Posted on: June 28, 2010 4:14 pm

I guess I kind of let this die didn't I?

If you are into the distruction of the BCS I have moved here . Here is my recent take on my team, Utah, joining the ranks of the AQ conferneces.


A reader recently questioned whether my drive for this sight was tied to my loyalties to Utah and their status from a conference outside the BCS.

Here is my response to that claim:

Until I get a real job that has real time commitments. or a life :)

The fact remains that teams still will not have a set course to earn a national championship. Even though Utah is presumably in a BCS conference (no official word yet) they could go undefeated in the PAC 10 and still go to the Rose Bowl rather than the National Championship Game.

Until teams can’t get Auburned the need for this site will exist. Even then I am sure the BCS will have critics hoping to promote further evolution. Conference realignments will always be possible and postseason projections will always be en vogue.

I am still a fan of the MWC and its newest member Boise State. This would be amplified if BYU left the conference, as they are nothing but dead weight to me.

As long a Cinderella is having her glass slipper stomped on before she even gets to the party I will be here with a passion.

Until Utah's road to the championship game is set at the start of the year my aim will not be achieved.

As long as the BCS remains fundamentally flawed its further evolution is a must. Utah's move to the PAC 10 or the MWC earning an automatic qualification will not change my opinions of the fundamental failings of the BCS.

The BCS has been a financial boon to the bowls and conferences involved. They have done admirably in there goal of trying to pair the top two teams in the nation in a bowl game.

They have allowed Utah to earn the respect needed for an invitation like they are set to receive. They have allowed Boise State to earn the respect to become a player in determining whether the MWC will earn an automatic qualification. These teams would not be where they are today without the BCS and this is an opportunity even North Texas has open to them today. An opportunity not available prior to the formation of the BCS.

The BCS has not failed in its mission. Its mission is the BCS' failure.

The goal of pairing the top two teams in the nation to produce a national championship game has failed. It has left out twelve undefeated teams. Nine teams ranked #3 in the BCS' own formula were within a few computer votes of the #2 spot, a statistical tie based on the sampling performed.

This is a failing that no conference realignment or automatic qualification designation can change. What sets this site apart from others opposing the BCS is where I look for to implement the needed change. Many lobby for government to break up the BCS and impose a playoff . I want to see the BCS grow from a series of contractual agreement to something far greater.

I believe the BCS is the organization best organized to design and manage a tournament for college football. I would suggest that the NCAA's operation of monetized tournaments puts them in a conflict of interest with their fundamental task of protecting student athletes.

I would love to see the BCS take the reigns of running the NCAA basketball tournament under NCAA oversight. Maybe then we could get a double elimination tournament that would mitigate against the fluke losses such an expanded field entails.

I submitted a plan to the BCS to develop the best possible design by 2014. I am working on a new plan (now on the back burner until after finishing my PAC 10 schedule idea) aimed at the Football Bowl Association (The BCS' big brother) that would allow teams with nine or more regular season FBS wins to participate in two bowls.

This would greatly enhance the available teams for most bowls and provide significant flexibility to work out an improved design. One such possibility is a tier based plus-one .

I will always be open to any ideas and will continue to collect the well presented designs on my Table of Contents .

The geological record suggests that evolution proceeds at a negligible pace except for very brief periods of significant change.

Until the BCS Evolution is complete I will be here aiming to punctuate the equilibrium.


Well, not here, but at BCS Evolution.

Category: NCAAF
Tags: BCS, PAC 10, Utah
Posted on: September 17, 2009 6:29 pm

The BCS Formula: Part I

If ever there was a voting system less popular in the media than the Electoral College, the BCS formula would be high on the list.  Certainly the first version was an ad-hoc collection of nearly arbitrary factors with groundless weighting.  How sound is the current ranking system used in the BCS contracts?

The formula proper:

Basically the BCS has outsourced the task of ranking teams to the two polls and 6 computers used to compile the rankings.  This reduces the BCS’s task to monitoring the performance of these components and selecting from among the several potential alternatives.

The Harris Interactive Poll designers provide evidence that the number of pollsters used by their poll protects it from significant error by an erroneous ballot.  The USA Today Coaches Poll uses a similar number of voters and these results should hold.  Media examination of the polls and internet resources such as Pollstalker add a level of accountability to the voters that further reduces the likelihood of an erroneous ballot.  The removal of the highest and lowest computer algorithm allows the BCS formula to get a measure of center that is mitigated against outliers.

