The BCS, bowls and TV ratings

The much heralded bowl system in place just got a little boost. TV ratings show some of the highest bowl viewership ever. Although they still trail NASCAR in popularity, the bowls are growing in fan attendance and viewership. But don’t be fooled. The averages are terrible skewed. The five BCS bowls averaged 17.5 million viewers each. The mighty Texas Bowl featuring Rice vs. Western Michigan was watched by an astounding 143,507 viewers. Hey BCS, are you listening?

They want us all to believe this is some kind of victory, evidence that their system is working. Let me tell you what the evidence points to- that people want to watch good teams play in the postseason! It’s not a coincidence that no one cares about Rice, Western Michigan, Louisiana Tech or any other small time school unless they are playing a big time school. LA Tech had 9 wins last season I believe- so did LSU. Would more people watch LA Tech play LSU or someone like Rice? That’s a no brainer…

The point is that small schools with small followings will only get watched if they play on a big stage. Obviously they would have to earn their spot on that stage. But hey, that’s what a playoff is all about- conference champions earning their spots on the big stage. Now think on this- the BCS features five bowl games right now. A sixteen team playoff would feature eight games in just the first round alone. A total of 15 games would be played in a playoff. So instead of five big time bowls, you get fifteen big time matchups, and matchups that actually matter for something.

Imagine how much different postseason games would be if the teams were playing for something. Did Utah crush Alabama because they were that much better? No, they were better, but Alabama wasn’t playing for anything. They lost their shot at the title and didn’t care. You could see that in their lackluster defense. In a playoff, every team is playing for something.

To top it off, in our playoff proposal, the stupid bowls are kept around anyway! That means more games, more of a postseason, and more money. The locale of each game would get a good boost, TV viewership would increase dramatically, and the meaningless bowl tradition is maintained for the traditionalists out there. The writings on the wall, and the bowl TV viewership should be a great indication that people couldn’t care less about stupid bowls between teams few people care about. Only a matter of time before our playoff is here.