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The BCS Formula: Bad Will Hunting
Rick Reilly
November 29, 1999
[This article contains a complex mathmatical formula. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]
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November 29, 1999

The Bcs Formula: Bad Will Hunting

[This article contains a complex mathmatical formula. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]

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Eight computer rankings? Two polls? The radius of Beano Cook? Who can understand the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) college football ratings? You, now that we can finally reveal the elements of the simple mathematical equation behind it.

n: Rank by David Rothman's computer, though Rothman, a rocket statistician, hasn't gone to a football game since the 1963 Rose Bowl.

D: Rank by the Dunkel computer, which has Nebraska in first place, but only because Knute Rockne died.

S: Rank by the Anderson & Hester/ Seattle Times computer, which doesn't take into account scores of games. According to the Times the iceberg would be ranked No. 1, with Titanic a close second.

R: Number of times Amos Alonzo Stagg just rolled over in his grave.

$: Sale price of a four-cylinder 2000 Suzuki Heisman.

�: IQ of Kansas defensive end Dion Rayford, who tried to crawl through the drive-through window of a Taco Bell last week because he was angry at an employee who failed to give him his chalupa.

?: Fudge factor in the formula that allows Alabama (rated eighth by the BCS) to be ranked behind Florida (fifth), despite having beaten the Gators; Texas (ninth) behind Nebraska (third), despite having beaten the Cornhuskers; Arkansas (16th) behind Tennessee (fourth), despite having beaten the Volunteers.

Mc[2]: Rank by the Kenneth Massey computer. Massey just happens to be a grad student in the Virginia Tech math department and just happens to rank the Hokies second and just happens to be taking a course called ISE 5405: Optimization (A+, Ken).

.95: Special 95% Peter Warrick discount.

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