Tap dancing on the grave of the BCS

Dan Wetzel’s BCS obituary is one of the most disingenuous things I’ve ever read.  And I’m not saying that out of my longstanding fear of where we’re likely headed with college football’s postseason expansion.

I say it because it’s bullshit to insist that the BCS was created to line the pockets of John Junker, and then go on to admit that the new arrangement “… will make some bowls big money. Bigger than ever…”.

I say it because it’s bullshit to pretend that every argument raised in favor of the BCS was “ludicrous and demonstrably untrue”.

I say it because this is the biggest pile of crap of all:

No discussion of the BCS should focus on who got to play in the title game, even when the game ends up like the last one, a 34-31 classic that crowned Florida State national champions over Auburn on Monday night.

No BCS discussion should focus on who played for the title?  Sure makes it easier to win your side of the debate, Dan.


Filed under BCS/Playoffs, It's All Just Made Up And Flagellant

29 responses to “Tap dancing on the grave of the BCS

  1. Smitty

    And heaven forbid if someone makes money in this country anymore.


    • What fresh hell is this?

      Surely making more money will bring more fairness and clarity to the college game and its system for determining a champion. I can hardly wait for the 64 team MNC tourney.


    • James

      Heaven forbid things are allowed to exist in America without being primarily profit motivated.


  2. DawgPhan

    holy shit….he sure does think highly of himself.


  3. reipar

    So the reason you cannot consider the title game is the two teams that got to play in it were totally subjective. In other words without a playoff you cannot tell if the BCS got it right therefore we cannot consider the results. Just wow.


  4. reipar

    The BCS was evil as it “existed to allow a small number of people – notably bowl directors – to make an incredible amount of money by serving as the outsourced middlemen of the sport’s lucrative postseason. That’s why it lasted. Because no matter how nonsensical it was, someone was profiting handsomely off the nonsense.”

    So the schools and conferences were not making money by the switch to the BCS? If money is evil does that mean the switch from the BCS to a playoff is not about the money? As the BCS was evil because of the corruption I assume the playoff will take care of that, right?

    “The current compromise will make some bowls big money. Bigger than ever. That’s to be expected. Cronyism and corruption always will exist in college sports. It’s the bedrock value on which the entire enterprise is constructed.”

    Opps guess not, but that is ok as there will some how be less cronyism and corruption in a playoff system.

    If you do not like the BCS and want a playoff there are a lot of valid arguments to make. The fact you feel the bowl directors made too much money and lavished it upon people in positions of influence hardly feels like a salient one though.

    Last thought (in this way too long rant): I love the throw away line, “The four-team playoff is just a transitional period – a half-decade-or-so pit stop. An eight-teamer with five automatic bids is inevitable. Everyone in college athletics knows it.”


    • Joe Schmoe

      Cronyism and corruption are the bedrock of our entire government and economy. Why should it be any different in sports?


    • Hackerdog

      Exactly. The BCS was terrible BECAUSE the bowls made money. Playoffs will be awesome IN SPITE of the bowls making money. QED.


  5. Go Dawgs!

    Reading this blog has changed the way I thought about the BCS and a playoff system. I hated the BCS system (while always acknowledging that it was better than anything that came before) and wanted to see it wiped out for something better. The problem was that I never r


    • Go Dawgs!

      really gave a lot of thought to what came next; how the playoff will affect the season, how it will be run, and whether it’s even needed most years. I won’t necessarily miss the BCS, but I am very much against playoff expansion now.


      • Russ

        I completely agree. I was a playoff supporter from way back but the Senator has pointed out the folly in my wish.

        I rue the day we sit Gurley or his equivalent against Tech so he can rest his ankle for the playoffs. I equally rue the day he hurts his ankle against Tech and screws up our playoffs.


        • sniffer

          This comes up from time to time, about NFL style roster decisions to sit players for the playoffs. I get it, it works for some teams comfortably in the post season. Where I get lost in the college scenario is, how would a Number 3,4 or 5 Georgia be in a position to lose to Tech and still make the playoff? It seems to me, even an 8 team playoff system doesn’t remove the pain of a late season loss. What am I missing?


          • SCDawg

            Because they will expand it in several increments. This is not staying at four teams very long. I think we’ll go to 16 at a minimum. How long that takes I don’t know.


          • Hackerdog

            Under the current, subjective, selection committee, losing a game late would be very risky. If an undefeated, #1 UGA were to rest starters against Tech and lose, and then get them back and dominate the SECCG, the committee may forgive the loss because we were resting starters. Or, they may not. We can’t know what they would do because I doubt that they know what they would do.

            However, for Wetzel’s presumed, soon to arrive, 8-team playoff with 5 automatic bids going to major conference champs, a loss to Tech has absolutely no bearing on UGA’s chance to be SEC champs, and gain an automatic bid to the tournament. And losing a player against Tech, or having a dinged up player aggravate an existing injury, would harm our chances at both a conference championship, and a MNC.


            • Hackerdog

              As for whether Wetzel’s preference is good, it all really depends on what you find exciting. Personally, I don’t find Cinderellas to be compelling sports stories. Sure, I enjoyed 2008, when UGA was the worst team in the SEC, but got hot at the right time and won the SEC tournament, thus winning an automatic entry to the NCAA tournament. Of course, they were eliminated in the first round because they didn’t belong there. But hey … brackets!


  6. Tronan

    “No discussion of the BCS should focus on who got to play in the title game …”

    Say what? Wasn’t the BCS ultimately about lining up a better title game than the much more random bowl assignments of the past? And, while I’d rather not see cronyism and corruption, since when was it wrong to charge for entertaining people?


