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12.07.2003

(Insert your own interpretation of the BCS acronym here) 

Despite being voted No. 1 by two separate polls each of which contains about 70 voices, a collection of eight computer rankings and the BCS's strength-of-schedule formula have placed USC out of college football's national championship game.

There are lots of problems with the college football rankings -- the fact that the human polls give undue weight to recent games, the fact that computer rankings only use raw scores as data, the fact that the BCS formula gives a collection of eight computer rankings the same weight as a collection of 126 human pollsters, and so on.

However you think the various ranking systems are biased, it's clear that two is not a large enough sample from which to determine college football's best team. Since the bowls are quite clear that they have no interest in being part of a playoff, the NCAA needs to either scrap the bowls and adopt a four or eight team playoff, or abandon all pretense of the BCS being an accurate way of determining a national champion.

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