Her Math Puts BCS Formula to Shame

22-year-old's algorithm is 70% accurate; college football's best hits just 56.6%
By Will McCahill,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 26, 2009 5:13 AM CDT
Her Math Puts BCS Formula to Shame
Maggie Wigness, 22, has a formula that beats the BCS at its own game.   (Facebook)

The ranking system that determines who plays for college football’s national championship is derided nearly universally, not to mention annually, and though this year’s first set of Bowl Championship Series standings don’t come out until Oct. 18, the detractors might have a new champion: a 22-year-old undergrad at a small Oregon college that doesn’t even have a football team.

Pacific University’s Maggie Wigness has an algorithm that, based on games played in 1998-2008, got things right at better than a 70% clip—far better than the BCS formula’s score of 56.6%. And, Wigness tells the Oregonian ahead of her presentation of it Saturday at a Harvard symposium, “we didn’t look at the human factors at all”—unlike the BCS, which relies on two different polls of coaches and others.
(More Bowl Championship Series stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.