I’ve got a working theory that if the BCS does in fact go down one day, we’ll be able to trace its demise to the hiring of Ari Fleischer. I mean, here’s a guy who’s probably the most disliked White House press secretary since Ron Ziegler and who’s associated with the political party currently out of power during a period when the BCS powers-that-be have grown concerned about political pressure for a D-1 football playoff. All in all, it’s a remarkably tone deaf decision, one that could wind up ranking with rolling out the Edsel.
And it’s good to see that Fleischer is already living down to my expectations.
Take this Wall Street Journal piece that popped up last week. It got some Internet chatter over Rep. Barton’s meaningless playoff bill possibly coming up for Congressional consideration, but nobody seems to have latched onto this quote of Fleischer’s that appeared near the article’s end:
“The more he dug into it – the more he realized the BCS is a moneymaking cartel,” said a spokesman for Mr. Barton, Sean Brown.
The reality of the BCS is “just the opposite,” a BCS spokesman, Ari Fleischer, responded. “There is more money to be made if we had a playoff, but the price would be a diminished regular season and the end of the bowls as we know them.” [Emphasis added.]
Taken as a whole, that is a lot of bovine fecal matter crammed into one sentence. Look, I’m as anti-extended playoffs as anyone I know, but even I’m willing to concede that there are playoff formats that could be judiciously designed that wouldn’t negatively affect the regular season or the bowls.
But the kicker is his “more money” comment. Either Ari is talking completely out of his derriere when he says that – no great surprise there – or he’s just conceded that his masters are full of it when they engage in their hand-wringing exercise over not killing the golden goose of college football’s revenue stream. Given that it’s Fleischer, I’d bet on the former, but in any event he’s given playoff proponents a wonderful club with which to bludgeon the BCS brass. If nothing else, he should make for an entertaining witness at the next Congressional hearing. Even Joe Barton’s not dumb enough to miss on that one.