Daily Archives: January 4, 2008

Mandel gets a good story for a change.

Fair is fair:  Stewart Mandel has written a fine column today about the future of the BCS that’s well worth your time to read.

He does a good job highlighting the two big question marks surrounding the debate.  One, of course, is the possible format.

You can start with one dead issue (at least for now)…

Any discussion about the future of college football’s postseason must start with the requisite disclaimer that “the one thing [all] of us are in agreement on is there isn’t going to be a playoff,” said Big East commissioner Mike Tranghese.

but we’re still left with the struggle over a seeded vs. unseeded plus-one format.  There are obstacles to adapting either.

“If you don’t seed, you don’t really have a fair system,” said Hansen. “The No. 1 conference champion might end up playing the No. 2 team, and then you haven’t accomplished anything except prolong the season. And if you do seed, you’re going to have to take teams out of their traditional bowls, and we’re very much opposed to that.”

Good luck with that, Mr. Slive.

Then, there are the money problems.  One was created when the BCS expanded to five games and let the non-BCS conferences in the door:

Unexcited by the seemingly watered-down system, ABC senior vice president for programming Loren Matthews — whose network’s original, eight-year deal with the BCS was about to come up for renewal — proposed an alternative plan at the BCS’ meetings in Phoenix two months later involving a pure plus-one.

When BCS officials balked, Matthews, whose network had seen its ratings for the non-championship BCS games decline and claimed to have lost money on its original investment — chose to re-up solely with the Rose Bowl, paying a reported $300 million to air the eight Rose Bowl games and two national-title games to be played in Pasadena from 2007-14. Fox stepped in to claim the rights to the Fiesta, Sugar and Orange bowls, paying a reported $320 million for the 2007-10 games (which includes three championship games). The deal represented a meager five percent spike from what ABC had been paying.

Now ABC sounds like it wants back in, which is music to the ears of the bowl committees and conference commissioners.  But it’s not like Loren Matthews’ initial assessment was wrong.

At least one of Matthews’ concerns has come to fruition. The three BCS bowl games to date involving non-BCS teams — Utah-Pittsburgh (2005), Oklahoma-Boise State (2007) and Georgia-Hawaii (2008) — have produced three of the four lowest-rated broadcasts in BCS history. [Emphasis added.]

It sounds like everyone is trying to size up their potential dance partners without knowing whether they’ll be doing the waltz or the twist.

Those are just the two biggest issues.  Mandel raises a bunch more questions that there are no easy answers for.  Again, read the whole piece.  It will make you realize how much the powers that be have to address to make any significant changes in the postseason formula – and how little of it will take into consideration the fans.


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Filed under BCS/Playoffs, It's Just Bidness

Everyone’s a winner.

Its school demonstrates that it had no business playing in a BCS game and that it was a paper tiger that played an extremely weak schedule, but for the editorial staff of the Honolulu Star Bulletin, the solution isn’t to keep Hawaii out of the BCS, it’s to let the Warriors face weaker bowl competition.

The nightmarish conclusion of the University of Hawaii Warriors’ dream season should not discourage outsiders to the six football conferences that control the major bowls about the prospect of future invitations. It instead should result in a review of the way teams are paired off for bowls to avoid the sort of mismatches that occurred at Tuesday’s Sugar and Rose bowls…

…The major football conferences are not likely to forsake their monopoly, but — at the very least — pairings in the present system should be made on the basis of competitive matches…

That way, everyone can be special. And there’s even a certain perverse logic to it – if you played a weaker regular season slate, you ought to be entitled to a less formidable postseason opponent.

The problem, of course, is that over time, games like Hawaii vs. Arizona State played in the Sugar Bowl are likely to result in dwindling attendance and TV ratings… which leads to smaller payouts.

I can’t help but wonder, though, why we didn’t see this editorial before the 41-10 pasting, instead of in the aftermath.


Filed under BCS/Playoffs

I just don’t know what to do with myself.

There is a stupidity quotient to the whole BCS/playoff debate that routinely drives me up the wall. True, most of what I’ve posted here has shined a light on some of the dumb things playoff proponents argue, but there’s some equally idiotic stuff coming from the other side.

Like this quote from one David Jones, who evidently earns a living writing about sports:

“My problem is Ohio State, quite frankly,” Florida Today sports writer David Jones said. “They played a schedule about as comparable as Hawaii’s…”

That would be accurate, if by “about as” you meant that they could both be measured. Otherwise, no.

Sagarin rated Hawaii as having the 137th toughest schedule (meaning that a number of 1-AA schools had tougher ones). Sagarin ranks Ohio State at #62. Ohio State played six regular season games against BCS conference opponents with winning records. Hawaii played zero.

And this guy’s a pollster. A pollster who’s thinking about voting against Ohio State for the MNC if it wins the BCS title game. Jeezus, where do we get these people from? It’s almost enough to make me sign up for a playoff right now.

Except then I see this quote, and I’ve gotta laugh.

…Georgia thumps Hawai’i? Missouri thumps Arkansas? USC thumps Illinois? Welcome to what the first round games of a 16-team playoff will look like.

What can a poor boy do, except write in a college football blog?

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Filed under BCS/Playoffs, General Idiocy

Sometimes the simple things are the best.

From David Ching’s blog, an interview with Sugar Bowl MVP Marcus Howard:

On their plan coming in:
Coach Martinez said, ‘Hit Colt Brennan.’ He made it a big statement, a big priority. He said, ‘If he ran the option, don’t fan out, just hit him. When he passes the ball, as long as it’s legal, hit him.’ And that’s what we did. Our priority was to hit Colt Brennan. That’s what the defense did.

Willie Martinez is a genius.


Filed under Georgia Football

Hell hath no fury…

like a college football player’s wife scorned.

Sounds like this could get ugly for South Florida, too.

(h/t The Quad) 

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Filed under Academics? Academics.

What do they know…

While much of the complaining about the BCS this year is that three of the four matchups have been lopsided, me… I’m just wondering at this point why Oklahoma and Virginia Tech jumped Georgia in the last rankings.


Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Georgia Football

Another random act of thuggery

This time, it’s the Texas Longhorns’ sideline dancin’ to you-know-what. I wonder why we didn’t hear anything about this when it happened.

Notice that the complete song, with lyrics, is blasting over the PA system.

I await the howls of anguish from the Auburn fan base culture warriors.


Filed under College Football