Panic mode

Our kindly BCS overlords appear to be freaking out over declining ratings and attendance.

Bill Hancock advises everyone to chillax.

“Every idea is on the table for the future of the BCS, including moving away from midweek games after Jan. 1,” Hancock said. “But it’s too early to speculate about what changes, if any, might be made.

“Certainly there is no leader in the clubhouse. The [conference] commissioners will not make the decision in a vacuum.”

That’s because ESPN abhors a vacuum, dude.  There’s a problem, and it’s one that they’re powerless to change, because they’re too firmly latched on to the teat of postseason broadcast money.

“The ratings clock starts clicking down the more you get away from the Rose Bowl,” a bowl source said. “You lose the buzz of a bowl game the further you get away from New Year’s Day unless you have some spectacular matchup.”

They’ll come up with something and slap a playoff label on it, in the hope that we’ll get all excited.  And it’ll probably work, at least for a while.  But the reality of an extended TV schedule won’t change just because of that.  More and more, there’s only one constituency that college football has to keep happy.  Hancock’s bosses are too blind, too stubborn or too stupid to see otherwise.

21 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs, ESPN Is The Devil, It's Just Bidness

21 responses to “Panic mode

  1. Macallanlover

    The ratings weren’t down because of a mid-week time slot, it was a rematch folks. There wasn’t near the anticipation, nationally, for that game. Regions that were excluded didn’t like it, and some were trying to organize a boycott of that conference’s fans. I don’t think that was successful, but there was a backlash of the rematch.

    There have been some good Rose Bowls over the years but the primary reason for the ratings success is the uncontested time slot it has been given. I have never understood why the three/four games earlier on New Year’s Day all play on top of each other and give an exclusive to the Rose. Now with ESPN/ABC owning most of the other bowls, they are probably on their knees waiting for instructions from Delany, but that hasn’t always been the case. As a fan I would love to see the Gator, Outback, and Cap One split their games across the entire day. If I were an advertiser, I would demand it.

    • The ratings weren’t down because of a mid-week time slot, it was a rematch folks. There wasn’t near the anticipation, nationally, for that game. Regions that were excluded didn’t like it, and some were trying to organize a boycott of that conference’s fans. I don’t think that was successful, but there was a backlash of the rematch.

      Other than that ratings and attendance have been in decline for more than one season and declined in games other than the title match, I think your reasoning is spot on, Mac.

    • The ratings weren’t down because of a mid-week time slot, it was a rematch folks.

      So I should expect Super Bowl ratings to be markedly lower this year compared to last year l in markets outside of the tri-state area and New England? I mean, the Giants proved they were clearly a superior team to these Patriots by defeating them in the regular season – with their 9-7 record and all. Why is it so easy for people to accept a rematch with a 16 team playoff as opposed to a two team playoff?

      As the Senator states, this isn’t a BCS exclusive issue. Nearly every bowl game experienced both an attendance and ratings decline this year. Those had nothing to do with a rematch.

      • Griff

        Really don’t see how you can compare the NFL and NCAA “championships”. There are only 32 NFL teams and most every football fan has at least a casual interest in 1 team. Plus with the anticipation of Super Bowl ads is another beast all together.
        To answer your question, no I don’t think there will be lower ratings but the only people that will actually care about the game are Giants/Pats fans, gamblers, and haters of the Giants/Pats. I am none of the above, but will certainly be watching.

        • The point is that a rematch isn’t what is driving down ratings and attendance in college football bowl games. Unfortunately, that’s what is being focused on as the necessary “fix” to what ails college football.

          • Macallanlover

            No, the point is fans in many geographies are irritated about the exclusiveness of the NCAA D1 mess. They don’t buy into the idea their champion shouldn’t get a chance to compete with those from other areas to decide it on the field. It has always been the weakness of the current system, but this year it really rubbed it in the those fans’ faces by scheduling a rematch of one conference rather than give at least one other team a chance to play it off. That was insulting to the highest degree and I heard many of those fans say they would not watch. I don’t blame them, post season CFB is a joke, but I am such a sucker for it I watch every game they will put on.

            I don’t recognize anyone as the NC, but I will watch even the lousy pairings of minor bowls. But I certainly get their argument and hope it helps bring about change. I love the BCS getting blasted and called out for the farce it is. I also think the number of bowls is a contributing factor.

