A Frightening Look At The BCS

We all know the BCS has its issues. But none is more obvious than Bill Hancock, Executive Director of the Bowl Championship Series. Formerly, the commissioners of the six AQ-conferences rotated who was in charge of the BCS. Apparently getting rich from players, smoking cigars and playing golf was already too much work, so they decided to have a dedicated guy in charge of the BCS. Shortly after, they hired a PR spin man as well. Basically, the BCS needed a dedicated spokesperson and a new brand image.

Since then things have steadily gotten worse. Controversy has increased each year as to who should play for the championship. Worst of all, Hancock has not had the wits to keep his mouth shut when he should have. I’ve found several quotes to show you for your enjoyment. This will not only show you how bad the BCS is, it will show you how worse it is when you see the guy running the show.

These come from a radio show with Dan Patrick on 11/20/09:

“College Football wins in 6 overtimes, uh, you know they have to go for 2 after five.”

Good to know the guy in charge of college football’s championship game doesn’t know the rules of the sport.

“We were in Miami for a game, and a Virginia Tech player injured his ankle riding a jetski. And at the same time we were there an NFL team came into play a playoff game. And they arrived on Saturday night, got there at about 8 o’clock, had their dinner, got up the next morning, had the pregame meal, went to the stadium and then flew home. Here we’ve got college students at the beach for a week, riding jetskis in our bowl system; on the other hand, we’ve got these NFL athletes who are there for 11 hours, playing the game, and then going home. Our experience for the young people playing college football, is much better.”

Wait, I thought we couldn’t have a playoff because of all the time off from school? Oh yeah, kids get an entire week of vacation for bowl games…during a time when school is not even in session. How would a playoff change that? More games during winter break? Also, a week long vacation with jetskis only opens up more potential for injuries.

“If you think the BCS is controversial, wait til you get a playoff. It’ll be even more contentious.”

Well, seeing as how since 2004 we have had more undefeated NON-champions than champions, I would beg to differ. With a playoff you have clear qualifying criteria right when the season begins. Just win your conference and you are in. No contention there.

These next quotes are from a different interview from Digital Sports Daily:

“The BCS is fair. People call it criminal, a cartel and unfair, and the fact is, it’s not. It’s fair.”

Before last season, Baylor had been to 0 bowls in the last 11 years. TCU had been to 10. Guess which school had received more BCS revenue? Not TCU. Sounds fair. Or how is it fair that an 8-4 Big East champion is automatically in the BCS when an 11-1 WAC champion is not? Hancock must not understand what fair means.

“A result of the playoff would be more injuries, more Wes Welkers happening in college football,” Hancock said “It would happen. Imagine if a Wes Welker happened to Kellen Moore or Mark Ingram or Colt McCoy. Imagine where we would be. The best team in that case would not win…”

Oops! Colt McCoy did get injured all right…in a BCS game! Guess what, it happens! Now who else sees a big contradiction here? First we hear that the regular season would lose its importance in a playoff because coaches would rest starters late in the year if a playoff berth was already secured. Well, why would they not play them? To avoid injury of course! So starters end up playing the same number of games either way by that logic.

“Conflicts with final exams, it’s a real deal.”

This from the same guy who says teams would show up for a game the day before and leave after the game? I can see how a one day playoff game could really affect things negatively…not like a 1 week bowl vacation of course. Here’s something nifty for you, look at every pre-Christmas bowl from 2009 and that school’s finals schedule:

New Mexico Bowl – 12/19/09
Fresno State – 12/14-12/17
Wyoming – 12/7-12/11

St. Petersburg Bowl – 12/19/09
Rutgers – 12/16-12/23
UCF – 12/8-12/14

New Orleans Bowl – 12/20/09
Middle Tennesse State – 12/11-12/17
Southern Miss – 12/7-12/10

Las Vegas Bowl – 12/22/09
Oregon State – 12/7-12/11
BYU – 12/14-12/18

Pointsettia Bowl – 12/23/09
Utah – 12/14-12/18
Cal – 12/12-12/19

Aloha Bowl – 12/24/09
SMU – 12/11-12/17
Nevada – 12/10-12/16

Oops again! Looks like final exams cut into practice time and vacation time for the bowls. Should we ban pre-Christmas bowls? But the finals, think of the finals! Bill Hancock appears to be fine with 4-6 out of 12 teams having their practice schedules/Final Exam study time compromised. Yet, he has major problems with the exact same scenario (4-6 out of 8-12 teams) happening if the games were part of a playoff.

And what about just school time missed? Ohio State went into the men’s basketball tournament this year as the favorite to win it all. If that had happened:

March 18 game in Cleveland
March 20 game in Cleveland
March 25 game in New Jersey
March 27 game in New Jersey
April 2 game in Houston
April 4 game in Houston

Teams arrived a couple days early, so let’s see, they would have missed Tuesday, March 15 – Sunday March 21. Then Tuesday, March 23 – Sunday March 28. Then Thursday, March 31 – Tuesday April 5. That’s 12 days of school! I’m surprised Gordon Gee didn’t pull the Buckeyes from the tournament before it began, what with all those classes they would be missing and all.

