The highest level of college football can't have a playoff because that would devalue the regular season. That's been the BCS advocate's go-to talking point for years, but one BCS ranking factor appears to have taken the line as a marching order.
CBS Sports' Jerry Palm discovered an error in Wes Colley's BCS rankings that incorrectly jumped the LSU Tigers to No. 10, ahead of the Boise St. Broncos. Colley's data set failed to include a FCS playoff game between Appalachian State and Western Illinois, which all the other BCS formulas accounted for.
How could that game possibly affect top-ten standings? LSU beat the Florida Gators, who beat Appalachian State. So removing the Mountaineers' win over Western Illinois from the equation messed with Florida's rankings in such a way that the ripple effect made LSU look better than it should.
The flub didn't affect either team's bowl placement, but it could've. And besides the fact that we're leaving championships and millions of dollars up to error-prone computers instead of just bias-prone humans, why should removing an Appalachian State postseason win make Florida look better? If the Gators beat a 10-2 FCS team instead of a 9-2 FCS team, especially with the win being a playoff win, how can that devalue LSU's Florida win?
The phantom game was a home game for App State, so maybe its inclusion hurt their, Florida's, and LSU's strength of schedule?
Either way, Bill Hancock has been warning us about those playoff games, and it looks like he was right.