Orrin Hatch doubles down.

Few organizations have been met with more public scorn and condemnation over the past several years than the Bowl Championship Series. In fact, I think it could be said that, on most days, even Congress has higher approval ratings.

No, not about that.  (Who’s he kidding, anyway?)

This.

… there are other problems with the BCS that are less widely acknowledged, but far more damaging; namely, the means by which the BCS distributes revenue, even among equal participants in its games. Under the current BCS regime, six privileged conferences are guaranteed full shares of the BCS revenues, leaving the remaining five conferences with much smaller shares, even if one of them is fortunate enough to send a team to a BCS bowl. In fact, just last season, two nonprivileged conferences each sent a team to the BCS, yet both received only a fraction of the amounts paid to their counterparts from the privileged conferences. Keep in mind, we’re talking about hundreds of millions of dollars every year.

On this count, Utahns have even more reason to cry foul on the BCS. It is important to remember that this money is divided among colleges and universities, all of whom use the funds to build facilities for student athletes, offer scholarships and fund academic programs. Yet, even though they have been competitive on the field and in the marketplace, schools from our state have been shortchanged, not due to any fault of their own, but to an inequitable system.

This arrangement is troublesome on a number of levels. First, there is a strong argument to make that the BCS violates our nation’s antitrust laws, which outlaw contracts designed to reduce market competition. In addition, the BCS system clearly harms consumers throughout the country by reducing the quality of competition and throwing up roadblocks in front of potential competitors.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the BCS constitutes an arrangement among educational institutions to decide in advance which schools will benefit and which schools will be left out in the cold, regardless of the quality of their performance. We charge these same institutions with the task of preparing our young people to be active and ethical upon entering the job market. The BCS is, by its very nature, antithetical to that mission.

There’s a lot of bullshit packed in there.  Competitive in the marketplace? Puh-leaze.

In comparison to all the money talk, Hatch devotes roughly one paragraph griping about competition on the field.  Perhaps that will give you a sense of his priorities.

22 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Political Wankery

22 responses to “Orrin Hatch doubles down.

  1. Prov

    Isn’t the BCS voluntary?

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  2. Mayor of Dawgtown

    You left out the following: “Recently, I have been a leader in an effort to shine a light on the inequities of the BCS, to push for reform, and to ensure fairness to all its participants. Over that time some have argued that this issue is simply too trivial to receive the attention of a U.S. Senator. I must disagree. I’ll set aside the absurd argument that focusing attention on the BCS takes attention away from issues like health care, the economy and wars overseas. Indeed, members of Congress, like anyone else, are capable of working on more than one issue at a time, and I have been at the forefront of the most important policy debates facing our nation. With that in mind, one can only wonder whether these same critics would question efforts to reform a commercial enterprise with similar inequities and legal concerns that did not involve college football, particularly if it negatively impacted the people of our state. Given the nature of the problems wrought by the BCS, I would argue that government attention is not only warranted but necessary. So long as I represent the people of Utah, I will not apologize for ensuring that Utah’s schools, students and people are treated fairly.”

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    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      What exactly is it about Senator Hatch’s language that you find to be “bullshit?” The part about ensuring fair division of the proceeds? The part about fairness on the playing field? The BCS is a cartel attempting to corner the market on college football bowl (and TV) revenue. If this were about the biggest oil companies getting together or the biggest insurers doing so, everybody would be screaming. College football is big business. Way to go Orrin! You got my vote.

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      • How much of a check do you want Damon to cut to San Diego State? They could use the money. 😉

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        • Mayor of Dawgtown

          As San Diego State is in the same conference as Utah they would get a check that is the same amount as Utah gets–only from whoever is putting on the bowl game–not UGA. (Damon can’t write checks. He doesn’t have check signing authority. that is reserved for Mike Adams.) To finish the thought, how much of a check would the President of the University of Utah have to write to Vanderbilt? The answer is: More than twice as much as Utah gets to keep.

