Computer bad at calculation

It’s the first week of December, and that means it’s time to start getting worked up about the failings of the Bowl Championship Series.

Texas beat Oklahoma on a neutral field, and both are 11-1. But because of a higher position in the BCS standings, the Sooners will play for the Big 12 Conference title Saturday, and the Longhorns will hope for a Missouri upset to get to the national championship game.

In the world of college football, settling it on the field doesn’t mean a whole lot. Texas was robbed.

The Longhorns saw this coming in Austin, that the computers that make up one-third of the process would move Oklahoma past Texas to No. 2 in the BCS standings.

“The computers don’t watch games, break down film or see head-to-head matchups. They don’t even care about margin of victory,” Austin American-Statesman columnist Cedric Golden wrote.

“They just make a determination based on numbers fed to them by subjective voters, thanks to spineless university presidents who aren’t interested in giving college football fans a playoff system that would blow away March Madness in revenue and popularity.”

WORSE THAN THE BCS — As embarrassed as university presidents should feel each year in trying to explain not having a playoff system, they should be even more red-faced when it comes to hiring football coaches.

Sylvester Croom’s resignation from Mississippi State on Saturday means three black head coaches remain in major college football.

It’s time the NCAA institutes a version of the “Rooney Rule,” which forces NFL teams to interview at least one minority candidate when a head coaching position opens. That rule, named after Steelers owner Dan Rooney, led to Mike Tomlin getting the Pittsburgh job in 2007 because he blew away ownership during the interview process.

Now it’s no big deal to see a black head coach on an NFL sideline. If it’s good enough for the pros, it should be for the colleges, too.

NOW THAT REALLY HURTS — Not that Cleveland quarterback Derek Anderson expects a lot of sympathy from Browns fans, but cheering after he injured his knee Sunday?

“Fans buy tickets, I don’t,” Cleveland Plain Dealer columnist Terry Pluto wrote. “They can boo just about anything, and this 4-8 season has been alarmingly frustrating. But don’t boo a guy who is hurt, even if Anderson’s struggles have come to symbolize the underachieving group in orange helmets to many paying customers.”

BLACK SHEEP OF THE PROGRAM — This is the problem when you get too many college kids in a car with a Sheep.

It caught the eye of a Penn State police officer, who thought it odd to see the clowns-in-a-car routine with the vehicle still in motion. At the wheel was Nittany Lions mascot James Sheep, whose vision was blocked by arms and legs and judgment allegedly clouded by alcohol. He was charged with DUI.

Now Penn State might keep Sheep home for the Rose Bowl. Just as well. Against Southern California, the Lions will be like lambs led to the slaughter.

COMPILED BY MARK ANDERSON LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL

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