Susan Buchman and Joseph B. Kadane analyzed the equal weighting of the three BCS components in their article "Reweighting the Bowl Championship Series" and found this was not optimal but within an acceptable range of accurate solutions. 

The formula is simple and effective, if one assumes the inputs are sound.  Let’s not forget the computer science idiom “Garbage in, garbage out.”

Lets start with the polls:

The main issue with the polls is the fact that most of the pollsters have limited knowledge of many of the teams being ranked.  The Harris Poll focuses on media outlets and former participants that have a strong familiarity with the teams they cover and in their close geographic proximity, but very limited regarding cross country teams.  A handful of Harris poll voters admitted to never having watched a Utah game last year until the 2009 Sugar Bowl. 

Coaches are very familiar with the teams they play but would be negligent in their primary coaching duties if they spent large numbers of hours breaking down the top teams.  The Coaches Poll also wants to close publication of its final ballots which would decrease accountability and increase the moral hazard associated with coaches voting for teams when the institutions they represent have financial ties to the results.

I think the CBS Blogpoll has far more qualified participants and enough transparency to shame any blatant attempts at manipulation.  I think a Sports Bar Management Association, where the participant were required to post their weekly top 25 visibly in their establishments would also be a significant improvement.

The end result is the polls rely too much on historic perception and regional bias.  This favors the teams that have a large following of fans.

Next week I will examine the computer methods and wrap up this critique.
Category: NCAAF
Tags: BCS, formula, polls
Posted on: September 10, 2009 7:17 pm

The BCS: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

This week I am examining the strengths weaknesses and communication barriers that are intrinsic to the BCS system.  This is taken straight from my business plans submitted to the BCS on August 24th. 

Is There a Need for a
New Championship System
And How the BCS Can Be Improved

Proposal Description > Survey of the Situation

Strengths of the BCS

The BCS is a popular series of exhibition games between the elite programs in the premier collegiate football league that allow the top two teams to meet every year.  Immense revenues are generated and shared even among conferences and teams that do not participate in the series.  Changes implemented for 2006 allowed programs outside the traditionally powerful conferences greater access to these elite games than was allowed at any prior point in college football history.

Without the BCS Utah would have likely played Arizona in the Las Vegas Bowl and been marginalized regardless of the outcome.  The BCS allowed Utah to showcase their talent nationally against a recognized and respected opponent in the 2009 Sugar Bowl.

Fan attendance and viewership of the BCS bowls has never been higher while the excitement and intensity of the regular season is amplified as the published standings shift weekly, often dramatically.  For those in the running late in the race a single loss will deal a serious blow to their postseason ambitions.  Plus-one proponent Mark Richt states that “the whole season is a playoff.”

The BCS freed the premier teams from the rigid conference tie-ins that preceded it, ending years of chaos in the elite bowls that often prevented determination of a clear national champion while allowing the bowl tradition to continue. 

Weaknesses of the BCS

Since its inception in 1998, 21 teams have gone undefeated in the regular season.  Twelve of those participated in the National Championship Game.  Nine teams were eliminated from the national championship before a single game was played.  Six of those nine continued on to win their bowl game, with four winning in the elite BCS bowls.  Five were left out of the championship game for teams with a loss and one was left out for a team with two losses.

What nation’s anthem played before the home games for Tulane in 1998, Marshall in 1999, Auburn in 2004, Utah in 2004 and 2008, Boise State in 2004, 2006 and 2008 or Hawaii in 2007?  The BCS did not reflect the championship interests of the respective nations of these teams in the years specified.

When USC fans expressed in message boards and blogs before bowl selections in 2008 that the PAC 10 Rose Bowl tie-in locks them into another Big 10 beat down when they could be silencing their east coast critics you know that some of the allure of the bowl tradition has faded.

If the highest paid football coach, Nick Saban, cannot motivate his players and fans to get excited to participate in a game with the tradition and history of the 2009 Sugar Bowl, then this is the most damaging claim I can imagine against a system designed to foster the significance of the bowl tradition.

