So you think you have a chance. Newsflash: you don't - not if you play in Utah, not if you have a blue field, not if you schedule your home games on a Tuesday night. How do I know this? Pipe Dreams. That's how. Now I get what you're thinking. "Another computer formula to choose the best team in college football? Kill. Me. Now." Well you thought wrong. Pipe Dreams is the populist version of the Harris Interactive Poll. It's the Sarah Palin of gridiron explorations - simple, right and, with all these hot graphics, easy on the eyes. No Googl-ian algorithms, no parsing decimals. Just straight-up numbers and a bunch of time-honored criteria for separating the proverbial wheat (ahem, Trojans of SoCal) from the proverbial chaff (ahem, Trojans of Montgomery).

If you're wondering, "Hey, does my team stack up? Should I book tickets for Pasadena... or have the Hi-Def ready for mid-December coverage of the Charmin Toilet Bowl?" you'll know right away. Here's how this site works: I, Robert Hilson, dissect all the national champs of the BCS era (each of the BCS Championship Game winners plus the 2003 USC Trojans, who won the AP title) via statistics and personnel, add a hefty dose of personal bias, stir and proceed to pour out a big, tall glass of arbitrary conclusion. In other words, I crank out an analysis that is just as irrational, circumspect and controversial as the BCS, but I do it in 1024 x 768 style (and as evidenced by that last line, with computer in-jokes).

On each of the various topic pages, I compare and contrast championship teams - looking for commonalities and outliers - in an attempt to boil winning down to its very essence. I propose that you need ingredients X, Y and Z to hoist the Waterford Crystal. An All-American linebacker and a schedule that includes at least two top-15 opponents, for instance, look to be two of these more essential ingredients. Should your team possess these ingredients, you're a legit contender, and should you disagree with my findings, feel free to cook up your own recipe. The only sure thing in college football is that there are no sure things.

Spreadsheet of Destiny

A couple of heads-up. Check the Quick Links for extensive team-by-team breakdowns courtesy of the NCAA. Click on the "Spreadsheet of Destiny" box if you're looking for a quick-'n-dirty, two-page distillation. All the content and images are original work, unless otherwise noted. And so most of the pictures - heavily Photoshopped pictures - come from the shrine to collegiate athletics that is the University of Florida, which, it pains me to say given my Coral Gables ties, has the preeminent football program in all the land. If there's a campus that better captures the electric atmosphere of big time college sports, I can't find it. South Bend has nothing on this place. Tuscaloosa? Win another title. Then talk to me. Knoxville? Surely you jest. As the great Stephen Orr Spurrier would say, "Can't spell 'Citrus' without UT." (It's an oldie, but a goodie.) A quick aside: Tim Tebow's senior sendoff at The Swamp happened to overlap with the creation of this site. I can only liken the flocking of orange and blue back to town after Thanksgiving break to something out of Chaucer. November 28, 2009 was a pilgrimage in every sense of the word. Why, you ask, college football? Because if you happen to live in Gainesville, it's really all there is. PD, which I'm finding sounds like a disease when abbreviated, is a product of its environment.

Title Ring

Now the site takes some fairly obvious turns. Please excuse these. Chances are, if you're a 6 a.m. tailgater who came out of the womb draped in No. 15, you already have a feel for how your team's season will play out. But I needed an excuse to turn a "research project" into a forum to debate the merits of Alpha-'Cane Ken Dorsey and poke a little fun at SEC fans in the process. Head over to "Extra Points" for acknowledgements and references. On the "PD Index" page, I pit past champions against each other by way of a "mathematical formula." The rest is a veritable feast of I-can't-believe-you-can-get-college-credit-for-this goodness. Dig in.

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