Thursday, December 10, 2009

BCS is a joke, yet again

In what is becoming an annual rite of stupidity, the BCS will again muck up an otherwise beautiful college football landscape with a sham of a "national title" game. For the fourth time since the BCS was created (and third time in five seasons) there will be more than one unbeaten team after all the bowls are played. College football is the only sport played in America where that is even possible. Correction - the TOP division of college football is the only sport played in America where that is even possible.

The question is "WHY?" and like most things, the answer is "Money". It is very profitable for the bowl games themselves as well as the heads of the six BCS conferences. Unfortunately for the schools across Division I-A, it would be even MORE profitable to go to a simple playoff system. The reason they don't is this basic formula:

X Dollars generated by current system / 6 BCS Conferences and the Bowls

Namely, the 6 BCS conferences and the Bowls get all the money generated in this current system. If you assume that a playoff would generate the same revenue X (and I bet it would generate more) the formula switches to this:

X Dollars generated by playoff system / all conferences in Division I-A and the 15-20 bowl games that still get played

The BCS conferences and the 34 bowls themselves do not want to give up the stranglehold they have on all that money and let it be distributed more equally. And be honest, if you were them, you wouldn't want to either. But that's where fans, students and the member schools themselves ought to be able to step back and say "Listen, this needs to change and you are going to change it".

What has happened is that university presidents in the 6 BCS conferences have been told a scary bedtime story by the BCS machine. Behind closed doors they are told how the Playoff Boogeyman might not create as much money which could mean reduced budgets, lower headcount, etc. In reality, most of the schools who would qualify for a simple 4 or 8 team playoff are still going to be BCS schools so increased ratings and attendance (which again, I believe are almost certain to occur) would potentially translate into even MORE money for the member institutions. It would DEFINITELY mean more money for the smaller conference schools which for the most part get completely left out in the current deal, and it would help their recruiting "yes young man, it IS possible to play for a national title here at TCU". Put simply it's just more fair.

At least the ridiculous argument that we heard for so long of "do it for the student-athletes and their academics" has been exposed as fraudulent and we don't hear it anymore. Frankly the answer given these days by the BCS itself is quite simply "It's better than the old way of doing it". Well, the irony of that argument is that it can be used against the BCS by saying there's a better way of doing it now and yet it's not being done.

Here on TSF we've made several similar yet different arguments for a playoff system. They all center around either the top 8 teams in the BCS standings playing in a playoff or the 6 BCS conference champs and the top 2 rated teams from non-BCS conferences. Maybe all we'll get is the top 4 teams. But I would get behind ANY of those ideas over the current laughable system. I hold out hope that at some point in my lifetime college football will change to a fair system to determine a true national champion. When it does, we will look back at these days and laugh at how utterly ridiculous it was that for two years in a row in 2008 and 2009, there were two teams left undefeated at the end of the bowl season who didn't play each other and settle it all on the field.


Jeff King said...


what else is there to say.

can't wait for the day we get to crown a real Champ.


Anand "EhhTee" Trivedi said...

Jeff King? Not THE Jeff King? If so, thanks for checking in! Go Panthers!