One of the things that bothers me about the BCS/playoffs debate is how overwrought some playoff proponents get about the status quo. Take for instance, this blurb about Dan Wetzel’s new book:
Every college sport picks its champion by a postseason tournament, except for one: Division I-A football. Instead of a tournament, fans are subjected to the Bowl Championship Series, an arcane mix of polling and mathematical rankings that results in just two teams playing for the championship. It is, without a doubt, the most hated institution in all of sports. [Emphasis added.] A recent Sports Illustrated poll found that more than 90 percent of sports fans oppose the BCS, yet this system has remained in place for more than a decade. Built upon top-notch investigative reporting, Death to the BCS at last reveals the truth about this monstrous entity and offers a simple solution for fixing it.
What I can’t figure out for the life of me is how D-1 college football can structure its crown jewel in such a despicable way and still survive. Yet the sport not only hasn’t gone on life support, it’s thrived, as demonstrated by all the new TV money flowing its way. So either college football enjoys having the most masochistic fan base on the planet, or the fans’ preference for a playoff – which clearly exists – is being twisted into something harsher by Wetzel. (His “It’s So Easy” solution, by the way, is a 16-team playoff, which, he assures us, “can solve the problem while enhancing profitability”. And, a pony.) Or, he’s projecting.
Wetzel, of course, was pleased by the news that PlayoffPAC is pushing the IRS to investigate three of the BCS bowls’ non-profit status due to large salaries and other forms of compensation being paid to their officials, which led to this hilarious Twitter exchange between him and LA Times sportswriter Chris Dufresne:
Forget bowl CEOS: Pay for top 14 NCAA execs totaled nearly $6 million last year. Yeah, let’s turn FB over those guys!
Fiesta Bowl CEO earned less than half what NCAA prez hauls in annually. NCAA getting 11 billion for hoops and players dont have food money
I’m last person to defend the NCAA. Arguing which suit is more overpaid isn’t a legitimate debate
But that’s who would run a football playoff RT
And, the punchline, from Wetzel:
Who says NCAA would run it? They don’t have to. Altho I’ll say this, NCAA is great at running tournaments
Kinda gets that whole Mussolini-made-the-trains-run-on-time vibe going there, doesn’t it? And that brings me back to another thing that makes me roll my eyes about another line from this debate – the idea that some sort of gross corruption exists which a playoff will clean up. Please. The money’s still going to be there, no matter what, thanks to us. All the argument is about is who gets their hands on it. New boss, same as the old boss.
Still, I’m sure he’ll sell a few books.