By William Bowman
Daughter: Hey, dad. Why is your face so red?
Me: Oh, honey, it’s too complicated. Six-year-olds don’t always get big-people stuff. Don’t worry about it.
Daughter: Tell me. I wanna know.
Me: Just some things I don’t understand. Seems like it should be a lot easier to figure out but ...
Daughter: Is it that football thing again, the CBS?
Me: The BCS?
Daughter: The football thing you always yell about: The CBS.
Me: Yeah, it’s the CBS. They still can’t figure it out.
Me: Because it’s not really about football, or about who is the best team, or about what’s fair and what’s not. It’s about money.
Daughter: Well, money is good. I have some in my Cinderella bank if you think it will help. Just got another dollar from the Tooth Fairy.
Me: You keep that; it’s not going to help anyway. It’s not just the money. It’s that they can’t seem to figure out a way to find out who the best team is. Happens every year.
Daughter: Because isn’t a good enough answer.
Me: Um ... Well, it’s complicated.
Daughter: It can’t be that hard. Doesn’t one team beat everybody else. That’s the best one then, right?
Me: Well, sort of. But then they wait a month and play another game against the second-best team. The team that wins that game is the best.
Daughter: Why do they wait a month? Can’t they play, like, tomorrow? Don’t they know Christmas is coming?
Me: It’s not the wait, honey. It’s finding out who the second-best team is. Sometimes there are two teams that have not lost, so they play each other.
Daughter: That sounds easy ’nuff.
Me: Doesn’t always work that way, though. Like this year.
Daughter: What happened?
Me: One beat everybody they played. Then there a couple of teams that have only one loss.
Daughter: What one of those teams is the best?
Me: That’s the rub.
Me: That’s the problem, honey. No one knows. It’s a guessing game. Bunch of people like daddy vote for who they think is the best, then some computers think they know who is the best ...
Daughter: Computers play football?
Me: Um, no, but people know how to make their computers understand which team is better than another one.
Daughter: How they do that?
Me: I have no idea. No one does. It’s a big secret.
Daughter: Why? Keeping secrets isn’t good.
Me: I know, but if people found out how they worked it would open a whole can of worms.
Daughter: Yucky, daddy! Why is there a can of worms on the field?
Me: There’s not.
Daughter: Don’t they play games to find out who wins? Why they need a ’puter?
Me: Because not all teams play each other. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t.
Daughter: So if one team wins it’s better than the other, right?
Me: Supposedly, but that’s not how it works in football, honey.
Daughter: So that’s why your face is red?
Me: Sort of. You see this year the two best teams played each other and one, LSU, beat Alabama. LSU, they are the Tigers, haven’t lost all season.
Daughter: Okay, so they’re the best, right?
Me: For now, but they have to play again.
Daughter: Against who?
Daughter: But you said they beat Abla ... Alba ... Ablama, right? Why they have to beat them again?
Me: That’s how it works.
Daughter: Doesn’t sound like it works. Sounds stupid.
Me: Don’t say stupid.
Daughter: But it is.
Me: I know.
Sports editor Bill Bowman covers college sports for The Danville News. E-mail comments to email@example.com and following him at twitter.com/williambbowman.