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Mathletics by Wayne L. Winston

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CAN THE BOWL CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES BE SAVED?

As every college football fan knows, since 1998 the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) has selected two college football teams to play for the national championship in early January. In this chapter we will explain how the BCS currently (2007 season) ranks teams and chooses the two teams that play for the championship. We will also discuss two commonly suggested alternatives to the BCS: an eight-team playoff or a “plus-one” system that chooses the two teams that get to play for the championship after the New Year's Day bowl games.

A Brief History of the BCS

Starting in 1997, teams were ranked using the following four factors: subjective polls, computer rankings, strength of schedule, and team record. ...

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