I have not come to bury the BCS, but to praise it.

While we’re all summoning up a few choice words to say as the last rites are being performed over the prostrate body of the BCS (death by greed), at the risk of sounding too much like Bill Hancock, I think it’s worth remembering that despite its flawed moments, of which it’s certainly had its share, the BCS did good in three significant ways.

  1. It got us a 1 vs. 2 matchup on a consistent basis.“… it accomplished its goal of pairing college football’s consensus No. 1 and No. 2 teams in a title game 11 times in 14 seasons. That kind of efficiency would have been a pipe dream in the old system of bowls and polls, wherein only nine times in 35 seasons between 1963 and 1997 did the Associated Press’ top two teams meet in a bowl game.”  That was its reason for coming into being and given the competing interests involved (as we’re seeing now), that was no small task.
  2. It added to college football’s success story over the past two decades.  Ratings are up.  Attendance is up.  TV contracts have grown immensely in value.  I think you’d have to say that the BCS was more than an innocent bystander as that occurred.
  3. It helped spread the wealth to the mid-majors.  Say what you will, but the money the mid-majors have gotten out of the BCS in the last decade, pittance though it may be in the eyes of many, is still a helluva lot more than they used to get.  (The irony that we may be watching the start of a process that may end in the separation of D-1′s have and have-nots such that many of the smaller schools would wind up back the same boat they used to float in pre-BCS should not be lost on anyone.)

For the moment, I still stand by my Churchillian pronouncement, even while I recognize it may be on its last legs.  What say you?

16 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs

16 responses to “I have not come to bury the BCS, but to praise it.

  1. Cojones

    The BCS is about to transition from selecting 2 teams for NC matchup to 4 teams. How does that put them on their last legs? It will be the same ole-same ole as far as I’m concerned except for Delaney trying to posture the Big 10 to get some kind of upper hand in the proceedings. BCS posturing to remain viable doesn’t bode well when mixed with Delaney and Scott’s bid to collectively become more important than the SEC and ACC in this endeavor. It doesn’t take much to tilt the delicate scales of perceived fairness in that milieu and we all have to watch like hawks.

    The individual bowl representatives have royally screwed the pooch and their task is to get bowls back into the graces of Universities, their alumni and fans plus their communities. The ability to do that with some sense of fan attraction to get the stale taste out of our mouth is where the question/pressure lies.

    The BCS is in no danger from losing their place at the table until we go to 8 teams selected for playoff. The teams will have won their selection by play on the field if the bowl games are critically used in this process. The BCS will still be in on the play, but not so much with hands on the controls.

    You asked.

    • The BCS isn’t just about matching 1 vs. 2. It’s also about lining up who gets a crack at the big bucks bowl games. That’s being radically restructured.

      Whatever we’re getting next, it’s likely to be quite different from what we’ve had. At least if we’re talking about the money, which is what this deal is really about anyway.

      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        Maybe we ought to see what the final outcome is before writing the BCS’s epitaph.

        • The AQs are gone. The title game isn’t going to be played at a traditional bowl site unless that site is the victor in a bidding contest against Jerry Jones, amongst others. And the teams which appear in that game are going to travel a different route to get there.

          Anyway you look at it, the BCS we’ve known is gone forever.

  2. Macallanlover

    Your point #1 of “it got us a 1 vs 2″ on a consistent basis is actually false, in my opinion. It does pair the highest rated 2 teams according to a very suspect system, so it at least achieved breaking down the previous bowl alliance roadblocks to give us match-ups that were not possible prior to the BCS agreement. That is the only positive they have achieved at all, that one change, and that only impacted one single game. Yes, a handful of mid-majors got some additional cash and a larger stage with added TV exposure but that was not only a forced issue they agreed to gain favorable publicity/support. It was regarded as a joke by most, a negative to all but that one school.

    That once accomplishment is more than offset by the squirrely match-ups (like UGA-Hawaii, etc.) it allowed by not locking all BCS bowls into pairing the top teams, according to their rating system, and, worst of all creating an illusion that CFB has an actual NC. (I know that is more the media and fans than it is the actual BCS officials but all the commentary around the BCS title game and its stated purpose lends itself to feeling their process has actually produced a true National Champion. That false claim has accelerated exponentially since the inception of the BCS. Last year’s rematch pairing is a shining example of how miserably they have failed. They got their stated goal of #1 vs #2, but it shut out all contenders except for one conference, and it undermined the value of the regular season. They even devalued the SECCG along the way as Bama sat at home scouting LSU and was given a free (unearned) pass.

