TELANDER: Notre Dame ahead of Alabama? Gimme a break
BY RICK TELANDER firstname.lastname@example.org January 12, 2013 1:02AM
Alabama celebrates its BCS national championship Monday. | Wilfredo Lee~AP
Final rankings after Week 16:
1. Notre Dame 0.973997
2. Alabama 0.961139
3. Ohio State 0.942421
4. Florida 0.933538
5. Oregon 0.927465
Updated: February 14, 2013 6:38AM
Funny things can happen when you’re looking for a simple answer. Like, who finished No. 1 in college football?
Easy, you say. Alabama hammered Notre Dame 42-14 in the BCS title game, so the Crimson Tide has to be No. 1.
But where was the BCS announcement stating such?
So I started looking for the rankings on the Internet, and the first place I was directed to was a site called the Colley Matrix, one of the six computer programs that formulates the BCS rankings.
Folks, do you want to know why robots will turn us into slaves who must eat broccoli and listen to the Carpenters all day while churning out buttons? Because the Colley Matrix still has Notre Dame ranked No. 1, even after its debacle in the BCS title game.
Science is insane. Are you kidding? How could anyone create a system that still has Notre Dame ranked No. 1?
A person did develop the Colley Matrix, right? This wasn’t artificial intelligence bubbling in a bucket of liquid nitrogen and re-creating itself in the form of Mel Kiper Jr.?
More Internet research. The Colley Matrix, I discover, is the offspring of one Wesley N. Colley, a professor and senior research scientist at the Center for Modeling, Simulation and Analysis at the University of Alabama-Huntsville.
Alabama, for God’s sake!
The dude, according to his bio, has a bachelor’s degree with highest distinction from Virginia in astronomy and physics and a master’s degree and Ph.D. from Princeton in astrophysical sciences. In other words, he’s a rocket scientist. You see where this is going?
The ‘‘Matrix,’’ according to its abstract, has six guidelines, which, when combined, will produce its seventh guideline, ‘‘common sense results.’’ Har!
Score one for average IQ and real-world eyeballs. Much more ‘‘Matrix’’ logic, and we’d believe the sun is cold and Bruce Jenner’s face is normal. I don’t even want to think about the algorithms Prof. Colley concocted that gave Notre Dame a score of .973997 and Alabama a .961139.
In the combined BCS ratings, if you can find them anywhere, Alabama finished first. Notre Dame finished third. Ohio State — God bless its restless, outlaw, suspended soul — moved from fourth to second after the bowl season. Without playing a game.
In 2014, we have a playoff system kicking in. Maybe Prof. Colley and a beautiful BCS computer will be on their way to Mars by then.
† I LOVE THE IDEA of a possible ‘‘Catholic Seven’’ basketball conference, which would feature DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Providence, Seton Hall, St. John’s and Villanova. Fox TV seems to like the idea, too, and is in negotiations with representatives for the schools.
Word is the league officially would be named the ‘‘Basketball Seven,’’ but who would call it that? ‘‘Catholic Seven’’ has a ring to it. Which makes me wonder: How would I feel if it were the ‘‘Jewish Seven,’’ the ‘‘Muslim Seven’’ or the ‘‘Atheist Seven’’? Pretty cool, actually.
† ON-PROBATION OHIO STATE finished the college football season ranked second in the nation with a 12-0 record. Do you know who won the Big Ten?
The Badgers lost four of their last six games, including the Rose Bowl, and finished 8-6. Final ranking? Somewhere in the low to mid-20s, depending on what service you use.
Thus, the Big Ten champs finished ranked behind Ohio State, Michigan, Northwestern and Nebraska.
† ‘‘I GUESS ANYTHING can happen,’’ Alabama coach Nick Saban said when he was asked if he was ready to move on — maybe to the NFL — again. ‘‘But I’m totally happy right here.’’
That means he’s itchy. I give him one more season in Tuscaloosa.
† BOXER MANNY PACQUIAO was flattened so hard in his bout Dec. 8 against Juan Manuel Marquez — two minutes of motionlessness — that the knockout should be the last he faces.
At least one Filipino doctor has said Pacquiao seems to be showing early signs of Parkinson’s syndrome and had better quit the sport immediately. Pacquiao’s trainer, Freddie Roach, has nerve and brain damage from his own boxing career. Roach once told me that he had stayed too long in the sport, that he never will be whole again.
Pacquiao looks at the halting, shaking Roach every time he trains. But I’d bet a lot, if I were a gambling man, that Pacquiao will fight again. Then battle other demons for a lifetime.
† WE MUST END on levity. Bulls TV color man Stacey King’s hollers only get better and nuttier. After a nifty layup by Carlos Boozer: ‘‘Get on the Booze Cruise!’’
And then, after a nice pass from Boozer for a dunk by Taj Gibson: ‘‘Does anybody know how to put up videos on Facebook, punk?’’