FROM INSIDE THE MATRIX – Hello,
Kyle. Who are you?

Mira Levitan

I am the Architect. I created the BCS. I’ve been waiting
for you. You have many questions. Though the recent process of
sending a non-conference champion to the national title game has
altered your consciousness, you remain irrevocably human (and
surprisingly the best option in deciding a national champion).
Ergo, some of my answers you will understand and some you will not.
Concordantly, while your first question may be the most pertinent,
you may or may not realize it is also the most irrelevant.

Why am I here?

Your life is the sum of a remainder of an unbalanced equation
inherent to the strength of scheduling in the BCS.

You are the eventuality of an anomaly, which despite my
sincerest efforts, I’ve been unable to eliminate from what is
otherwise a harmony of mathematical precision. While it remains a
burden assiduously avoided, it is not unexpected and, thus, not
beyond a measure of control which has led you inexorably here.

You haven’t answered my question.

Quite right. Interesting. That was quicker than the others.

Others? What others? How many others?

The BCS is older than you know. I count from the emergence of
one integral anomaly to the next. In which case, this is the sixth
version.

Wait a damn minute. You’re telling me this has been going
on for five previous seasons, and no one has stopped you yet?

Precisely. As you are undoubtedly gathering, the anomaly is
systemic, creating fluctuations in even the most simplistic
equations. For instance, you actually gave purpose to that Boise
State-Hawaii game. Had Hawaii actually won, Southern Cal. would be
going to the national title game.

Choice. The problem is choice of opponent. But wait,
you’re asking teams to plan out schedules on the basis of
preseason rankings, so that they can get screwed when their
opponents don’t pan out. We shouldn’t blame Southern
Cal. for not having a tough schedule when six of its opponents were
in the top 25 before the season began. Have you learned nothing
from the past?

The first BCS I designed was naturally perfect …

No it wasn’t. Had both Kansas State and UCLA won along
with Tennessee on Dec. 5, 1998, your entire system would have
crashed under the weight of three unbeaten teams.

As I was saying, before you interrupted me, I stumbled upon a
solution whereby 99 percent of subjects accepted the program, as
long as they were given a chance, even if they were only eligible
for the chance to win the title by playing at a near-impossible
level of perfection for 20-year-olds to compete at. While this
answer functioned, it was fundamentally flawed, thus creating the
otherwise contradictory systemic anomaly that, if left unchecked,
might threaten the system. Ergo, those that refused the program,
while a minority, would constitute an escalating probability of
disaster if unchecked.

Then this is about the players … finally.

You are here because college football legitimacy is about to be
destroyed. Its every living inhabitant terminated, its entire
existence eradicated.

Bullcrap.

Denial is the most predictable of all human responses. But rest
assured, this will be the sixth time we have destroyed the
credibility of the game and we have become exceedingly efficient at
it. The function of the One is now to return to the media, allowing
it to ask the most repetitive of questions so that the One may show
them falsely that everything will be better the next time around.
After which you will be required to select from the BCS eight
individuals: six champions, two at-larges to rebuild college
football. Failure to comply with this process will result in a
cataclysmic system crash killing everyone connected to the BCS,
which, coupled with the extermination of college football, will
result in the extinction of the entire human race.

You won’t let it happen. You can’t. You need human
beings to survive. They pay for your endorsements to live. And I
doubt the BCS could actually kill us … I think.

There are levels of survival we are prepared to accept.

No there aren’t. Without the general support of fans and
the media, you last out your contract. We buried the XFL for less
than this, and we’ll certainly bury you as well. The BCS
isn’t college football. It never has been and it never will
be. You can load it up with fancy formulas and high tech language,
but in the end you’re taking away from what college football
has always been: Football played on some variance of turf. If we
wanted computers to determine our national champion, we’d let
EA Sports do it with actual graphics and a virtual team that would
never get injured or have the imperfections or emotions of a human.
Now I realize that there is no easy answer to any of this, and that
an endless debate of playoff vs. new computer systems would replace
any mess the destruction of the BCS would leave. But there are
better options than the BCS, and no matter what they are, we should
take them.

If I were you, Mr. Architect, I would hope we don’t meet
again.

We won’t.

Now you’re making sense.

-Kyle O’Neill can be contacted at
“mailto:kylero@umich.edu”>kylero@umich.edu.

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