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  3. keith

    Gotta agree. The Utahs of the world deserve as much of the pie as Georgia Tech, West Va., Pitt, Indiana, Illinois, Baylor, Rutgers, Purdue, Iowa St.,
    Washington St., and so on and so on. They had the audacity to invite 2 teams but yet not pay them as much as the rest. Thats the BS part.

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  4. dawgfan17

    What is the rating on a typical Saturday game for Utah? Just curious if maybe fan interest in a team has anything to do with how much that team gets. If I am in business and no one wants to buy my product guess what, I won’t get as much money as the guy down the street selling the same thing with a small twist that everyone loves. Should he have to give me part of the money he makes to be fair?

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    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      I think Keith’s point was that they actually played in the game, were the same show along with the other team, but got paid less.

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      • Hackerdog

        Again, the pertinent question is why. This year, we will play Idaho State. We will make much more money than Idaho State will make. That’s because of fan interest.

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        • Mayor of Dawgtown

          Idaho State is playing UGA in Athens. UGA is paying Idaho State a fee negotiated between the two schools. WE take the risk that the gate may be lousy (probably not gonna happen) and all the attendant business risks associated with putting on the event. UGA gets to keep the profits, if any (and I am certain there will be.) If UGA went to Idaho State to play them there (ain’t gonna happen) the profit roles would be reversed. THEY would take on all the risks and guarantee UGA a specified amount. Not the same as two teams playing in a BCS bowl, both part of putting on the same show, but one team gets paid twice as much as the other. The other problem, particularly with the BCSNC game, is the question of who puts fannies in seats and causes TVs to turn on being used to decide who gets to play in games, rather than straight quality of team? We all saw the job that got done to UGA in ’07 when it looked like UGA was going to get to play in the BCSNC game. Poll manipulation torpedoed that. Has that been going on with the Utahs and Boise States all along? My problem with the BCS has always been that everyone is equal, but some are more equal than others. It’s supposed to be about athletic competition but it always ends up being about money.

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          • The other problem, particularly with the BCSNC game, is the question of who puts fannies in seats and causes TVs to turn on being used to decide who gets to play in games, rather than straight quality of team?

            Whatever sins you want to lay at the feet of the BCS, this isn’t one of them. The title game is egalitarian in the sense that it’s solely determined by which teams are ranked first and second in the last BCS rankings. Fannies in the seats don’t come into play like they do in the other BCS games.

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          • Hackerdog

            You’re missing the point. It’s not that Idaho State travels to Athens. It’s the fact that Idaho State couldn’t sell 93,000 tickets for its entire home schedule.

            It’s money that makes the world go round. Bowl games want TV ratings and butts in the seats. There are a limited number of teams/conferences that can deliver the numbers that bowls want to see.

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  5. keith

    Those other teams don’t draw either.
    Alabama-Texas 17.17 94,906
    Boise State-TCU – 8.23 73,227
    Iowa-Georgia Tech- 6.80 66,131
    Ohio State-Oregon- 13.18 93,963
    Cincinnati-Florida- 8.50 65, 207
    So based on last years numbers, should BSU and TCU get less than Iowa and Ga Tech

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  6. keith

    And Utah- Bama outdrew the Orange Bowl with Va Tech and Cincy by 2.5% and I know those two teams get full shares.

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  7. Hogbody Spradlin

    You guys who are enamored with ‘fair’ division of revenue better look at the college football map. Everybody has a contrary anecdote, but the BCS still rewards the conferences that put tushes in the stands and the recliners.

    It’s not a restraint of trade, nor immoral, nor unfair, to pay teams differently based on their conference’s expected ratings draw. The Big East and ACC haven’t held up their end lately, but check Maryland’s or Massachusetts’ population vs. Utah.

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    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      I think Keith already answered that above. Remember, the BCS is about postseason. Boise-TCU drew better than Iowa-GA Yech and about the same as Cincy-FLA. The BCS was supposed to be about getting the 2 best teams in the country into the same bowl to determine, on the field, a true national champion. Now you are saying how big the team’s (or worse, its conference’s) fanbase is should determine (1) who gets to play; and (2) how much the team gets paid? Seems pretty far from the stated objective to me.

