With the BCS title game in the books, we should be drawing close to a period of relative quiet on the BCS Sucks! debate front (it’ll pop back up when March Madness rolls around, if history is consistent). But before we go elsewhere, I just wanted to respond to something in today’s Sally Jenkins piece, in which she quotes extensively from the Mountain West Conference’s lobbyist.
The BCS also loves to argue that it’s simply the result of a free-market system. Actually, it flies in the face of market forces.
Did you know: In the last four years the major bowl games involving the Mountain West and WAC teams on average had higher ratings and larger game attendance than the major bowls involving the ACC and Big East.
So did the MWC and WAC receive more money for that performance? Not under the BCS. Instead they received about half of what the ACC and Big East got.
If we are supposed to believe that the mid-majors are the equal of the Big Six in drawing power – more importantly, if the mid-majors themselves believe that – then why don’t they simply withdraw from the BCS and start their own postseason show? This isn’t some sort of Microsoft vs. Netscape situation they face; nobody is stopping them from finding hosting venues and a broadcast affiliate of their own. If the money is really there as Fishel implies, then they’re foolishly beggaring themselves by electing to stay a part of the BCS, which is, remember, a voluntary association.
I think we all know the answer to that. I suspect the Justice Department does, too.