Football: No. 1 & No. 98

David Rothman is a systems analyst and college football buff from Canoga Park, Calif. By programming a computer to analyze "RRE values," "Newton-Raphson approximations" and "hypothetical win fractions," Rothman figured to find out which team ranked first. He did. He discovered what everyone knew already—that last season's leader was the University of Southern California. Last week other fans had another question for Rothman's computer: Where did it rank the Jackson State Tigers of Jackson, Miss.? The answer was: No. 98, under the general classification: "Other Teams."

Clearly, something was wrong. At their annual college player draft in Manhattan, representatives of the...