    If they used some modification of the BCS to seed the field for an 8 team playoff and forced match-ups of teams that have earned their way in they would have hit a grand slam. Bama would have certainly made that field and had the opportunity to actually earn the title. I am not a BCS hater, just don’t like how they didn’t progress to the more logical step of a playoff, didn’t maximize the better match-ups in more bowl games, and how their process fed the fans belief that we have a crowned true national champions. We would probably have gotten to a real, earned, NC by now had the BCS never been established, imo I know that isn’t the majority opinion on this forum, but the overwhelming majority of fans prefer a playoff from the polls I have seen.

    • Cojones

      If they propitiously match and feed the bowl system to favor the schools, they could have their cake and eat it as well, That would give a slam dunk all the way around. Chance of that happening? Less than 10% in my mind, unless they begin to reread the tea leaves laid out by many fan blogs.

      Like Mac, my mind returns to UGA/Hawaii where the BCS was influenced by ESPN and other media not in the best interests of UGA. They tipped their hand as to how they could be manuevered and not in the best interests of schools nor fans. At least this time, I hope they put lipstick on this pig before parading it around to the sycophants. They were unresponsive before.

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      Mac, do you feel there is/has been manipulation of the BCS process either intentionally or unintentionally? If so, by whom and for what purpose?

      • Macallanlover

        If you mean the polls specifically, no. I don’t feel the BCS is corrupt nor do I feel there is any conspiracy with evil intent. The BCS is simply the big conferences doing what they feel is best for their.constituents and, unfortunately that doesn’t mean the fans. I have always advocated the fans pressure the schools/presidents/commissioners by applying the financial squeeze. Instead, fans continue to pay more money for weaker schedules and allow the bowls to jerk them around. You get what you will tolerate in life.

        • Mayor of Dawgtown

          I agree with what you said above but go a little further. I believe there has been manipulation of the polls/BCS rankings to achieve a desired result. Exhibit “A” is what happened to UGA in ’07. Maybe the BCS itself is not corrupt but there are those who manipulate the system (read ESPN). But then, I am a known conspiracy theorist.

  3. Will Trane

    There is a very interesting article at Bernie’ Blawg today. I normally read GTP and georgia dogs, but every now and then I move out from that list. The title caught my eye. It was what I thought it would be. Recruiting? Yes. But how some coaches at uGA have got to step up their game. Especially in the men’s big three.
    You can not get to the dance unless you recruit and coach. It does not matter what the format is. Hell, ask Bama, LSU, Kentucky, and South Carolina. They do not care about the format. They are going. Not at UGA we are happy just being above Vandy.
    I stopped going to the spring tour because of what I heard from coahces and the lack of some. Time is important to them ant to me. I never saw Mark Fox at one of those. Now I think Mark Richt understands the game, after I worked under a legen and at a university that understood the importance of the men’s big three. Not Adams, McGarity and the Board. They would be happy with lacrosse.
    We are contenet with suspensions, discipline, ridiculed by the press, continuing to contribute to programs that go nowehere except outside of the top rankings. There is something wwong in the culture of the big three in Athens. Bernie and Deen Legge are hitting a spot about Fox. They got in the weeds or briar patch.
    Look at the Diamond Dawgs preseason top 10 and ranked there for awhile. But once again Perno lets his team go nowhere. Dropped 4 in a row on the road. Florida, Tech, and LSU. Explain how Florida, Florida State, South Carolina, Clemson, and Tech have baseball teams [and basketball teams] and UGA does not. There is more to just you get what you pay for. You get what you are willing to accept.

    • Skeptic Dawg

      I have heard from more than one person that the university and atheletic department are simply not committed to winning. When you take a hard look at the big 3 in Athens, it would be hard to argue otherwise. The Dawgs are middle of the pack, at best, in our own conference On a national level, the big 3 are nonexistent. As for the reasoning behind this theory, I can only assume the powers that be are content with making money year after year. Why rock the boat when fans/boosters continue to pour in money and show their support.

      • Cal

        College football (football teams representing colleges) will be gone within 20 years because the costs related to the benefits will rise and rise and rise and fans will increasingly demand a more professional product, in fact, they already are with a playoff like the one described lately. Witness the drop off in ticket sales already, the increased complaints of rowdy fans on campuses, and states not supporting tuition hikes while football rakes in millions. Greed is killing “college football.” I’m already much more interested in what was Div. III football where college football is still played among amateurs, ESPN is not involved, you can go to games by buying a ticket on game day, and the players are really students. So long big time college ball, your fans wishes finally came true and it killed the golden goose we all once loved.

        • Mayor of Dawgtown

          ^This will never happen. If anything Division I-A is getting stronger, at least at the highest levels.