Math and Football: A Long History
Opinion polls have topped the sports page since the Associated Press college football ratings appeared in 1936. But the very first widely known poll was actually a mathematical system, just like the BCS rankings. This ranking was designed in 1926 by an economics professor at the University of Illinois.
Here is a closer look at how the math that produces the BCS rating works. There are four components that contribute to a team's rank.
- Subjective polls
- Computer rankings
- Strength of a team's schedule
- Number of Losses
Each of these factors is represented by a numerical value. Teams are assigned a certain number of points for their performance in each category. These four values are then totaled to produce a team's final score. The team with the lowest point total gets the number one spot for the week.