Saturday, May 2, 2009

Congress vs BCS

So Congress is in their next foray into the sports world by marching up people to complain and defend the BCS.

My point has been clear. Have a 12-team playoff that doesn't use the bowls. Case closed. You know there will be other tournaments that spring up (like the three extra tournaments in college basketball). Yeah, it needs to be hammered out a little more but it is something a lot of people would like to see.

Jim Swofford, former UNC alum and athletic director and current commish of the ACC, was the guy that had to sit in front of Congress to explain why we need the BCS.

You can give me any kind of excuse you want but we all know it is about the money. If this was the NFL, NBA or any pro sports league ... I can sympathise with your point a little bit easier than if you are the governing body of amateurs. You aren't getting your athletes more money. You are getting YOU more money.

I disagree with Swofford, but I respect his ability to try to not make this about money. His main defense was that a playoff would destroy the bowl system. Maybe so, maybe not. But with the economy the way it is, I'm sure that there will be a few bowls that won't make it to the next decade.

The NCAA has loved dancing with these high-paying sponsors that they've completely sold out. We don't have a Peach Bowl anymore. It's the Chick-fil-A Bowl. No more Citrus Bowl. It's the Capital One Bowl. 27 of the bowls have a sponsor in the name. Ten of the bowls are named after sponsors. And that money just feels so good to these schools.

That's all fine and dandy, but you had the AD for Boise State testifying against the BCS. His point is that schools in conferences like his don't have access to the big, big money. They do, but they have to have an uncommonly impressive season just to get a sniff ... and that sniff isn't a championship.

His gripe is that you can win the ACC or Big East with a non-championship calibar record and you can get to a BCS game. But a team out of the WAC, MAC, Mountain West, Conference USA or Sun Belt have to go undefeated and rely on their computer numbers to get them in. And even if they go undefeated, they aren't getting access to the BCS title game.

I don't think Congress can break up the BCS. But I can see Congress making the BCS more available to teams from the non-BCS conferences. I can see them adding another bowl or two and allowing the MWC and WAC champion into the BCS automatically. It's the only way the other commissioners can keep that BCS money while shutting up the little guys.

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