BCS Standings: Those Darn Computers Hate Alabama and Oregon

Lisa Horne@LisaHornePac-12 and Big 12 Lead WriterOctober 29, 2012

NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 10:   The Coaches' Trophy, awarded to head coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide after defeating Louisiana State University Tigers in the 2012 Allstate BCS National Championship Game during a press conference on January 10, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The BCS standings have come out and we have a few changes.

We'll dispense with noting the weekly free falls and instead focus on a few glitches that seem to have taken over these non-human polls, a.k.a. the bots. 

Alabama is deemed worthy of a No. 3 ranking according to those mindless, soulless pieces of hardware, while Kansas State and Notre Dame are the No. 1 teams in the country. 

The bots have Oregon as No. 5. 

Rubbing salt in the Ducks' wounds, on ESPN's BCS Selection show Sunday night, analyst Brad Edwards said Oregon needed a "statement game."

The Ducks beat the hapless Colorado Buffaloes, 70-14, and although a rubber band would have offered Oregon more resistance than what Colorado mustered up, the Ducks did give the Buffaloes a beat down, as all great teams should. Oregon's "statement" was that it doesn't play down to the level of its competition.

More on that in a minute. 

Alabama No. 3?


Even the most die-hard SEC haters have to admit that Alabama looks like the best team in the country. Everybody loves Alabama but the non-humans.

It figures. 

No. 2 Kansas State is No. 3 in both of the human polls but No. 1 with the bots. No. 3 Notre Dame is No. 4 in the human polls but tied with Kansas State at No. 1 with the bots. If you don't think one-third of the BCS standings count, reread those last two sentences. 

The Ducks must be having a cow right now.

The bots don't use margin of victory as part of their BCS standings criteria, which means that the Ducks' 70-14 beatdown of the Buffaloes is just as impressive to the bots as LSU's 38-22 thrilling victory over Towson.

Playing down to your level of competition is hunky-dory with the bots. But playing up to your level of competition, as the Ducks did over Colorado?

The bots just don't give a damn, but that No. 5 ranking still seems to be a giant, steel, wire-controlled, craggy middle finger pointed right toward Eugene. 

These technological wizards also decided that Georgia should be ranked No. 7 and wait for it...Florida, the team that Georgia just walloped, should be No. 4. Bots think Alabama is a hair better than Florida and Florida is a 'heckuva' lot better than Georgia. 

How the heck does a bot rank a team higher than a team it just lost to?

Isn't head-to-head competition a tie-breaker? Why yes, yes it is, in the BCS tie-breaking rules, but apparently not in its own BCS computer rankings. 

And this is the very problem with the BCS bots.

They don't watch games.

They don't take in to consideration bad officiating, a key starter being out or which team actually looks really good on the field. 

Instead, they spit out an analysis that nobody can question, nobody can debate and nobody can delete because they're bots. But before we decide to blame these bots for zombie-like analysis, remember this: Bots are dependent on humans to feed them. 

Humans are the ones who feed bots an equation on how to determine a team's standing. Once the bot has that equation, it simply takes the human input of scores and then spits out its conclusion.

Garbage in, garbage out. 

Logic be damned. 

Computers have no business determining a team's worthiness in the BCS standings. Neither do coaches. The coaches—or their designated assistants in charge of voting for them—all vote for their conference's teams to bolster their own team's strength of schedule.

They vote for their conference teams because there are 28 million good incentives to do just that. 

This whole thing is concerning because a deserving team is going to be left out. Because the NCAA doesn't have enough guts to take this into its own hands. Because the NCAA handed this off to a consortium whose only interest is to make money.

Because the BCS process has already been exposed as flawed. 

Yes Virginia, there is no Santa Claus and computers make mistakes.

Pundits are telling everyone to relax, the bots will get more accurate as more teams have connections with other teams. But some teams, like Louisville, only have four games left on its schedule.

Haven't the bots had enough time to make some logical rankings? Hasn't every team shook enough of other teams' hands?

So just relax, huh? After all, the bots only count for one-third of the BCS standings.

This will all work out. It always does, right?

So how did you like last year's BCS Championship?


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