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Saturday, June 19, 2010

End of the road for BCS

So Texas did not join the PAC -10 after all, and the formation of the superconferences has been put on hold for now.  But it is almost inevitable that conferences such as the Big 10, Pac 10, and SEC will eventually expand to 16 teams, and that will utimately lead to the death of the BCS for the following reasons:

  • Expanded conference memberships increase the possibility that more teams will end the season with identical records.
A couple of seasons ago Texas lamented the fact that they were left out of the BCS national title despite defeating national title participant Oklahoma head to head, with whom they shared an identical record both in the Big 12, and overall as well.  Imagine that instead of having just Texas, Oklahoma, and Texas Tech with identical records in one division in say, the new SEC, in the other division of that same conference Florida, Alabama, and LSU also had identical records.  Allowing the media to select the two participants from that list to compete in the SEC championship(and thus a spot in the BCS) then becomes highly subjective, almost to the point that it defeats the mission of the BCS altogether.  In fact, there then becomes no clear cut way to declare an outright conference champion.  Thus, in this scenario, the SEC becomes a nonparticipant in the BCS.  The SEC will not allow this to happen, and should it actually come to fruition the heads of SEC universities will be the first in line to endorse a college football playoff system.

  • Once all the new superconferences are formed, the new landscape of college football will pave the way for a sixteen team playoff system.
When all the smoke is cleared, rumor has it there will be 4-6 superconferences, with 16 schools being the membership ceiling of each one.  Under this scenario, a sixteen team playoff system becomes not only plausible, but also more than likely.  Initially the top two teams from each conference would automatically earn spots in the playoff, with a couple of more spots available in a potential play in game.  Convincing the fans that such a system is better than the current one is not that hard of a sell,  university presidents and chancellors become much harder, or so the media would like everyone to think...

  • There is a growing myth among sports media today that the heads of the major universities and colleges are strenuously opposed to a college football playoff.
Indeed, nothing could be further from the truth. Gordon Gee,  president of  The Ohio State University, one of the largest schools in the nation, has gone on record as saying that he does not see himself or anyone else voting for a change in college football's postseason format anytime soon.  Of course he is going to say that.  The current system is pumping between 12-26 million dollars a year into his conference for the time being.  And that is what its all about.  It has nothing to do with tradition, the well-being of the student athlete, or scheduling conflicts with the NFL playoffs.  It's all about the benjamins, or, in other words, the money.  Once someone proposes an alternative that guarantees these schools will make more money than the BCS can offer them they will jump ship faster than you can say BCS.  Which brings me to my next point...

  • The BCS is not officially sancitioned by the NCAA.
The system is a creation of the six major conferences in college football, and, if the NCAA athletic commission decides this is not fair to the other universities, it could very well call for the ouster of this system on its own.  What is interesting is that while the argument of the fairness of the BCS has made it all the way to the United States Congress, I have yet to hear the issue brought before an NCAA competition committee.  I think once the new conferences shake out, we won't have to wait much longer.

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