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      • Hogbody Spradlin

        Yes I am and no Kieth didn’t. I didn’t argue that the BCS always has the most deserving teams play for the MNC. I said I know someone always has an anecdote exception. I argued that the BCS is not a restraint of trade and it is economically rational.

        Playoff proponents have many good arguments. I don’t think antitrust law is one of them.

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        • Mayor of Dawgtown

          Then we need to blow up the BCS and put on a true playoff under the auspices of the NCAA that is about legitimate competition and not only about money. I always thought the ’98 Tulane team was really the best team in America and would have dusted UT’s a$$ but never got the chance because of these very things. Lots of other examples, too.

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          • I always thought the ‘98 Tulane team was really the best team in America and would have dusted UT’s a$$ but never got the chance because of these very things.

            C’mon, Mayor. Tulane only played one school from a BCS conference – Rutgers – that season. Tulane didn’t face a ranked team all season. Even with that schedule, only one opponent was held under 20 points. That doesn’t exactly scream MNC-caliber level of play.

            Tulane 1998 = Hawaii 2007.

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  8. Thomas Brown

    That the BCS is junk, is well documented far better than in this blog. Obviously, the BCS should conduct an 8-team playoff and let the games be the Major Bowls now, only back them up to the beginning of the dead month after the end of season. Those then 4 games Major Bowls, produce yet another New Bowl Game all bowls can bid on for the extra money to be split evenly among the 8 teams who earned their way in. How those conferences then dole out that money, is their own business – only Notre Dame cannot keep more than the team who gets the most in a Conference. And, then the game with the winners of those 2 games 2 weeks after the first round, would be yet a Second New Bowl Game with the monies once again divided the same way. No antitrust in that. Let’s talk about what is news today.

    ACC is so great in basketball, I thought ?

    UGA Women won again in the NCAA Tournament to run our record to 25-8 on the season, while Georgia tek has been finished in basketball for some time now both in women’s and men’s basketball.

    ACC Sweet 16 ? Duke is it in men’s basketball while The SEC has 2 teams the vols and Kentucky.

    ACC in Women’s Basketball NCAA Tournament ? 2 ACC has only Duke & FSU remaining while The SEC has 5 SEC teams remaining the vols and Kentucky again, and Mississippi State Vanderbilt & UGA.

    750 wins for Andy Landers, averaging over 24 wins a season, so this is an average season for him.

    18 times Andy Landers has been in the Regional Semi-Finals. This year’s squad cannot shoot. But, they can play some defense.

    UGA advances to play Stanford, another school Georgia tek is NOT.

    While the nation ponders the thoughts of Georgia tek bragging they are better than all the teams remaining in The NCAA Tournament, the facts are that not only did UGA beat Georgia tek in football 30-24 but also beat Georgia tek in both men’s basketball 73-66 and women’s basketball 56-50.

    So, while Georgia tek remains at home their seasons over, UGA advances.

    UGA also beat Georgia tek in the classrooms this year with a higher APR than Georgia tek in football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball, the Major Sports.

    Assailed in the national press for your low academics, the worst in college basketball in the NCAA Tourney this season, Georgia tek also could not win in men’s basketball even with your 914 Academic Progress Rate, limited by the NCAA Probation to only 11 scholarships.

    Sweet 16 for Georgia 18 times now for Andy Landers.

    NCAA Tournament Action :

    SEC 13-3
    ACC 9-9

    SEC Men 4-2
    ACC Men 5-5

    SEC Women 9-1
    ACC Women 4-4

    ACC has neither a winning record in NCAA Tourney Men
    ACC has neither a winning record in NCAA Tourney Women

    SEC has winning record in BOTH NCAA Tourney Men & Women.

    SEC is kicking the butts of ACC in basketball, again.

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