Monday, October 16, 2006

Demystifying the BCS Formula

Sure, there have been several different “Bowl Championship Series” contractual alliances.

And sure, the “formula” for calculating the top 2 BCS teams is tweaked nearly every year.

But you want to understand how the BCS works? You want to know what it takes to get one of those coveted two slots? Well then friends, all you need to know are these Ten Simple Rules

1. Go Undefeated -

Go undefeated, unless of course no one is undefeated. In such case, make sure you are the prettiest little school with one loss. In that case, you can jump other 1 loss schools (see LSU 2003) and play for the Effeminate Little Glass Trophy (ELGT). If you are really lucky, you get to keep the ELGT even though you are one of 5 schools with 1 loss (see Florida 1996).

However, if you do go undefeated, and don’t get invited - well too bad. There is always the AP Poll for you (See Auburn 2004).

2. Go Undefeated Unless -

You are one of “Those” schools. For “Those” schools, it is irrelevant what your record is – you don’t count. Recognized members of “Those” schools include – Utah 2004, Marshall 1999, and Tulane 1998. Basically, if you are one of “Those” schools, you already know it. Truth be told, if you weren’t such nice homecoming opponents, we wouldn’t care if you played at all.

3. Play a Hard Schedule –

This is a corollary to rule 2. If you don’t play at least one team that isn’t recognized as the “anointed” ones by the crew in Bristol, Connecticut, don’t come looking to us for sympathy. However, pay attention the next rule –

4. Don’t Play TOO Hard a Schedule –

If you have the nerve to play in a really competitive conference, like the SEC, then you simply must be eliminated from ELGT competition because you will have trouble complying with Rule 1. The all powerful media voices will dismiss your chances because your schedule is too hard. Plus, conferences like the SEC tend to make a mockery of the alleged dominance of media darlings like USC and Notre Dame, which is never appreciated.

5. Be Glamorous –

Have a handsome quarterback ( Play in Southern California. Wake up the echoes! Just put on some powder and lipstick, and be the prettiest little girl at the big dance! That way, when you gently cup and lift the ELGT for the flash blubs, it will truly be a Big Moment.

6. If You Must Lose, Lose Early –

Everyone knows to avoid the late season loss. The late season loss is BAD. You can lose 47-21 at South Bend, as long as it is an EARLY season loss. In that way, you still have TIME TO RECOVER.

Now, this may seem confusing to, say fans of any other sport, where one loss equals one loss. However, in college football, multiply the loss by the month it occurred divided by 10 (Loss*Month/10=Real Loss). For example, a loss in September is a .9 multiplier, and November a 1.1. This is called the “Real Loss” factor. Unless, of course, the next rule

7. If You Lose Late, Make Sure Everyone Else Does.

See Florida 1996.

8. Run Up Scores!

This is what “Those” teams are really for! If you are playing St Mary’s Sister’s of the Poor, make sure you beat them 80-0. Just because Johnny Poindexter only weighs 130 pounds and had to walk on at the hapless Division I-AA opponent you are playing doesn’t mean your future NFL tailback shouldn’t step on his head to score that 8th touchdown of the day. How else to pad his Heisman stats?

Plus, when the other coaches’ assistants vote for your ranking in the Coaches Poll on Sunday morning, how else are you going to get any R-E-S-P-E-C-T!

9. Always Root For Whoever You Beat –

Sure, they might be a hated foe. You might detest this school with every drop of your being.

But the SOS (Strength of Schedule) multiplier is all powerful. So, Go Duke, win out!

10. And If You Can, Always Be Notre Dame –

Sure, the 6 major conferences and their 70 some teams are members of the BCS, and the conference commissioners sit on the BCS board. But Notre Dame, because they are Notre Dame, is special. They are an independent signatory to the BCS agreement, and their AD sits in equal standing with the conference commissioners. In fact, any year Notre Dame wins 9 non-exempt games or finishes in the top 10 of the BCS standings, the Irish automatically qualify for a BCS bowl. Every media figure nigh swoons at the thought that some Golden Domer could hoist the ELGT someday.

Why Notre Dame? Because they are better than everyone else, stupid. It’s Notre Dame!

There - the secrets are out. I hope they were helpful. Certainly, compiling them gave me a headache.

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