The BCS is a system that has been under intense criticism for the last five years — well really since it’s inception, but the bulk of the hate has materialized and avalanched in recent years. It’s been called a system of favorites, a flawed system and a system that doesn’t accurately reflect the best teams in the country.
While BCS cronies starkly defend it as a
money grubbing legitimate system of ranking college football teams, we’ve had yet another slip up when it comes to the BCS and it’s rankings.
It’s called the Colley Matrix and it’s one of six computers that rank and make up the BCS standings. However, it’s final and official ranking of the 2012 season places Notre Dame as the No. 1 team in the country despite being blown out in the Championship game by the consensus No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide.
The final rankings in the Colley Matrix had Notre Dame at No. 1 with a score of .973997, ahead of No. 2 Alabama, which came in at .961139. Every other system of ranking, both computer and human, ranked Alabama over Notre Dame because, ya know, they crushed them in a head-to-head matchup. But the Colley Matrix remains the sole outlier, and seems to be violating it’s own laws.
The Colley Matrix follows seven specific guidelines, as it:
1. has no bias toward conference, tradition, history, etc., (and, hence, has no pre-season poll)
2. is reproducible,
3. uses a minimum of assumptions,
4. uses no ad hoc adjustments,
5. nonetheless adjusts for strength of schedule,
6. ignores runaway scores, and
7. produces common sense results
Let’s get the magnifying glass and zero in on guideline No. 7, as the Matrix is truly ignoring reality when it comes to common sense.
The BCS will be a virtually defunct system when it comes to picking a national champion in 2014, but we still have to live with it and it’s agonizing existence for one more year. Alabama’s final ranking atop the BCS and college football was in no way harmed by the Colley Matrix glitch, but it serves as a painful reminder of just how flawed a supposedly perfect system is.