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Football’s BCS strikes again
College football’s ranking system draws another foul

“The pox that is the BCS is spreading,” said Michael Wilbon in The Washington Post. The Bowl Championship Series, which determines college football rankings based on computer models and two human polls, spread its “sinister influence” to the Big 12 conference, where the computers narrowly pushed the Oklahoma Sooners past the Texas Longhorns, even though most humans polled favored Texas. The top Big 12 team will play for the national title.

The computers were right, said Carl Bialik in The Wall Street Journal online, not the humans. Texas fans are “outraged” because although both teams have lost one game, “Texas beat Oklahoma, 45-35, on a neutral field.” But Texas had a “weaker schedule” this season, and so Oklahoma has, objectively, the better record.

The best way to settle these tiebreakers is “on the field,” said The Dallas Morning News in an editorial. And while “a strong majority of college football fans were calling for a real playoff system” nationwide even before President-elect Obama “jumped on the bandwagon” last month, TV contracts make that moot until 2014. But the Big 12 can, and should, base its championship on head-to-head match-ups, not BCS rankings.

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