So, I ‘m kind of late on this, since the BCS title game was Monday and all, but I might as well get it off my chest.
I think the BCS is a gigantic scam.
Now hold on. Before you go clicking somewhere else, thinking to yourself, “Of course it’s a scam. You’re just now seeing that?” allow me to clarify.
I’m a long-time BCS hater. I remember one night in late 2003, while traveling for business, I couldn’t sleep because I was so wound up mentally drafting an anti-BCS post. 1
The scam I’m talking about isn’t the one that your local internet blowhard likes to waste pixels on each December. No, I think the BCS is a massive PR scam to keep people talking about college football.
As popular as college football is, it’s easy to lose track of it over the holidays when most schools are done for the year and the NFL playoff race is the biggest story on ESPN. With the traditional New Year’s Day games either being moved back or neutered of their meaning, even that hallowed date has lost its luster.
So what better way to keep college football on the front pages and in the first five minutes of Sportscenter than to adhere to a system that is based on minimal logic and rigged voting? Even people who aren’t huge college football fans get sucked into the annual debate about whether there should be a different way to determine the BCS-level champ.
Again, I can already hear your criticisms. “That’s dumb. As stupid as the BCS is, there’s no way they devised it as purely a PR ploy. You turned 40 last year; you’re turning into an old man that buys into conspiracy theories, aren’t you?”
No, I ‘m not. Listen, I understand that the current BCS system exists for one main reason and one secondary reason: to make massive amounts of money and to placate the powers behind the traditional bowls.
But, after more than a decade of BCS play, with the constant criticism from the public and media, and with a healthy, five-week tournament determining the champion in what used to be called Division 1-AA, there has to be an explanation for why the BCS powers dig their heels in and refuse to budge.
I say it ‘s PR.
And I think even their tentative statements Tuesday about reassessing the current BCS format are a PR move. The day after a dull title game (unless you ‘re an Alabama fan, of course), what better way to keep people talking than to casually suggest you might listen to suggestions for changing the system? That doesn ‘t pin you down to actually making any changes. But it does keep the reporters, columnists, and readers interested.
Maybe they really will wise up and make changes to a broken system that has, too often, let the wrong team claim the #2 spot in the final poll. But I ‘m not going to hold my breath. I think it ‘s more likely we see the next, final, massive round of realignment, with the BCS-level schools kissing the NCAA goodbye and controlling football and basketball themselves.
- I believe that was the year Oklahoma got spanked by K-State in the Big 12 title game and still finished #2, earning the right to lose the BCS title game. ↩