Exective director Bill Hancock defends the BCS

Bill Hancock officially began his tenure as BCS executive director this week and spoke with reporters on Thursday about the current state of college football.

Let’s go point by point…

“College football has never been better and I believe the BCS is part of that.”

This is actually a true statement, but it isn’t saying much. If something is better than asinine, does it make it good? No, it doesn’t. It makes it better than asinine. Yes, the BCS Championship Game is better than the pre-BCS system, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be drastically improved.

Hancock said the fact that other lower levels of college football use playoffs to decide their champions doesn’t mean it would work in the Football Bowl Subdivision. The second-tier of Division I football, the Championship Subdivision, has a 16-team playoff with all but the final played at home sites.

“It works at that level, I can’t deny it, but if you look attendance for those games, only Montana had decent attendance,” he said. “Many teams didn’t draw as well as they did in the regular season.”

All right, so because Hancock has some anecdotal data about lower level teams not drawing as well in the playoffs, we’re supposed to believe that home playoff games at the D1 level wouldn’t work either? Really? Like the Gators aren’t going to sell out the Swamp in the first round of an eight-team playoff? Give me a break.

This excerpt from ESPN (via the AP), Hancock throws out several debatable “facts” and says the case is closed.

Bill Hancock said a playoff at college football’s highest level would lead to more injuries, conflict with final exams, kill the bowl system and diminish the importance of the regular season.

More injuries? The current BCS system has five games. My proposed eight-team playoff would include seven games. Does Hancock really believe that the additional injury risk of two games is a valid argument against a playoff?

Kill the bowl system? The current system features a lot of lower-level bowls that feature teams that aren’t playing for a national championship. Players, coaches and fans attend these games as a celebration of a good season. How would holding a playoff affect this system in any way?

Diminish the importance of the regular season? If anything, it would increase the importance of the regular season. Under the current system, if a team loses a game it shouldn’t, it’s championship aspirations are effectively killed. With a playoff, that team would still have a fighting chance to make the postseason and compete for a title. And think about those fringe teams fighting for a playoff spot over the last couple of weeks. Every contest would become an elimination game. Under the current system, none of these teams would have an opportunity to play for a title.

Conflict with final exams? In an eight-team playoff, there are only four D1 teams in the entire country that would play more than one postseason game, and we’re worried about final exams?

Sigh.


Photo from fOTOGLIF

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