Daily Archives: December 5, 2010

A nerd’s-eye view of the BCS

Wired takes a look at the men behind the computers behind the BCS.  It’s not as state-of-the-art as you might think.

… For all the power wielded by BCS computers this time of the year, the machines themselves are hardly extraordinary. In fact, the rankings are processed by individually owned desktop PCs and laptops around the country.

Wes Colley runs his calculations in a database from his home in Alabama. Jeff Sagarin works from his home in southern Indiana, using Fortran, a once popular program used by old-school mathematicians.

Peter Wolfe compiles his rankings baked in C++. Anderson and Hester use a complex spreadsheet and an ordinary HP laptop in Southern California. “When we started, it took Excel half an hour to calculate the rankings,” Anderson says. “Now it takes a fraction of second.”

Of course, these guys think they’re doing the Lord’s work, but Anderson does make a valid point about the new system being somewhat more inclusive to mid-majors than what it replaced.

… Anderson agrees, pointing to the Air Force Academy’s 1971 Sugar Bowl–playing squad, the last team not from a large conference to play in a major bowl before the BCS. “There’s no question in my mind that computer rankings have opened doors for smaller teams,” he says, “Six small-market teams have been invited to BCS bowls in the last six years. It’s only a matter of time until one of these teams wins a championship.”

The weirdest thing in the article is Sagarin’s support for a playoff, not because he thinks it’s a superior way of determining the best team, but because he’s grown jaded.

Sagarin would love to see a playoff, if only for the novelty. “Championship formats are like ice cream,” he says. “I like all ice cream. In that sense, I wouldn’t mind sampling a 16-team playoff, even though I still really like the current flavor.”

It’s as good a reason as some I’ve seen.

About these ads

11 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Science Marches Onward

What’s it gonna take to put you in this scholarship today?

I tend to take articles like this with a grain of salt (you’re always going to be more complimentary about the school your kid signs with than any place else, right?), but Marcus Lattimore’s mom’s thoughts about Auburn’s Curtis Luper are pretty funny.

22 Comments

Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, Recruiting

Dumb football comparisons

Can’t quite say which of these two is the dumbest, but they’re both beauts.

First, from the New York Giants’ Antrel Rolle comes this gem:

“They want to make it that guys paid this much money for a ticket. Yeah, I understand that, I understand completely. We risk ourselves out there on the field each and every day also. When soldiers come home from Iraq you don’t boo them. I look at it the same way. I take my job seriously.”

Shades of Kellen Winslow Jr.

At least Rolle had enough sense to recognize his stupidity and apologize.  I’m not sure Tom Scarritt has that much self-awareness.

Why is it that we police college sports more aggressively than we police our politics?

Dude, you live in Alabama and you can ask a question like that?

3 Comments

Filed under General Idiocy, Whoa, oh, Alabama

Great moments in the annals of sideline reporting

So Tracy Wolfson took her a hit of Cammy Cam Juice last night.   We’ll have to wait and see if her hair starts falling out, but it’s a shame she didn’t pull a Kramer-esque spew of the liquid on camera.

What would have been even better was if she had taken a swig, pulled out a sample kit, spit the contents in it, given it to an assistant and announced that it was being taken to a lab for analysis as he ran off with it.  Kind of like a cross between CSI and actual reporting.  That would have been more entertaining to watch than most of the game was.

38 Comments

Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands