(BCS) Castles made of Sand

“Political dynamite” is the term that Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) uses.  And while I think that Barton, ranking Republican on the House Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection Subcommittee, should have more important things to worry about in this political and economic climate, I can’t argue with his assessment that “entrenched interests” are fighting back hard in the attempts of fair-minded individuals to do away with the ridiculous Bowl Championship Series that defines NCAA Division I College Football.

Yahoo! Sports is doing some of the finest investigative sports reporting anywhere these days, and today’s feature by Dan Wetzel and Josh Peter takes direct aim at some of the testimony offered by BCS proponents in their visit to Congress earlier this month.  If you are interested in viewing that 2-hour hearing from May 1st, titled “The Bowl Championship Series: Money and Other Issues of Fairness for Publicly Financed Universities”, click here.


Personally, I am not interested in government involvement.  Sadly, though, the bowl proponents and the BCS conference commissioners have pushed their arrogance too far.  The hearings were spurred in large part by the smaller conference schools, who yearn for an opportunity to compete for championships that no amount of victories will allow them to participate in under the current system. 

But, furthermore, sports fans everywhere have asked for a playoff to end the senseless justification for slotting the participants in the major year-end bowl games.  Frank Deford spoke for many of these fans in his SI.com column from 2006 citing the “sheer lunacy” of the bowl system. 

My personal feeling (and that of many, many others) is that the decision-makers of a sport as perfect as college football have their head in the sand when it comes to this issue.  It speaks volumes to the NCAA’s limited jurisdictive power when it cannot mandate any type of playoff system for Division I football when every sport at every level anywhere (including lower-level NCAA football) has been able to execute a playoff format.

The excuses are ludicrous and falling apart quickly.  Obviously, the BCS conferences and the NCAA should be able to work out a system without government intervention.  But when The President of the United States of America is weighing in on the merits of a playoff and powerful Congressmen are waging a full-scale attack against the so-called “entrenched interests” working against clarity, transparency, and logic in postseason college football, we’ve clearly reached a tipping point.

The BCS contracts with FOX and ESPN will run through January 2014, ensuring five more seasons of “lunacy” in Division I college football.  However,  the rancor and discourse will continue and I have faith that the pillars of this system will slowly be torn down for the betterment of the game. 

The evidence is damning and those in charge are going to need to come up with something better quick to keep intact their castles made of sand.  Bring on a playoff – and the sooner, the better!

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~ by acm213 on May 26, 2009.

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