How was this bowl season better than a playoff?

Auburn Tigers quarterback Cam Newton (R) is tackled by Oregon Ducks Spencer Paysinger during the second quarter in the NCAA BCS National Championship college football game in Glendale, Arizona, January 10, 2011. REUTERS/Mike Blake (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL IMAGES OF THE DAY)

Bill Hancock seems like a nice enough guy but he’s delusional if he thinks that this past bowl season was a rousing success and that it proved that there’s no need for a playoff.

First and foremost, that title game was terrible. It may have had an exciting finish but a great game it was not.

Two of the most explosive offenses in the nation were on display Monday night and yet, you couldn’t have asked for worse field conditions. This should have been the most entertaining game of the season but from the opening kickoff, players resembled hockey players sliding on a sheet of ice. Neither team could catch their footing, which is probably why the combined score totaled only 41 points (or 31 fewer points than what Vegas installed for the over/under). How does this happen in an indoor stadium when the grass can easily be maintained?

Granted, it’s not the BCS’ fault that the game was rather lousy on a whole. Even if there were a playoff, there would be no guarantee that all the games would be exciting. But at the very least, the teams would be playing for something every week.

The matchup between Auburn and Oregon was dead on, but the BCS largely struck out with its other games. They made Stanford fly cross-country just to crush an overmatched Virginia Tech team and there’s no reason to relive the Oklahoma-UConn debacle.

The Rose Bowl and the Sugar Bowl were both highly entertaining – I’ll give the BCS that. But why must there be a long delay between the BCS bowl games and the championship? And for the love of college football, why were the Go Daddy.com Bowl, the Cotton Bowl, the BBVA Compass Bowl and the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl shown as a lead up to the national title game? I felt bad for the kids who played in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl because nobody cared by that point. They made those poor kids play on Sunday night following four NFL playoff games – only action junkies tuned into that one.

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Non-BCS conferences receive record payout

TCU and Boise State will each cash in big after appearing in this year’s Tostitos Fiesta Bowl.

From ESPN.com:

The five conferences that don’t get automatic bids to the Bowl Championship Series will receive a record $24 million from this year’s BCS bowl games, augmented by the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl matchup of TCU and Boise State.

The figures still lag behind the six BCS conferences. The Big Ten and Southeastern conferences received $22.2 million each, with $17.7 million going to each of the other four BCS conferences.

Rep. Joe Barton, a Texas Republican, has cited the revenue discrepancy as a reason for his legislation that would ban the promotion of a postseason NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision game as a national championship unless it results from a playoff. The bill passed a subcommittee last month but faces an uphill battle in Congress.

In a telephone interview Monday, Barton responded to the figures with a shrug.

“What is the BCS theoretically about? I thought it was about the best teams playing the best teams,” he said. “This simply acknowledges the reality that’s it’s not about that, but about revenue sharing. It’s an economic cartel.”

While I agree with Barton that a playoff system needs to be implemented in college football, I disagree with his above comment. The BCS isn’t about the best teams playing the best teams – it’s designed to pit the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the nation in a championship game. That’s it. It’s not a playoff system and it’s not designed to let all the teams battle it out on an even playing field. All it essentially cares about in the end is figuring out who the top two teams are and then letting them duke it out in the championship.

Do I want a playoff? Yes – very much so. But I also realize what the BCS is intended to do in its current format. For better or worse, the BCS is what it is and while the current format exists, it will continue to only care about matching the top two teams against each other in the title game.


Photo from fOTOGLIF

Thanks for these early bowl games, BCS.

Want more proof that the current bowl system is crap in college football? Take a look at the scores from bowl games so far:

Wyoming 35, Fresno State 28 OT.
Rutgers 45, Central Florida 24.
Middle Tennessee State 42, Southern Miss 32.
BYU 44, Oregon State 20.
Utah 37, California 27.

Outside of Wyoming’s thriller over Fresno State, all of these bowl games have been laughers and not worth watching deep into the second half. If you’ve turned on any of these games in the third quarter, you’ve already missed everything worthy of tuning into.

Before anyone points this out, I get that none of the marquee bowl games have kicked off yet. And I also get that the BCS system only cares about its five games and furthermore, only really cares about the national championship.

But isn’t that reason enough to hate the BCS? They’re basically admitting that out of 34 bowl games, only one really matters. If there were a playoff, every single game would have meaning. Instead, we have 33 fluff bowls that don’t mean anything and worse yet, they’re all terrible games. Outside of the Wyoming-Fresno matchup, every bowl thus far has featured one team that is excited to play and one that can’t wait to get back on the bus to go home.