Current BCS alternatives

Some advocate for an expansion of the format to determine the national champion on the field while others would rather abandon the notion of an authoritative crowned champion altogether. 

An overview of the published postseason opinions of the current head coaches of all institutions who have participated in a BCS bowl since its inception in 1998 [will be posted during the bowl season].  In 2008 several prominent coaches publically changed their stance on this issue and tipped the balance towards a need for change.  Shouldn’t the opinions of those coaches who participate most in the current structures be given more consideration than those sitting on the outside looking in? 

Do you favor a playoff over the BCS?  Here is the answer I believe sums up the situation best.

I think they both have (benefits). If you truly want to find a true national champion, then probably a playoff is (the best system). The thing I have against a playoff is that the kids get cheated, for the simple reason that bowl games are a great experience. You get a chance to go somewhere. In a playoff, you work out at home all week. ... You fly, play, come home. You don’t get a chance to be rewarded (with an extended visit). Bowl games are a reward for student-athletes.
- Gary Patterson, Head Coach TCU

State of the BCS conversation

Currently the dialog on this topic would be described less like an open conversation and more like parties separated by teams of lawyers prepared for an inevitable legal showdown.  This appearance (caricatured in the media) is greatly amplified by the bureaucratic nature of the process, stalling any decision on a topic for months and forcing any real change to take years.

The fact that BCS payouts correlate better with contractual designations than with any of the three criteria used to determine automatic qualifications, out of conference W-L records, bowl records or total average attendance figures of conference members over the last four years suggests that improvements should be made to enhance competitive advantages for the conferences in the revenue sharing plan.

Congressional hearings and constant media harassment regarding the BCS system has produced a state where most of the BCS policy makers and the officials who could sway them are exasperated by this topic and would rather do any other task their job requires.  Pursuing changes to the BCS is low on the job priorities for any of the policy makers and the people in a position to influence them.

What is needed is an individual dedicated to the task of meeting the officials involved where they are and personally overseeing the dialog.  This would involve collecting opinions, analyzing concepts and bringing all relevant issues to the forefront for consideration. 


Frankly, it is not the BCS proper I have an issue with.  At its core the BCS is an agreement by the conference commisioners about how the postseason operates and no postseason can function without such an agreement.  Its not even about the money.  The BCS accounts for roughly 2% of the football revenue for most institutions, regardless of BCS automatic qualification status.

My issue is with the concept of a two team single elimination tournament using a poll to select the top 2 teams as a method to determine a national champion.

We are stuck with the BCS system through 2014.  Next week I will examine the BCS formula used to rank teams for the BCS procedures as it stands today.

Posted on: September 8, 2009 7:48 pm

Interuption: Can BYU make the BCS NCG?

Can two teams from outside the BCS get to a BCS bowl in the same year?

BYU is in the top 10 in the AP poll, which the Harris Poll coorelates with strongly, and #11 in the coaches poll.  They are also strongly supported in the available computers.  If the BCS results came out now BYU would be in the top 10.  A top 20 start helped, but a win over Oklahoma helped a lot more.

They still have FSU, TCU and Utah left.  The latter two are also BCS top 25 teams.  This should be enough to hold them steady while attrition wears down the number of teams ahead of them ... unless attrition strikes them first.

But BYU is not the only team in striking range.  TCU has Clemson and Virginia left to prove themselves, plus BYU and Utah.  Utah still has Oregon and Louisville left, plus BYU and TCU.  If these teams win thier OOC games and one goes undefeated they should expect a NCG berth.  CSU's convincing upset of Colorado would be bulsterd if Air Force can beat Minnesota to further prop up this emerging conference.

With all the talk this off season, this year is put up or shut up for the MWC .  In week 1 they put up in a big way.  These teams will say they are not getting ahead of themselves and looking at the next game.  All good teams do.  They can't help but see the novel sight of the National Championship on the horizon.  Then their is Boise State...

They won their biggest game of the season only to have it marred by an unsportsman like taunt and a worse punch in the face.  Then BYU stole their headlines by beating Oklahoma.  With no one left on their schedule to prop their rankings up and a marque win that looks pron to Michigan level tarnishing one can see clearly the down fall of Hawaii like scheduling.  Even if it helps you go undefeated others can leave you in thier dust as they pass you.  The NCG is not on the horizon, they are hoping for a BCS berth.  And that only if they go undefeated.

