Next Level: the BCS margin of error 

November, 18, 2010
11/18/10
4:27
PM ET

It's November, so here they come: complaints about the BCS standings, specifically their computer rankings. Can't you just hear your uncle? "Stupid computers! How the heck can they have TCU ahead of Oregon but LSU ahead of Boise State?" If you find this as tiresome as I do, here's how you respond: Grasp your uncle by both shoulders, look him in the eye and say: "This is 2010, not '2001: A Space Odyssey.' The all-knowing, all-powerful supercomputer doesn't exist. The computer rankings are just models programmed by people." Or something like that. Feel free to improvise.


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Peter Keating is a senior writer at ESPN The Magazine, where he covers investigative and statistical subjects. He started writing "The Biz," a column looking at sports business from the fan's point of view, in 1999. He also coordinates the Magazine's annual "Ultimate Standings" project, which ranks all pro franchises according to how much they give back to fans. His work on concussions in football has earned awards from the Deadline Club, the New York Press Club and the Center for the Study of Sport in Society.

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