Why you should know his name
His statistical rankings of football and basketball teams are vital to the BCS and the NCAA tournament selection committee and have appeared in USA Today since 1985. The 54-year-old mathematician from Bloomington, Ind., is one of the most influential people in college sports.
Is this all he's ever done with his knack for numbers?
Pretty much. In 1972 the MIT grad took a $75-per-week job doing rankings for Pro Football Weekly and began freelancing for other sports publications. He's done various stat projects over the years and provides rankings of NBA players to Mavericks owner Mark Cuban. "I'm getting paid for doing what I would have done for free when I was II," says Sagarin.
What's the method to his madness?
Sagarin incorporates many factors and emphasizes strength of schedule. Partly because he has determined that to date Virginia Tech's schedule has been the 20th most difficult in the nation and Miami's the 77th, Sagarin's is the only major college football rating system that ranks the Hokies No. 1.
How does he measure his success?
"In terms of how close I am in guessing point differential," Sagarin says, "and in how many favorable e-mails I get from people who bet on games."