College Football Bowls Conspire To Protect BCS System
Boise State vs. TCU in the Fiesta Bowl? With the sleight of hand used by a magician, the College Bowls make themselves appear to be magmanimous by granting a sscond BCS bid to a non-conference school while diverting our attention from their bigger goal; protecting their wallets by diffusing the uproar for a playoff system to determine a champion in the NCAA Bowl Championship division. Nice try, guys.
With five unbeaten teams headed into the Bowl Season, anti-BCS sentiment was running at an all time high and figured to ramp up to an intolerable level if as many as four were left standing after their Bowl Games. A likely scenario, as contracts between the Bowls and certain conferences should have had Cincinnati facing Georgia Tech in the Orange, TCU against Florida in the Sugar, Boise matched up with Iowa in the Fiesta with Texas and Alabama deciding the Championship. While the loser of the BCS title game would have dropped from the ranks of the undefeated, it wouldn’t have surprised anyone if all of the other perfect teams finished that way. How then, would the powers-that-be quell the demand for a playoff?
Here’s how. Using loopholes to get around the conference agreements, the Sugar Bowl drafted Cincinnati as its BCS at-large team and the Fiesta paired Boise State with TCU; robbing both schools and college football fans of the opportunity to see how these “outsiders” would fare against the big boys. What they did create, though, was a scenario where only one team beside the champ is unbeaten. TCU is much better suited to handle Florida than the boys from Cincy who’d have had a much easier time with Georgia Tech in the Orange. Considering that the Bearcats will head into the Sugar Bowl without their head coach, beating Florida will be difficult. As for the Fiesta, the loser is out of the conversation.
Every year we hear the same nonsense from NCAA officials about the logistical difficulty of staging an eight or sixteen team playoff. Travel and academics are the two obstacles most often cited. They’d have merit, too, if only the NCAA’s lower divisions didn’t already participate in a 32 team format. What’s the old saying? When they say it’s not about the money, it’s always about the money.