TCU was in the top 10 last year with two losses.  A one loss MWC team could pass an undefeated Boise State this year as well.  If Boise State loses a one loss MWC team would feel safe in their BCS bid.

But can a second team get into a BCS bowl?  Lets assume the BCS bowls will not volunteer for this.  They selected a lower ranked Ohio State over Boise State last year, causing my to personally boycott the Fiesta Bowl.  Didn't watch it, don't care who won.  What will it take for the BCS to be forced to take 2 teams from outside the BCS automatic qualifying conferences?

Their are 10 BCS slots.  6 go to the champions of the 6 AQ conferences.  1 would go to the highest MWC team or Boise State (others maybe latter in the season.)  The Big 12 and SEC look solid for a second team each this year, and can't place a third by rule.

What would need to happen to make a second MWC team or Boise State the only eligible teams remaining?

To be eligible for a BCS bowl you must be in the top 14 and have 9 wins.  The second part of that has not been significant in recent years.

Thus, as many SEC and Big 12 teams that can fit in the top 14 need to be there.  The MWC and Boise State (or an unexpected team from the C-USA, WAC, MAC or Sun Belt) must finish with at least 2 teams in the top 14, but more are better.

The remaining BCS conferences can get their top team into the top 14, but not a second team.  The ACC and Big East appear to be well on the way to helping here.  Thus the PAC 10 and Big 10 are the primary obsticles.

Oh, And Notre Dame has to stay out too.  They need 3 losses to do so.
Looking at the current polls, the PAC 10 has USC and California as the only teams in sight.  California faltering is far more likely, but either would suffice.  The same in the Big 10 with Ohio State and Penn State.  I like the odds of a rematch of the 2009 Rose Bowl in 2010 for this scenario.

Last year was one Ohio State loss to anyone but Michigan State away from seeing both Utah and Boise State in a BCS bowl.

Here's to two ways to truly bust the BCS.

Category: NCAAF
Tags: BCS, Boise State, BYU, MWC, NCG, TCU, Utah, WAC
Posted on: September 3, 2009 7:05 pm

What am I Doing Here?

I have heard it said “The enemy of your enemy is your friend.”

If one wants to run a blog opposed to the BCS and one considers the possibility that those who formed the BCS and run the show behind the scenes might try to exert pressure on the host of said blog to claim that the political message of said blog is a violation their terms of use policy, it would benefit such a person to find a provider with strong ties to those within the BCS who publically oppose the current designs.

Frankly, I believe the BCS (like the US government) is far less organized than what would be needed to pull off such a conspiracy.  (At least the BCS can manage a budget and knows what financial success is like.)  I also believe in the destructive power of negligent incompetence.  (I saw it first hand as a child living in the suburbs of Washington D.C. in the 80’s)

That said, it took 2 months to build a reputation at CBS Sports to earn the privilege of posting a blog and this required an effort to be here.  I am a contributor at and could have used that outlet or pursued several alternatives for similar services with other media outlets. 

Let me first state that Fanblogs has always aimed for neutrality and I want to lobby specifically for a new championship system.  Any non-BCS related posts I desire to make will continue to be made their (unless they are very Utah specific, then I would go to Block U .)   This blog was formed to discuss the BCS and present my structures in a way that is

Given this, what set CSB Sports apart from the other alternatives?

In 2008 the SEC advanced a plus-one proposal to change the BCS.  This plan did not advance very far but showed that the most competitive conference (going by BCS titles over the BCS’s own 4 year evaluation period) is interested in expanding the current format.  Watch CBS on Saturday afternoons and who is playing?  The SEC.

In 2006 the MWC formed their own network, partnering with Comcast and CSTV.  In 2009 they presented a significant challenge to how the strength of non-privileged conferences is perceived and even if they still rightful belong in that category.  This was followed up with a proposal of their own.

Their original partner, CSTV, was bought by CBS and rechristened as CBS College Sports.  Rumors exist that CBS might start showing MWC games in slots that don’t compete for an SEC game.  I expect that whether this happens or not depends more on whether the MWC can repeat their 2008 performance in 2009 than the current merit of these rumors.

