Afternoon, campers. Can you guess what today’s BCS buzzword is?
“Any improvements we can make in terms of transparency will be welcomed by everybody,” ACC commissioner John Swofford said following Wednesday’s meeting here.
“Transparency is something we would like to see happen down the road,” SEC commissioner Mike Slive said.
Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick added that the need for greater transparency has been “uniformly embraced.” Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott said the topic frequently surfaced in the most recent BCS meeting.
“Whatever we do,” Scott said, “that’s what we’ll aim for.”
Oh, yeah. Such solemn pronouncements, from a group that:
- has allowed five of the six gurus running computer formulas which the BCS rankings have been partly based on to keep those formulas private – even from the BCS folks themselves;
- has allowed the Coaches Poll which the BCS rankings have been partly based on to maintain all of its results in private until the regular season is over; and
- is now considering the use of a selection committee to decide playoff eligibility, even though the one used for basketball is conducted privately and Jim Delany admits there’s no way for one to be conducted without it being at least partly away from the public eye.
Other than that, these guys are totally down with that transparency thing.
Most of this crap never was that hard to fix in the first place. If the computer guys won’t disclose their formulas, hire ones who will. It’s not like there’s a shortage of smart stat geeks out there. If the coaches won’t vote publicly, dump ’em from the BCS calculations. They (or the SIDs who actually vote) won’t be missed. The reason it hasn’t been fixed is because the grand poobahs aren’t nearly as committed to transparency as they’d like you to believe.
Now we’re supposed to think they’ve found religion? Please. If they vote to use a selection committee, keep Delany’s word salad in mind.
“You can’t have an absolute in this area,” Delany said. “You’re going to have to have your deliberations, and they’re going to be had in a place and in a way that allows people to be candid and not held captive to every word that’s said. There are levels of transparency, but when you look at what we have now, we can compare it to what could be.”
In other words, instead of inefficiently lobbying in public for one of my schools to be included in a playoff field, now I’ll be able to arm twist a small group in private. Levels, for the win!