The Wonderful World of the BCS

The BCS: loved by power conference schools and hated by the rest of us. Never has a playoff system faced such high levels of criticism, yet refused to alter its fundamental structure even slightly. It is the only sports organization where a team can go undefeated and outscore its opponents by 385 points (29.6 points per game; how’s that for style points?), yet still fail to receive the opportunity to play for a championship. And that same team (the TCU Horned Frogs) winning by four touchdowns every week finishes their season in the same way an 8-5 Connecticut Huskies team does: playing in a “prestigious” BCS bowl with the opportunity to finish third in the country. Or fourth. Or fifth. You get the picture.

Sure, the money gruppers who reside over the Big Ten, Big Twelve, etc. and the BCS selection committee are at fault. They allow the BCS system to continue to occur by refusing to put their feet down and admitting that their system is flawed. But put yourself in the shoes of the commissioners of power conferences and the presidents of the schools that make them up. The BCS system rewards the schools that make the most money, e.g. the schools of big time conferences. People pay to see Michigan-Ohio State and Oklahoma-Texas, not Jacksonville State-Georgia Southern. If I’m running a big time school why would I want to share the revenue that my school generates with lesser football colleges and universities? We live in a world driven by capital, and the rich find ways to get richer while not always thinking of their poorer counterparts.

But aren’t those who are making money off of the BCS missing the point of college athletics? Don’t the players play for their love of the game, while we watch because of our love for competition, top plays, and backbreaking hits? Maybe I’m wrong, but it looks like somewhere along the lines the reasons organized college football began being played have been lost and replaced with money by those in control of structuring the entire system.

Yet this can’t possibly be correct. If the BCS committee and all those involved really wanted to make as much money as possible then surely they would realize the benefits of a playoff system. A sixteen team playoff would produce fifteen games, creating (hypothetically) three times as much revenue as the current five game BCS system. If money is really the issue here then the way that it is being gone about is all wrong.

I really don’t understand the reasoning behind the BCS, nor do I think I ever will, but I do believe one organization has the power to control all of the mayhem: the NCAA. It, unfortunately, appears unlikely that they will they ever correctly exercise their power. The NCAA continued their odd behavior again today by vacating USC’s 2004 National Championship. I have to agree with what @roomiller said earlier. Is anyone going to say that another team really won the title in 2004? The reasons USC received penalties in the first place was not because of cheating on the field. The games were played and USC won; what more do we need to know?

But this is the same organization that found out about Jim Calhoun’s recruiting violations in season, yet decided to give him the opportunity to win a championship (which he gladly accepted) while waiting until next year to punish him. And don’t forget about their decision to brush Cam Newton’s computer theft and cheating instances, as well as his father’s “shopping” around of his talents under the rug while awarding him a Heisman Trophy and a National Championship (odds are both accolades will be vacated just as Reggie Bush’s Heisman was, but that is a different topic for a different day).

Believing that the NCAA will control and destroy the monsters that it has allowed to be created is about as intelligent as it is for me to believe that the Mets are going to win a  championship by the time I’m 30: ain’t gunna happen.

Love it or hate it, we’re stuck with the wonderful world of the BCS.

94 days until the start of the NFl season.


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