Thursday, May 01, 2008

Resolving the Mess of the BCS

At the online newsletter of The New York Times' sports magazine Play Dan Shanoff proposes a pretty brilliant solution to the intransigence of those conferences that refuse to establish a playoff system for college football's highest level:
Personally, I would like to see [SEC Commissioner Mike] Slive take his ball and go home: "SEC-ede" from the B.C.S. and create his own playoff; as the nation's strongest conference (by far -- it boasts the past two national champs), he has the juice to do it.

Invite more playoff-friendly conferences, even individual teams, into the mix (and don't be afraid to go it alone). Create room for the non-B.C.S. schools to participate. Generate billions in revenue from TV networks and advertisers. And isolate the Big Ten and Pac-10, daring them to try to proclaim one of their member schools -- even an undefeated one -- as "national champ" while the rest of the country has turned its attention to a thrilling 8- or 16-team playoff. Any school that doesn't want to participate doesn't have to; I imagine that resistance will be short-lived.

Incremental measures won't work. Obstructionist colleagues need to be marginalized.

To save the B.C.S., they need to destroy it.

The idea that the BCS is worth saving, that a playoff system is somehow going to violate the academic integrity of college football, or anything else is patently absurd. The BCS is irredeemable and always has been. The fact that every other division of college football has a championship tournament and that every other NCAA sport has either a tournament or a meet to establish a champion on the field, court, pools, track, field, or ice should be enough to reveal the BCS for what it is: A naked grab for cash from a cabal of self-interested parties.

No comments: