiled Thursday in attempting to find a simpler, more equitable way to determine a national champion.

Under the new formula, computer rankings will count for the final third of each team’s overall BCS ranking, while strength of schedule, team record and quality wins, three components used under the old system, have all been eliminated.

How is this system simpler? Once you have the computers it’s no more complicated to adjust for all of the dropped factors. Of course, there may be some double-counting, because the polls also consider these factors, but the change is hardly about simplicity. But the word “equitable” really gets me. How on earth is this more equitable? Didn’t USC, LSU, and Oklahoma know the rules when the season began last year? What was inequitable about last year’s system compared to this year’s system? What happens when some school with an easy schedule lucks into a top spot after some big schools beat up on each other? Is that somehow more equitable?

The moral of the story is that words like equitable ought to be used with care. This system is different than the old. It may be preferable to some, but that in no way gives this system any moral superiority over the old one.

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