In two consecutive years two different conferences presented formal proposals to the BCS and both have significant ties to CBS.  This is why I am here.  CBS also knows how to cover a game without filling all possible breaks with shameless self promotion.  Let commercials be about paying sponsors, not plugs for incessant banter by anyone with a tie to the sport willing to hold a mike. 

Perhaps this is why games on one prominent network last 15-30 minutes longer than games on any other network.  With all the talk about needing to shorten the length of the game this is a good place to look first.

Some prominent cable sports networks have lost sight of their mission in a way that rivals MTV’s ability not to show music videos anymore (and the saddest thing is that making this statement is beginning to date myself). 

This would not be grave if they were not also being far more anticompetitive in their contract negotiations with smaller conferences than anything the BCS has been accused of.  Does allowing a TV network to sponsor its own bowl games give them an unfair advantage in leveraging TV contracts for the regular season?  “If you want access to these bowls you need to sign on with us for the regular season as well.”  And now they even own the rights for the next BCS cycle.

CBS is good for college football if for no other reason than to provide healthy competition to those who would destroy college football, as I love it, forever.  CBS, or their subsidiaries, will have my eyes every Saturday.

The enemy of my enemy is my friend.

I can forgive the unfortunate anagram, if CBS can forgive a shameless plug for my twitter @BCS_Revolution .  I try to keep a few posts on the first page of #BCS .

Next week I will present my case for and against the system the BCS currently implements.
Category: NCAAF
Posted on: August 27, 2009 7:38 pm

A New Plan

The biggest obstacle facing anyone designing a new system to determine the NCAA D-I FBS champion is the lack of a clear list of criteria that such a plan must address.  Research and my personal correspondence with Chancellor Harvey Pearlman and Bill Hancock have lead to the following list of ideals known to be significant to the BCS:

  • Enhance the value of the regular season
  • Restore the value of the bowl tradition
  • Respect the travel costs of fans
  • Reduce controversy to a manageable level
  • Respect the established postseason time period
  • Improve the financial strength of college football as a whole
  • Improve the financial strength of the bowl system
  • Enhance the student athlete’s bowl experience
  • Improve the academic success of the students
  • Improve the financial success of proven championship contenders
  • Be legal
  • Respect the health of the players due to extra games

The current system is bound by contracts through the 2013-2014 season.  A plan to change earlier than this is not feasible.  The question now becomes how can the best possible system be developed for 2014?

  • If the best possible alternative is to be commissioned in 2014 the contracts will need to be finalized in 2013.
  • If the contracts need to be finalized by 2013 the structures to be implemented need to be selected in 2012.
  • To select structures to be implemented in 2012 a list of viable alternatives must be created in 2011.
  • To create a list of viable alternatives in 2011 specific criteria must be established to evaluate potential ideas in 2010.
  • To create specific criteria to evaluate ideas in 2010 the people who would oversee such a process must be selected presently.

Here is a timeline of my attempts to advocate for such a plan:

March 2009 : Submitted a proposed structure to the BCS and received cordial reply.
June 2009 : Awareness that a plan to implement changes is needed on my part.
June 26 : Need for a business plan announced by BCS official
July 2 : Submitted a business plan to the BCS to implement this process. 
July 9 : The formal response to this plan included points in original structures the plan failed to address directly. 
July 31 : Submitted a paper to the Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports (currently under review as MS#1212) to add credibility to the claim that the included structures would increase consensus. 
August 24 : Updated business plan submitted to the BCS that directly addresses the criteria above for the original structure with a preprint of the submitted journal paper attached.

Currently my focus has shifted from promoting this idea within the BCS to preparing for and enjoying the upcoming season while building public support for my ideas.  Next week I will discuss why I chose to post this blog at CBS Sports.

Category: NCAAF
Posted on: August 20, 2009 7:42 pm

What I donít like about the BCS

Before going on a diatribe about the BCS one must be clear they know what the BCS is.  If one is unclear about the nature of their enemy the battle is lost before it is fought.

The British Computer Society has no part in college football.  Computers should not be charged with determining champions for a sport marking the pinnacle of face to face competition.  Wrong BCS?

The Ticker symbol BCS brings us to Barclays PLC.  This large banking firm is criticized for financially supporting apartheid in South Africa and a few African dictators.  They hide behind a wide array of subsidiaries to avoid taxes, tariffs and embargoes.  College football should be free from back room deals with shady figures using high payrolls to call the shots and maintain their political and economic power.  Wrong BCS again?

