Computer Fumbles Football


If the computers that determine the college football bowl-game lineup ran other businesses, Dr. Pepper would win the Pepsi Challenge and Circuit City would be named retailer of the year.

I'm not a bitter Texas fan -- in fact, I'm a North Carolina fan who resents Texas coach Mack Brown for leaving the Tar Heels all those years ago -- but it's hard to argue that the Longhorns shouldn't be slotted ahead of Oklahoma, a team it beat on a neutral field. Both teams finished with identical one-loss records, but OK is headed for the championship game. That's not all because of the computers, but the sport clearly depends too heavily on machines not built for the job.

It's hard to believe that Boise State, which has proved its mettle on a big stage, doesn't deserve a shot at a major bowl this year.

This is a sport an industry that needs a playoff, or at least Nate Silver.

Technology has its limits, and we're a long way from developing the kind of AI needed to make the football scheme work. There's a lesson in there for IT and the people who lean on it, which you can ponder while watching Texas destroy unworthy Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl.


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