This comes from a Washington Post article:

“I don’t want to be critical, but if the conferences and the universities had created a voice 12 years ago when this started, I think the arrangement would be better received today. Because I think we were silent for so long that the critics scored a lot of points because we were just on the sidelines.”

So people hate the BCS because they have not had a PR media spin man, is that it Bill? That’s like Obama saying people hated health care reform simply because they didn’t get it. Let’s not have our intelligence insulted on too many fronts. We get it, that’s why we don’t like the BCS.

This comes from Mayhem in the AM Radio Show – 11/25/09:

“We absolutely know that there are some people who don’t understand it and therefore, don’t care much for it.”

Yet again, assuming people don’t like it because they don’t get it. Don’t take the elite intellectual high road Bill, you are no smarter than the rest of us.

“We’re absolutely taking suggestions. I love to listen, I love to talk about this.”

I believe he meant taking suggestions from any of the 6 AQ-conference commissioners. They are not taking suggestions to scrap the system.

“I say which 8 teams this week would you put in the playoff? when would they play? where would they play? It sounds great on paper, but the fact is that putting it into reality is very difficult”

This has got to be the stupidest thing ever uttered by man. There are at least ten thousand playoff proposals you can find online in less than five minutes. We can’t have a playoff because it would be difficult to set up? Well how on earth do the other levels of college football do it amidst so much difficulty? Surely someone who claims to be smart enough to understand the BCS better than the rest of us is smart enough to do what is already being done!

“You know I like the plus one personally, that’s a 4-team playoff obviously. The problem you have with it is the concert that it wouldn’t stay at four. Every bracket has increased; we call it ‘Bracket Creep’. You know, look at the NCAA Basketball tournament, which I used to manage of course, and I loved it. But the fact is, bracket creep would happen. It would start at four, then it would go to eight, then sixteen, then who knows what and then, what happens to the regular season.”

Yup, slippery slope, typical logical fallacy. You can’t spend a dollar because you would end up spending all your money. You can’t turn on the TV because you would watch it the rest of the day. You can’t eat one potato chip because you would eat the whole bag. And you can’t have any form of a playoff because eventually it would expand to include every team in the league, and then what would you have? Oh, right, what we have now, where the regular season is already a playoff, isn’t that right? So our 120 team playoff is fine, but heaven forbid we start a 4 team post-playoff playoff because it may expand and the regular season playoff would just be a regular season.

[quotes provided by PlayoffSolution.Blogspot.com]

As you can see, Bill Hancock is an idiotic lunatic. I’ve dug up a few more quotes from ESPN articles that I find amusing:

“Name a sport with a multi-team playoff that also has a second vibrant neutral-site post-season event.”

College basketball, NCAA tournament and the NIT tournament. Both are televised to a national audience on the largest sports network in the world. Seems a college football playoff could coexist with bowl games. There would probably just be less bowl games, you know, like there has traditionally been. We know the BCS is big on tradition. Let’s get the bowl game level back down to traditional levels, like, pre-BCS era.

“The teams would fly in for their games and they’d fly out afterward. For the 7 or 15 schools that lose, their season would be over. No celebration. No bowl-week memories.”

WTF?!?!?!?!?! And what about the 35 teams last year who lost their bowl games? No celebration. Season over. Nothing but some trips to museums and bowling alleys in a city most will never see or care about again. And don’t forget the bags of goodies and sprained ankles from freak jetski accidents.

“But is that in the best interest of the students, whose voices too frequently get lost in this debate?”

OOPS! There’s actually a survey of college football players on this very subject, and what is their voice on the subject? 62% want a playoff. Let’s not forget the voices of the players in this debate Bill.

“I talked to a Fort Worth man who proudly told me that his grandfather played for SMU in the 1936 Rose Bowl. Can you imagine someone 60 years from now, telling a stranger that his granddad played in the 2025 first-round game between Troy and Wisconsin in Madison? “

Can you imagine someone 60 years from now proudly saying they played for Chattanooga and got obliterated by Alabama on the road in 2010? So what Bill is really saying is that the bowl games are even more important than the regular season games, which are the most important games in all of sports.

“Given how much support our current system has among university presidents, athletics directors, coaches and athletes, I don’t think any amount of financial inducement will make people abandon the BCS.”

Oh Bill, you must be incredibly naive. You think college football is about football? Maybe it is to the players, with the exception of Cam Newton, but for the presidents, directors, coaches and anyone else involved with universities, its about the money. If Mark Cuban came in with boat loads of money for universities in exchange for commitments, he would get his playoff, no doubt about it. The BCS only has support because it is more lucrative than the old system. If a newer system comes along with the promise of more money, then the BCS will be ditched just like its predecessor.