There are critics of the computers used in the BCS formula, and then there is the mathematician who typed a 2,800-word e-mail this week arguing why the computers are a "failed experiment." The mathematician, who shall remain nameless, sent his e-mail to Wes Colley, whose computer formula is one of six used in the BCS ratings, and forwarded us a copy.
So just when everything in the BCS world looks as if it will work out, with Texas and Southern California meeting in the Rose Bowl, we took a closer look at this week's computer rankings. The conclusion: The computers must have all received honorary degrees from Big Ten schools. They love the entire conference, not just Joe Paterno.
Get a load of this: Penn State is fifth in all three human polls, but the Nittany Lions are third in five of the six computer polls. A two-loss Ohio State team is ninth in all three human polls but ranks ahead of one-loss Louisiana State and Miami in a handful of the computer ratings. A three-loss Michigan team ranks 17th in all three human polls but rates as high as ninth in two computer polls.
It gets worse. A three-loss Minnesota team is unranked in two of the human polls but ranks in the top 13 of two computer polls. And the most egregious positioning of all: Northwestern (6-4) received only one vote in all three human polls combined but ranks 15th and 16th in two of the computer polls.
Outside the Big Ten, Fresno State ranges from 15th to 40th in the computers. It is difficult to imagine that there are 39 teams better than the one-loss Bulldogs. If Fresno State beats USC tonight, maybe the computers will boost the Bulldogs to at least 35th.