Should the government force a college football playoff?

it is a tough question. We all want a playoff. We all know we should have a playoff. But should it be the government’s responsibility to make it happen? Should they force the NCAA to create a postseason playoff in its highest division of college football? The answer is a resounding yes. A little background- perhaps you should all read section 2 of the Sherman Anti Trust Act:

“Every person who shall monopolize, or attempt to monopolize, or combine or conspire with any other person or persons, to monopolize any part of the trade or commerce among the several States, or with foreign nations, shall be deemed guilty of a felony.”

That is what it says. But what does it mean? Well, that is the big debate.

I think anyone with a basic understanding of the human language can figure out what that means. No company, organization or person can conspire together or merge for the purpose of eliminating all competition in a given industry and monopolizing that industry, thus setting their own prices and doing what they want. Let us look at the college football industry.

This industry generates revenue in a couple of ways. Most notably would be ticket sales, but gear and apparel are up there too. State schools receive public funding, some of which goes towards athletics. Some schools receive donations. Either way, the primary way of making money is getting people to games. Is there anything illegal yet? Not. A regular season of college football features every team having at least 6 games. But why do some get 7? Now there is something the NCAA should investigate and outlaw straight up. No more than 6 home games per year. But that’s a different story.

Let’s look at the postseason operations of college football. Currently, the BCS controls who plays for the national championship. They also control who plays in the big venues which are heavily advertised and commercialized. How do they determine it? They reserve 6 places of the 10. That’s right, 6 spots are reserved, guaranteed. How are the others chosen? By biased human voters. So let me get this straight- a group of persons (voters) and an organization (BCS) are conspiring together to monopolize the postseason of college football? Am I on to something?

Let’s look at those six reserved spots. Who are they for? The champions of six conferences. Do those six conferences not constitute a cartel that is monopolizing the college football postseason industry? A vast majority of the revenue goes to them, because they make it so that essentially only they participate. Here is the kicker. They say the other five conferences are actually better off! Yeah, better off than before, but don’t piss on them and tell them it is raining.

For simplicity sake, suppose under the old system the college football postseason brought in 100 million dollars, 5 million of which went to the teams in those five conferences. That is 5% of all revenues. Now the BCS comes along. They make a system that will generate a lot more revenue, because it has a championship game. Now there is 1 billion in revenue coming in. They give the five conferences 20 million now. Then they try to convince us the five conferences are better off now than they were before. No they aren’t! They are getting less of the cut! Just because 2% of the revenue now is more than 5% of the revenue then, doesn’t make it completely unfair.

So yes, the government should recognize the BCS for what it is- nothing more than a cartel. They won’t change it themselves. All the people involved with running it have money and power. Why would they change to a system that took away some of their money and power and gave it to others? No one wants to lose money and power. And so the BCS will continue. The MWC doesn’t care about a playoff anymore, they just want in to the cartel. No one is going to fight this. No one will change it. Time for Congress to step in and put and end to the BCS and force a playoff like every other division of college football has.

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