BCS Showdown: CF Cafeteria vs CF Resource

I’ve had enough I tell you, enough. I can’t stand to read another idiotic argument in favor of the BCS or against a playoff. That is why I am dueling the College Football Resource. They recently posted about the woes of a playoff and this is our official rebuttal to their points. So I will repost their arguments, then address them one by one so that everyone can see how stupid it is to argue against a college football playoff.

I will put College Football Resource’s original post snippets in italics.

So far all Utah’s President is talking about is the Mountain West’s success “the last two years”.  And this justifies the inclusion of Sun Belt teams, howwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww?

A fair system would provide access to all teams, which the BCS does not. The last two years are excellent examples of the flaws of the system, as the Big East in 2008 was completely awful and the MWC finished with three ranked teams. It is just the most recent example of the BCS injustice. The MWC, Big East, Sun Belt and every other FBS conference should have equal access to the championship game.

“The BCS excludes competition” Wrong.  The BCS is an economic venture that relies on economically compelling matchups to generate the revenues it does.  Sponsors aren’t going to fork over anywhere near as much money if they risk getting saddled with games involving non-lucrative teams.

So which championship matchup is more compelling, a 12-1 Vanderbilt vs. a 12-1 Iowa State or a 12-0 BYU vs a 12-0 Boise State? Playing in a BCS conference does not make you a lucrative team. True, BCS conferences have a higher percentage of “lucrative” teams than the non-BCS schools, but there are plenty of non-BCS schools with a nation-wide following. So the BCS provides great competition…between 6 conferences.

Nebraska President Harvey Perlman made a great point about how despite Nebraska’s limitations, it has built a successful (financially and athletically) football and overall athletic program.  They’ve done it through hard work and he doesn not feel the BCS in any way hampers any other program from ascending similarly.

Good old Perlman, always full of such wisdom. Good programs are made by good coaches and good players. Good coaches must be bought, good players must be recruited. The BCS excludes 5 conferences from ever playing in the championship game. Will good coaches want to be at a school that cannot play in the championship? (See Urban Meyer). Can such a school recruit the best players? Wouldn’t they rather play where they can go for the title? The BCS has hampered every team in the 5 excluded conferences from becoming as good as the “popular” schools.

Second antitrust lawyer — the antitrust statutes are set up not to protect the programs, but the consumers.  College football consumers are not harmed by the BCS (duh). Revenue distribution is not the concern of antitrust, but output.

Football is the product, schools are brands. Now compare to any other market. Let’s say the government managed car sales. Imagine that Chevy, Ford, Mercury, Chrysler, BMW and Volkswagen were allowed to sell 11 of every 12 cars sold in the US. No car maker could sell more than 2 of those 11, and each of the 6 was guaranteed 1. Now suppose Toyota, Honda, Acura, Lexus and Kia had to fight over who got to sell the 12th car. Get the point? Hopefully that makes sense.

Irony of antitrust victory is that it would actually destroy any opportunity for a playoff since championships rely upon agreements between the conferences and the playoff would be much more restrictive than the current BCS setup.

You cannot be serious. A playoff would be more restrictive than the current BCS setup, huh? All 11 conference champions playing in a playoff plus 5 at large bids is more restrictive than 6 conference champions, 5 at large bids from the same 6 conferences, and 1 wild card? How does dissolving the BCS impact the potential for a playoff? It forces the NCAA to manage the postseason and either go back to the bowl days or create a playoff.

Senator Hatch just made some strange argument that the BCS championship game accepting the end of season No. 1 and No. 2 teams somehow disqualifies many teams before the season.  The only thing that disqualifies teams from achieving that is performance, a process of elimination that happens through the regular season.

A process of elimination? The following teams were never “eliminated” yet never played for the championship that year: Auburn, Utah, Boise State (2004), Boise State (2006), Hawaii (2007), Utah, Boise State (2008). Yup, never got disqualified, yet watched someone else play for the championship. Those teams were disqualified by a system, not an opponent.