  7. Will Trane

    Hopefully the NCAA D1s left the BCS in the inbox and will wait to delete it. BCS created a lot of money and that money had a wide velocity [yep, money at a circulation velocity that why communities like a manufacturing base]. Now that base got cut back. Let’s see how much interest and excitement the new format creates, that is the “money”.


  8. Will Trane

    While we are in the painful withdrawals of another frustrating and disappointing season, could the Senator take a look at the current roster and potential incoming recruits and see how things may play out between those famous hedges. With so many injuried players going thru rehab, what is their potential in 2014.


  9. Will Trane

    A word of thanks to the Senator for another informative and enjoyable site in 2013. You did a great job, and I certainly appreciate you work and the cultivation of input and discussion from the Dawg faithful [and 2013 that was severally tested]. Thanks!


    • Cerbera

      Hear, hear. I don’t comment much, but GTP is one of a few must-reads during the CFB season and has been for several years now.


  10. Irwin R Fletcher

    I don’t get it…if we are worried about a small group of people making money off the sport, shouldn’t we ditch the AP Poll, too? The whole purpose of that was to get folks to buy newspapers, right? There is no purity there….the whole idea of the AP poll is to prop up those who make a living on being ‘experts.’

    I won’t hold my breath for “Death to the AP Poll.”

    I’m a firm believer in a playoff, but I’m in the seemingly small camp that you need automatic qualifiers rather than a selection committee. It’s not the elimination style tournament that gives a playoff any legitimacy; it is the idea that at some level, you control your own destiny at winning a championship.

    [side note: the problem is that this argument will open the door to a larger playoff…’we have to have slots for conf champions so we need a bigger playoff]


    • Wetzel sees your problem as a feature, not a bug.


      • Irwin R Fletcher

        I seem to remember engaging on a long and drawn out comment thread on that post…I’ve blocked it out of my mind. 🙂

        I call it a problem…to clarify, the bigger playoff isn’t ‘per se’ a problem in my mind. (I know we disagree there…) The problem is that by starting with the wrong criteria (selection committee) we’ve set up for expansion and the inclusion of ‘at large’ teams, without knowing if a bigger playoff is even “needed.” It’s like appetizers at a restaurant…you wouldn’t buy them after your main course because you wouldn’t be hungry anymore…but once you’ve bought them, you typically don’t turn away from dinner because of the bruschetta. You can’t accurately figure out if you ‘need’ the appetizers because of the order they were served…and that’s how the restaurant wants it.

        That’s my issue…they aren’t being honest about the process and the goal. No one is. If the goal is to get as close to being objective about criteria for determining a champion, then you certainly don’t start with a selection committee that has zero limitations on who they can choose. I’m for a playoff, but I’m very cynical about what we have been given and how it is going to progress.


        • Hackerdog

          I think the goal is obvious. They want more money. The process is about how to get it. The selection committee will be tasked with choosing the four teams that will generate the most revenue for the playoffs, in total terms of ratings, ticket sales, and advertising. Generally, that means four teams that are among the four best teams in the country. But don’t be shocked the first time you see a #10 Notre Dame get in the playoff, Or, a team to balance out the geographic interest of the viewing public. After all, three or four teams from the southeast (SEC, ACC) is bad for the sport, right? We need a team like USC or Ohio State to balance things out. For the kids, er game. Whatever.


  11. Joe Schmoe

    Solution: Top 64 teams break off from the rest and form 4, 16-team conferences. We are pretty close to this already and could carve the ACC football schools off into the SEC, B1G, B12, and Pac 12. The conference championship games would be the first round of the playoffs with conferences champions moving on to a 4-team tournament.

    With UGA being one of the non-media darling teams, it would seem that we would have a much higher likelihood of winning a NC if it wasn’t left to the media to decide whether we actually get to play for it or not.


  12. Cojones

    He overstates his points about the social graft inherent in the administration of the Fiesta and a few odd instances in other bowl admins, but for a 15-yr record it is remarkably clean and not sufficient to carry his point against the BCS. However, he makes some damning points against pro-BCS thinking that I fully agree with.

    The BCS is twisted in a manner that makes you finally digest the word “playoff” as inherent in the sytem. Nothing is farther from the truth. “Playoff” implies and is defined as “a series of contests …”. Most of us who have wanted a true playoff differ from the “Choose two” or “Choose Four” models thus far perpetrated on us under the disguise of the word “Playoff.”.

    When we decide that the top 8 teams could be perceived as “tied” in their ability to represent as the best team in College Football in a playoff, only then can you fit the word to your reasoning. Dan did a good job of demonstrating and condemning the straw man arguments that have been and will continue to be used in support of not having a true playoff in College Football.


  13. Always Someone Else's Fault

    Wetzel has to pen stuff like this (and expect more) because he was the anti-BCS poster child. If new system ends up simply outraging people at a faster rate (and the only real question at this point is whether the math is x2 or 2 squared), then some nostalgia will set in – and this post-season will be their final memory. Tense final game, no one left out, small schools like Central Florida having a seat at the table.

    In other words, when Wetzel wrote his book, opposing the BCS was like opposing the NCAA: a position with no downside. Now – maybe some downside. You could also just say it was a self-serving victory lap, but his tone struck me as a tad defensive.


  14. I hated the BCS but it is ludicrous to frame the argument in a way that excludes the examples/situations where the BCS worked out well.