Tuesday, January 07, 2014

R.I.P. BCS, Anyone Who Misses You Is Either a Fool, or Someone You Made Rich

The last BCS Championship game was a classic. But let's not give credit for the quality of the game to the system. Give credit to the players on Florida State and Auburn who busted their asses to play a great game. Great games happen with and without the BCS. Auburn/Alabama was a great game and the BCS had no control over that. It was an SEC game.

The BCS system defiled college football for 16 years. It wasn't just imperfect, it was intentionally flawed. It defied logic, common sense, and fair play. And those are three things that you're supposed to be taught when you attend college.

The BCS believed that out of the 100+ programs in Division I-A football, a formula could be created that would determine the top 2. And those 2 teams would play each other for the national title. The BCS actually believed it could devise a system to make this a reality.

That formula worked exactly one time, when Vince Young and Texas beat USC in early 2005. Every other year there were flaws, and arguments against legitimacy. Undefeated teams sometimes didn't make it to the national title game. Oklahoma once made it despite not winning their own conference. Even this year, Auburn's claim seemed just as good as other 1-loss teams.

Every other college sport uses a playoff system. And every other level of college football uses a playoff system. What prevented the top level of college football from using that system was the fact that money went to good old boys (and their friends) who ran bowl games, and also guaranteed money went to conferences that couldn't always guarantee the best teams (BigTen and Pac-12).

The BCS proliferated for so long because it worked for a select few who undeservedly wielded power over all of college football. And they also collected massive sums of money simply because their predecessors had rented a stadium decades ago.

The BCS wasn't just an imperfect system. Its flaws were an intentional byproduct of its design. It was designed to funnel money and TV contracts to a handful of bowl games, and the conference friends of those games. And the prestige of those games was based on who was friends with who. One hand washes the other.

And now that system is no more. It's been replaced by another system that rewards groups of absurdly wealthy men who get together and rent a stadium in early January. And those men receive millions and billions of dollars for their not-so-risky investment in a sure thing. The system is still just as corrupt and money-driven for those involved, but at least it's more exciting for the fans. At least it's a better system for determining the best team in college football.

If people are going to make money in sketchy ways, they might as well put an entertaining product on the field for all of us to enjoy. The Playoff will be more entertaining than just a one-game BCS Championship.

I'd say good riddance to a bad system, but that bad system lives on and influences the new system.

No comments:

Post a Comment