BCS theory was the first successful theory of superconductivity.  Explaining the quantum physics involved to a novice is similar in difficulty to explaining to a non football fan how the only undefeated team in the league is left out of the championship picture.  College football’s championship process should not be as difficult to understand as quantum physics.  Am I getting closer?

The fact of the matter is the Bowl Championship Series is a series of contracts between the eleven conferences, their bowl partners and TV networks that is administered by Bill Hancock.  No postseason structure can be forged without these very same people playing very similar roles.  Perhaps the bowls and Bill Hancock are expendable, but I will eventually argue they are the most valuable part of the BCS.

These contracts implement an experiment started in the mid 1980’s to arrange for the top two teams to meet in a bowl game.  Many compelling games have been made and no one is arguing against the financial success of the attempt.  Utah would have never played Alabama in the Sugar Bowl prior to the BCS.  I will argue in latter pieces that a good faith effort to reach this goal has been made. 

When USC fans expressed in message boards and blogs before bowl selections in 2008 that the PAC 10 Rose Bowl tie-in locks them into another Big 10 beat down when they could be silencing their east coast critics you know that some of the allure of the bowl tradition has faded.

If the highest paid football coach, Nick Saban, cannot motivate his players and fans to get excited to participate in a game with the tradition and history of the 2009 Sugar Bowl, then this is the most damaging claim I can imagine against a system designed to foster the significance of the bowl tradition.

Since the inception of the BCS in 1998, 21 teams have gone undefeated in the regular season.  Twelve of those participated in the National Championship Game.  Nine teams were eliminated from the national championship before a single game was played.  Six of those nine continued on to win their bowl game, with four winning in the elite BCS bowls.  Five were left out of the championship game for teams with a loss and one was left out for a team with two losses.

What nation’s anthem played before the home games for Tulane in 1998, Marshall in 1999, Auburn in 2004, Utah in 2004 and 2008, Boise State in 2004, 2006 and 2008 or Hawaii in 2007?  The BCS did not reflect the championship interests of the respective nations of these teams in the years specified.

The experiment has failed to reach its primary goal of increasing the consensus of the championship process.  More conflict exists in selecting the top two teams than ever existed in selecting the top team after the bowls.  Empirical evidence exists to support the claim that this would be worse for a plus-one and horrible for an eight team format.  Only by expanding to a level where the last teams in don’t make it to the final rounds can controversy be avoided by a structure with a fixed number of entrants.

Of the 371 presidents, athletic directors, head coaches and conference commissioners only 1 (Texas Tech head coach Mike Leech’s 64 team playoff) has publically supported anything beyond 8 teams.  2008 marked a turning point with a majority of coaches from teams participating in BCS bowls recognizing publically that something better is needed.

Next week I will publically present my plan to use the time between now and the 2014 season to find the best possible alternative.

Category: NCAAF
Tags: BCS, playoff
Posted on: August 16, 2009 2:23 pm

Sympathy for the Troll

Please allow me to introduce myself

I’m a troll with tact and grace.


Essentially anyone who is not a writer here is a glorified troll.  While some trolls may have better reputations than others, until we are paid our true status here must be understood.  I at least try to keep my nose wiped and wear decent attire while perusing the paved and marks roads of the corner of the information super-highway dedicated to CBS sports.


You have veered off the super highway and are now under a bridge, my bridge, and must face the reality of what you find.  You came to my home and must deal with me the way I am.  If you don’t wish to support my gnome eating habit, that’s fine with me.  You never had to tolerate their incessant taunting and ridicule.  I have no respect for gnomes.  If you’re bothered by the fact I would rather lick the snot off my upper lip than wipe my nose, tough.  Don’t like my exposed, green, warty and curvaceous body?  You have no taste for true beauty.


If you don’t like what I say here at my blog, go back on top of the bridge and go on your way along the information super-highway.  My skin is thick, no hard feelings.


But what’s puzzling you

Is the nature of my game


I plan to begin my weekly Thursday blog on the BCS on August 20th with a overview of what I stand for.  For now I will simply claim that the BCS is run by gnomes.

Category: NCAAF
Tags: BCS, troll
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or