The system sucks and so do these bowl games so far. Sorry, I don’t mean to take away from Rutgers, Middle Tennessee State, BYU and Utah’s wins, but as a fan I couldn’t be more disappointed and the worst part is, this is exactly what I expected. Some will say, “Well then just don’t watch the early games” but that’s not the point – I want to watch as much college football as I can before the season is over for seven months. I just don’t want these meaningless drivel.

Thanks, BCS.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

House subcommittee approves legislation for college football playoff system

According to an article in the Cleveland Plain Dealer, a U.S. House subcommittee has approved a legislation that would force college football to switch to a playoff system to determine a national champion.

The bill, which faces long odds of becoming law, would ban the promotion of a postseason NCAA Division I football game as a national championship unless that title contest is the result of a playoff. The measure passed by voice vote in a House Energy and Commerce Committee subcommittee, with one audible “no,” from Rep. John Barrow, D-Ga.

“With all due respect, I really think we have more important things to spend our time on,” Barrow said before the vote, although he stressed he didn’t like the current Bowl Championship Series, either.

The bill’s sponsor, GOP Rep. Joe Barton of Texas, said the BCS system is unfair and won’t change unless prompted by Congress.
The vote came three days after the BCS selections were announced, including the Jan. 7 national title game between No. 1 Alabama and No. 2 Texas.

Something that just occurred to me is what if college football does implement a playoff system and teams like TCU, Boise State, Cincinnati and whomever routinely get knocked out in the first or second round?

I get that the point of a playoff system is to determine a winner on the field as opposed to leaving the decision up to voters and a computer system. But it would be a tad ironic if all this clamoring for a playoff system eventually leads to the same conferences (SEC, Big 12, Big Ten, etc.) being pitted against each other in the national title game – especially if there has to be a law made in order to force college football to figure out a playoff structure.

That said, I’m still all for it. I agree that there are probably better things for the congress to be worried about than college football, but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t want to see it happen.

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New BCS Committee Chief rips playoff idea

The Nebraska State Paper.com sat down this week with University of Nebraska-Lincoln chancellor Harvey Perlman, who was recently appointed as chairman of the BCS Presidential Oversight Committee, which ultimately decides how the BCS is set up on a year basis.

So in other words, if college football were to ever have a playoff, this is the man who would give it the green light to happen. And considering he crapped all over the idea in the interview, it looks like we fans will be waiting a long time for BCS to adopt a playoff system.

Why is a playoff not a viable alternative? Is it because it would cut too many teams out of postseason play?

It would diminish the bowl structure and it would reduce the number of opportunities for student-athletes to play in the postseason and that’s not a good thing. If you look at college football now, it’s the greatest sporting event spread over September, October, November, December and a little bit of January that the country has. A playoff would seriously diminish the regular season, as it has in college basketball.

I don’t think it’s good for college football, I don’t think it’s good for student-athletes and I don’t think it’s good for fans. I don’t see fans travelling around the country three weeks in succession between December and January following their team. So you’re either going to have to play at home sites – which I’m sure everybody will want to play in Nebraska in December and January – or you’re gonna have to travel, which means that bowls will cease being intercollegiate events, but will become corporate events, where everybody in, you name the city, will be there except the fans of the teams.

This isn’t basketball. This isn’t March Madness. Football’s a different game, different environment. We have different traditions. It’s hard to see why a playoff is a good idea.

A playoff would diminish the bowl structure? How ironic, Harvey – because the bowl structure diminishes the college football season.

This whole notion that a playoff system would diminish the regular season is absolutely ridiculous and is the worst argument that BCS-supporters have made to date. Is the NFL regular season diminished by a playoff? Hell no. So why would a playoff diminish the college football season? Teams still have to fight to get into the playoffs, making every week just as exciting as it has ever been.

Sure, nobody is interested in Bengals-Browns in Week 17, but that’s unavoidable. Nobody cares about Washington-Washington State when both teams are lousy either. Whether there’s a playoff format in place or not, there are going to be bad games on the schedule.

The traveling argument makes sense, but if they regionalized the games as best as they can, fans will still travel to see their favorite teams. Hell, look at how Pittsburgh Steeler fans; there are often more Steeler fans in opposing stadiums than there are fans of that city’s team. Granted, it’s a little different when we’re talking about poor college students compared to adults with jobs, but the students would still find a way to pack the stadiums.

But I digress. Perlman has already made up his foolish mind and we’ll once again be where we always are come December and January – frustrated and wanting more. The BCS is a joke, the arguments for it are a joke, and the people that are running it are a joke.

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