Utah President criticizing polling, saying some voters admitting never having seen a Mountain West team play.  Uhhhh, ok, so kick those people out of the polls, let people like me be a voter.  Next!

Way to blow that one over. Isn’t it kind of important that the pollsters know the teams they are ranking? Judges in sports like gymnastics, figure skating and diving must watch all the participants and rank each of them. Yet college football has no such requirement. If teams aren’t ranked based on performance on the field, what are they ranked on?

Now saying he doesn’t know what more Utah could have done last year.  For starters, not escape Michigan, TCU and Oregon State by the skin of their teeth.

Good, you admit that Bob Stoops and Urban Meyer are bastards then. It is obvious to you and anyone else that running up the score is the way to move up in the rankings. Yeah, that is good for the sport. I’m glad Tebow stayed in the game against South Carolina after they were winning by more than 5 touchdowns. And we all know if Utah had won all of their games by 5 touchdowns, the same thing would have happened.

And in college football every school has the opportunity to participate in the regular season.  It is regular season and program performance (financially, record, on-field play) that guides their postseason opportunities.  The postseason is a reward, not a right.  If we are to say the BCS is exclusionary, so is the entire bowl construct, since not everyone is eligible to participate.

The BCS is strictly a postseason construct. Of course everyone plays a regular season, no one is saying that exclusion is happening there. However, as mentioned above, program performance does NOT guide postseason opportunities. See 2007 when a 12-0 Hawaii did not play in the championship yet a TWO LOSS team in LSU did. I’m not saying Hawaii is better than LSU, I’m saying their regular season performance was better, yet postseason opportunity was worse. If the postseason is not a right, why do 6 conference champions automatically qualify regardless of their record? The bowl construct is not exclusionary, as all 120 teams have equal chances of winning 6 games. The BCS is exclusionary as it has already given the “right” to participate to 6 teams before the season ever starts.

Look, bottom line is we have 120 programs in college football’s upper division.  So long as we stick with such a high number, any notion of equitable participation is necessarily greatly prohibitive.

There is about 345 teams in Div IA NCAA men’s basketball. EVERY conference champion gets a place in the tournament. It doesn’t exlclude half of them. Every team has an equal chance of participation at the beginning of the season. Football can take a lesson from this. Oh yeah, they have, in every other division except the top. Clearly a terrible argument seeing as how every other division of college football manages a playoff just fine.

Senator Hatch is making another strange point about the BCS being a monopoly.  It is but one agreement, there is no prohibition against the Mountain West, Western Athletic Conference etc. creating their own agreement similar to the BCS.

Yes there is. Imagine if they did this and had their own championship game. The chaos! The NCAA needs to find a way to recognize a champion or disallow any other format from recognizing a national champion like the BCS does. So what if the NIT had its own bowl games like the BCS and crowned a national champion. What a terrible thing it would be to college football.

On top of that, the current setup is basically welfare to the smaller conferences, who receive monies regardless of whether they qualify to participate.  Those are monies they would unlikely earn on their own and in fact are diverting funds that otherwise rightfully should go to the major conferences as reward for their drawing power.

So the other conferences should be thanking the BCS for keeping them out of the national spotlight and paying them to stay there? What if Miami (OH) had gone to a playoff back in 2003 or whenever it was they had a great season? What if they had 3 straight home playoff games and won them? Then they not only bring it a lot more revenue, but they earned it all on their own, not as a handout. Go ask the teams and players which method they prefer.

In closing, I read something disturbing today. Last year, 0-12 Washington brought in more revenue than 11-2 TCU and 10-3 BYU. How is the BCS fair again? To top it off, I was reading something a coach said about the BCS. I can’t find who it was or the exact quote, but he said the players would prefer the bowl system because bowl games are so special. Really? Why don’t we ask the players and see if that’s the consensus.

This is simply the first of many posts that will explain the flaws of the BCS and the joy that could come from a playoff. College Football Resource, I know you’re reading, and I know you have another post blasting a playoff. I’m addressing that one later, don’t worry. Can’t wait to see how you respond to this, should be a good back and forth for the readers!