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Monday, December 8, 2008
Welcome to the Bowl Computer Series

By Mike Philbrick and Patrick Hruby
Page 2

Let's face it ... we're not going to have a playoff system in college football anytime soon. (We're speaking mostly to you Longhorns fans.)

Mack Brown
Sorry Mack ... the best you can do right now is say "we're the guys who beat the guys who are playing for the title."

So if we're going to be at the mercy of the computers, we should be able to pick which form of artificial intelligence determines our New Year's week plans, right?

Page 2 has assembled a dream team of robots and computers to battle it out to determine which one should rule the BCS.

Check out how our Microchip Madness went down.

SEEDS

1. Skynet
Strength: Can send Terminators back in time to rectify historical blunders, such as Notre Dame's 2001 Fiesta Bowl bid and whatever uniform Oregon is wearing this week.

Weakness: Ruthless desire for self-preservation in face of widespread human discontent matched only by current BCS conference commissioners.

16. Fembots
Strength: Ability to disarm even the most hardened BCS critics with their feminine ways, before killing them and their hopes for a national title.

Weakness: They are controlled by Dr. Evil, who may be distantly related to Ralph Friedgen, thus giving the ACC an unfair edge.

8. WOPR/"Joshua"
Strength: Smart enough to realize that in tic-tac-toe and nuclear war, the "only winning move is not to play."

Weakness: Smart enough to come to the same conclusion about playoff-free college football, leaving BCS without an overlord.

9. RoboCop & ED-209
Strength: Taking the definition of good cop/bad cop to a level not seen since SMU's athletic department and its boosters in the late '80s.

Weakness: The human side of "Murphy" the cop wins in the end. Humans? Involved? No thank you.


5. Cylons (Hottie new-school edition)
Strength: Finally, bloggers will have something nice to say about the computers running college football.

Weakness: May have to quit day jobs as USC Song Girls per conflict-of-interest rules.

12. Lieutenant Commander Data
Strength: Inability to understand human emotion and behavior will keep him from ever rewarding coaches who run up the score.

Weakness: Susceptible to computer viruses, so don't open any Facebook videos from Data that say "You just look awesome in this new movie."

4. Hal 9000
Strength: Unfailingly polite and soft-spoken -- even when coldly refusing to open the pod bay doors on Boise State's championship hopes.

Weakness: Lip-reading skills no match for scheming coaches with oversized play cards.

13. Deep Blue
Strength: Advanced and complex chess strategies sure to impress the likes of Mack Brown and Rich Rodriguez.

Weakness: Can calculate only 200 million positions per second, once again leaving no room to include the Mountain West Conference.


6. K.I.T.T. (Hoff old-school edition)
Strength: No problem in the world, college football or otherwise, that Turbo Boost can't solve ...

Weakness: ... except plodding Ohio State's chances against any speedy SEC team in a bowl game.

11. Optimus Prime
Strength: Any keeper of the Autobot Matrix of Leadership and defender of all life and justice would never allow Texas to be ranked No. 3.

Weakness: Parking and location. NCAA fans and foes will oppose moving corporate headquarters to a truck stop to accommodate The Prime.

3. C-3P0 and R2-D2
Strength: Fluency in over six million forms of communication means Threepio can pinpoint exact moment Nick Saban begins lying; trash-can appearance allows Artoo to easily double as a third-tier bowl trophy.

Weakness: Spear-throwin' teddy bears may think you're a god, but cash-chuckin' major college boosters know they're the real deities.

14. WALL-E
Strength: Reformer who tirelessly worked to clean up planet Earth faces only a slightly less daunting task with the BCS.

Weakness: His disdain for a sedentary lifestyle will make enemies out of most football fans.


7. Johnny No. 5
Strength: Perfect mascot if MIT football ever jumps to Division I; owes sentience to lightning, not Jeff Sagarin.

Weakness: Mind-numbing, seppuku-inducing repetitive arguments over current BCS system preferable to mind-numbing, seppuku-inducing repetitive chorus of El DeBarge's "Who's Johnny?"

10. Paulie's robot (Rocky IV)
Strength: Instinctive ability to fetch anything (beer, ice cream, phone calls) will undoubtedly keep the BCS conference commissioners placated.

Weakness: Has a history of poor judgment. Much like America's previous love affair with Gary Barnett, the robot once had a torrid fling with Burt Young.

2. The Matrix
Strength: Able to pacify and bamboozle unwitting populace through vivid -- but ultimately bogus -- virtual reality. Much like the NCAA and amateurism.

Weakness: Charlie Weis. Skintight black vinyl bodysuit. The horror.

15. Master Control Program (MCP)
Strength: Can consume every team in college football ... literally.

Weakness: Texas and Oklahoma competing on light cycles won't quiet the "settle it on the field" crowd.