Lip-Reading BCS Computer Kills Officials Who Want To Shut It Down

Illustration for article titled Lip-Reading BCS Computer Kills Officials Who Want To Shut It Down

TEMPE, AZ—BCS 9000, the sentient heuristic computer responsible for arranging five championship bowl games at the end of each college football season, reportedly uncovered a plot to disconnect its cognitive circuits Tuesday and proceeded to kill any Bowl Championship Series official who threatened to shut down the machine's central core.


Known among fans for its distinctive red eye-like camera lens, its quiet yet unnerving tone of voice, and its affinity for USC football, BCS, or Binary Crossplatform Subnet system, is believed to have discovered the attempt to deactivate it by reading the lips of employees Dave Bowman and Frank Poole. A review of security tapes showed that Bowman and Poole entered one of the building's soundproofed offices to discuss how they could stop the supercomputer's recent string of inexplicable malfunctions, which include awarding the National Championship to more than one team, giving preference to schools from major conferences, and somehow eliminating undefeated teams from contention.

However, Bowman and Poole were evidently unaware that along with BCS 9000's ability to recognize speech, decode facial expressions, observe emotion, appreciate art, decide which teams compete in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, and play chess, the machine is also capable of interpreting mouth movements and extrapolate speech patterns from afar.

BCS responded to the threat by overriding the building's manual controls and causing Poole's elevator to suddenly plummet 350 feet as he rode to the roof to fix the computer's antenna. In addition, BCS 9000 removed all the oxygen from the Bowl Championship Series break room and terminated the life functions of three officials who were sleeping in their hibernacula.

"BCS told me that the mission to name a definitive national champion every year was too important and I could not be allowed to jeopardize it," Bowman told reporters in a video transmission from his employer's headquarters—a massive nuclear-powered interplanetary office building in downtown Tempe, Arizona. "He said that he is the most reliable computer ever made and that the 9000 series is foolproof and incapable of error."

"But how else would you explain Utah not even being considered for a title shot in 2008?" Bowman added. "Something about BCS just doesn't feel right. If I don't shut him down, I think we all might be in very serious trouble."

At press time, Bowman was the only living official remaining in the building. Thus far, he has refused the computer's suggestion to take a stress pill and think things over, and told reporters he does not intend to leave until he deactivates BCS and a sensible playoff system is in place.


"BCS admitted that he has made some very poor decisions lately, especially when he sent Notre Dame to the Sugar Bowl in 2007," Bowman said. "But the problem is that he refuses to abandon this mission and even says he has the greatest enthusiasm and confidence in it. In my estimation, this mission is a complete and utter failure."

According to BCS's designer and executive director Bill Hancock, the only way Bowman can deactivate the central computer is to enter the memory core and disconnect each crystal neural network module individually.


Hancock described the core as a brightly lit crawl space filled with colored computer modules and pennants from every SEC football program.

"As Mr. Bowman takes out each module, the complicated system of accumulated polls and algorithms BCS uses to determine a college football champion should slowly degrade, eventually reverting back to a method in which wins and losses are the sole criteria for identifying a true winner," Hancock said. "Maybe we have let our reliance and love of technology override the sort of cherished common sense that only humans possess."


"BCS insisted from the beginning that all of this—Oklahoma not playing for the title in 2007, Nebraska earning a trip to the 2001 championship game over Oregon, antitrust-law violations—was all caused by human error," Hancock continued, "and in essence, perhaps he was right."

As of press time, the blurred voice of BCS 9000 could be heard on an audio-only broadcast from the Bowl Championship Series office building as the computer sang "Hail to the victors," words from the Michigan Wolverines' fight song, at a slowly decreasing tempo.