Thursday, May 26, 2005

Fifth and 8

The BCS is the prime example of how math and football don't mix, as I cover extensively on my website, The state of North Carolina, which is known for its basketball, provided another recent example.

The state exam for seventh graders included the following question:

"If a football team's first six plays of a drive are a 6-yard loss, a 3-yard gain and a 2-yard loss, a 7-yard gain, a 12-yard gain and a 4-yard gain, what is it's average gain per play?"

The problem many people noticed is that the first three plays result in a net of -5 yards, leaving fourth down and 15 yards to go. The fourth down play only gets seven yards, so the team should have turned it over on downs and not had the next two plays.

The state's chief test guy (his real title is probably more impressive sounding than that) suggested, and I'm paraphrasing here, that the complainers should get a life.

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