          • I really don’t see where you guys call the SB a rematch, as is it not been for about 4 seasons ago, or maybe they play each other every season but don;t think those are re-matches, the Pats & Giants played each other or; are U talking about when they played a time during the regular season? As far as the NCAA games and the re-match between ‘The Tide & LSU” i did not see an empty seat at ‘The Sugar Dome’, but probably couldn’t from on a 32 inch screen from my “Best Seat In The House”.. I think that attendance & tickets sold depend on a number of things; namely, whos playing, where its at, prices of tickets, can U afford it, really in these times of distress, unemployment, price of gas & there are probably a few more but think you “GET THE PICTURE”; lol!! I guess that we have to have something to keep ‘The Tweets & Blogs’ going on here but will close mine now.

        • Nate Dawg

          Don’t forget folks looking for an excuse to party!
          /holds up both thumbs and points them back towards himself
          Which, by the way, is a little easier to do on a Sunday than thru the middle of the week. But why don’t they play the Super Bowl on a Saturday anyway??

  2. Hogbody Spradlin

    I’m repeating myself, but I bet their solution to over-saturation will be more saturation.

  3. DawgByte

    The whole bowl schedule is a cluster. Not a single college bowl game on New Year’s Day… are you friggin serious. I know it’s NFL day, but I don’t care… I want bowls on New Year’s Day. These wanks have killed tradition!

  4. paul

    Too many bowls. Too many 6-6 teams playing. Too few compelling match-ups. Bowl ‘week’ started on December 17 and ended on January 9. Twenty three days. And they wonder what the problem is.

    • PatinDC

      +1. Too many games. Borefest. How many bowl games had teams with fired coaches?If a team fires it’s coach, the bowl game should be cncld.

  5. All-bin-ee Jones Dawg

    8 team playoff. 5 automatic qualifiers from the Pac-12, Big 12, Big Ten, SEC, and ACC. 3 at-large that anyone is eligible for.

    The first round is 2 weeks after conference championship Saturday (played at the home stadium of the 4 higher seeds). The semis are New Year’s Day (played at 2 neutral sites – possibly as bowl games). The championship game is a week and a half after New Year’s (played at a neutral site).

    Just my take on how to get as close to perfect as we can right now.

    • Watchman

      There is reason in your approach, but this year there would have been THREE teams from the SEC in your eight team field. I think the screaming and whining would have been even louder (if possible). The rest of the country is looking for a format to cut down on SEC dominance, not extend it.

      • All-bin-ee Jones Dawg

        Well, I’m not so sure there would have been 3. I guess it depends on how the 3 at-large teams are selected. And maybe there would even be a rule put in place saying that a conference can have a max of 2 teams.

        But I do agree with you that the rest of the country is looking to cut down on SEC dominance.

  6. Noonan

    The worst thing to me about the bowl system is the the down time between the end of the regular season and the bowls. I think a lot of people just lose interest in college football due to the month with no significant games. Meanwhile the NFL is entering the most exciting part of the season. BTW, check out the ratings for the AFC and NFC championship games.

    • Macallanlover

      Good point. That lull is also partially responsible for the inconsistent performance by many teams in bowls.

  7. DawgPhan

    Moving bowls away from NYD is probably the biggest factor. move all the games to that day. If you must have the MNC game later do it the next day or something like that. If you are not a NYD game you get bumped to NYE, or the week between christmas and new years…maybe a handful of pre-xmas games.

  8. SouthGa Dawg

    I love the December bowl games on the week nights – call me crazy. But, I despise the BCS games being during the week after New Years. I can’t really explain it. Kinda like the whole BCS mess – can’t really explain it. I love college football and I love bowl games…yes all 35 of them but the whole BCS thing baffles me. I almost want the old bowl system back in place…or maybe the plus one. But what if the plus one means you have another week day game in Jan? If so, count me as not for it. It will be interesting to see what the suits come up with.

  9. 79dawg

    Think about all the knee-jerk reactions we’ve had this year in college football:

    1. Some idiots proposed moving some of the SEC West teams to the East to “even out” the competitive balance; of course, these people forget that from ’95 to ’07, the East dominated the West.

    2. More recently, an idiot from South Carolina proposed having non-division games count less than division games because it “cost” his team a division championship.

    3. Now, people are proposing a playoff (whcih I am personally in favor of) simply because the ratings for the BCS games were crappy. (In my humble opinion, the real solution would be to create better matchups, start the games earlier than 9 Easterns and not spread the games out so much).

    4. In SEC basketball, the conference actually DID AWAY with divisions simply because we didn’t get a bye in the conference tournament even though we had the fourth-best record in the league. The divisions were done away with, even though the games are still scheduled like they were before, and even though, with expansion, it seems highly likely that the conference to go back to divisions next year!

    People really need to relax and realize that, things generally even out over time and not get so bent out of shape about short-term events/horizons.