British Computer Society. A chartered professional institution for members of the IT industry in Britain. It's charter requires it to "promote the study and practice of computing and to advance knowledge therein for the benefit of the public."

The Bowl Championship Series, a set of four college football bowl games that rotate the honor of hosting the #1-vs.-#2 national championship game. The "BCS formula" is a ranking system mainly designed to decide the teams to participate in this championship game.

The BCS formula takes into account five data sources. The first four are the average of eight computer ratings (dropping the lowest and highest for each team), the average ranking between the coaches' poll and the AP poll, number of losses, and strength of schedule (itself a complex formula involving total wins and losses for both the team's direct opponents and the opponents' opponents). The last source is the ranking produced by the first four factors; wins over teams ranked in the top 15 of this ranking are rewarded by subtracting points from the total (the "quality win" component).

The formula is only consulted for two reasons, though -- to decide #1 and #2 for the rotating MNC game, and to determine at-large eligibility for teams that did not win automatic bids from the BCS conferences (Big East, Atlantic Coast Conference, Big Ten, Big Twelve, Pacific-10, and Southeastern Conference). The top twelve teams in the BCS ratings are eligible for the two at-large spots; one at-large spot can be automatically earned by any independent or non-BCS conference team by finishing with a top-six rating. If that happens, Notre Dame can automatically earn the other at-large spot with either nine wins or a top-10 rating.

When a BCS game is not hosting the national championship game, it has first call on the champion from its designated home conference(s) (if those teams don't make the NC game). Home assignments are:

  • Rose Bowl: Big Ten and Pac-10
  • Fiesta Bowl: Big Twelve
  • Sugar Bowl: SEC
  • Orange Bowl: Big East or ACC (cannot automatically claim both; must select one as automatic, then pick the other in the at-large picking order for the year).

Source for eligibility information:
A 6502 instruction that performs a branch if the C (carry) flag is set (for example, by an ALU instruction or SEC).
  • Function: If(C) PC + N => PC
  • Synonym: BGE
  • Updates flags: none
  • Opcode number: $B0

As opposed to: BCC
See also: 6502 instructions | 6502 addressing modes

While the initial idea of the Bowl Championship Series was to remove the subjectiveness from the mythical national championship the current system insures that college football fans will always have something to argue about. The factors for ranking teams for this season (2001) are:

I. Polls (25 percent)
Average of team's rankings in:

  • Associated Press
  • Coaches poll

II. Computer rankings (25 percent)
Beginning in 2001, the best and worst computer rating will both be thrown out and the remaining six will be averaged. The participating computer rankings for 2001 are:

  • Peter Wolfe
  • Wes Colley
  • Sagarin
  • Seattle Times
  • Richard Billingsley
  • Kenneth Massey
  • David Rothman
  • Matthews/Scripps-Howard

III. Strength of schedule (25 percent)
Combination of team's:

  • Opponents' record (66 percent)
  • Opponents' opponents' record (33 percent) This number gets divided by 25

IV. Losses (25 percent)

  • Losses count one point each.

I think the only thing possibly more complicated than this system is figuring out your Median Node-Fu Product;)

The BCS stands for the Bowl Championship Series. To explain what this really means, a brief account of the history of college football is needed.

Long, long ago (before 1993), The major bowl games (Rose Bowl, Orange Bowl, Cotton Bowl, Sugar Bowl, and Fiesta Bowl) made contracts with individual division I-A conferences. Conference champions would be contractually obligated to play in a specific bowl. There was no National Championship, save that the two polls, one of coaches and one of writers, would vote a team #1: this was called the "mythical" national champion.

Problem was, it was often impossible to determine who the national champion was. If Washington finished undefeated and played in the Rose Bowl, and Georgia Tech also finished unbeaten and played in the Orange Bowl, there would be no sure way of telling who the real best team was. Often it was the case that the coaches picked one team as #1, whereas the writers picked another. The championship was "split" between the two schools.

Starting in 1993, a bowl coalition was created to designate one bowl game per year that would host the #1 and #2 teams, meaning a much less chance of a split championship. This coalition, and the alliance that followed, worked well. EXCEPT that the Rose Bowl did not participate. Big Ten and Pac-10 conference champions could not participate in a national championship bowl. Which ended up costing both Penn State and Michigan full blown championships during this period.

The BCS was designed as the "Final Solution" for this problem. The BCS was like the alliances that preceeded it, but it included the Rose Bowl (along with the Orange, Sugar, and Fiesta), and therefore, the Big Ten and Pac-10. As it turned out, the BCS only worsened the controversy:

  • A complicated ratings formula, consiting of poll rankings, computer rankings, and strength of schedule, is used to determine who is the #1 and #2 team. The formula is very complex, and few people understand it fully.
  • The BCS system basically locks minor conference teams out of the major bowls, which generate a lot of money. This has opened the six major conferences up to antitrust complaints.
  • The task of choosing two, and only two teams, out of well over 100 Division I-A teams, is nearly impossible, and no one will be completely happy with the result.

    Despite these controversies, most fans agree that, apart from running a playoff, the BCS, or something like it, is the best way to settle a national championship in major college football.

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