Tuesday, October 29, 2013

BCS Has Computer Issues, But So What?

We're having a near full-scale computer meltdown in this, the final year of the BCS era.

Two weeks ago, Jeff Sagarin, the operator of one of the six BCS computers, unveiled a new rankings system dubbed "Pure Elo" to replace the "Elo Chess" system that had been in use by the BCS since 2002. While the new system was supposed to be an improvement, it was immediately engulfed in controversy.

Why? Because in the first appearance of "Pure Elo," Bethune-Cookman was ranked No. 4, Fordham 7th and Coastal Carolina 10th. In all, seven FCS teams were ranked in the top 25, and Harvard was ranked ahead of Notre Dame.

A week later, Sagarin quietly retweaked the formula and the FCS teams tumbled down the rankings. I have asked Jeff for an explanation, as have others. So far, none of us have heard back.

Why is Sagarin tinkering with the formula in the final season of the BCS? Next year, the standings will be going away and the computer rankings will have no real influence on the new College Football Playoff except being used as a reference tool.


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