Thursday, May 14, 2009


Political Mayhem Thursday: The BCS

I was all prepared to have this week's PMT be about the Obama health care plan. However, and I'm serious about this, I could not find a single objective and comprehensible description of what that plan would do. Lots of broad characterizations of it, of course, but no actual synopsis of how the plan would work.

So, instead, let's go with something that President Obama has spoken clearly about-- getting rid of the BCS bowl system and having an actual playoff for NCAA Division I football. The primary reason given for NOT having such a playoff is that it would be too disruptive of the players' academic careers. They do have such playoffs for nearly other sport, of course.

So, what do you think? Here are three options:

1) The current BCS system
2) A four-team playoff
3) An eight-team playoff

They should keep the BCS. It makes lots of money, and with the BCS no one game is most important, necessarily. Plus, people need something to do on New Year's Day!
Even without the BCS, I'm sure the NCAA would find a way to screw with UT.

On another note, holy stereotypes in your picture, Batman!
That cheerleader must have watched Legally Blonde.
I am a fan of the eight team playoff. Also, keep the bowl system in place; it provides the schools with good revenue.

The only thing is... A playoff system may help us resolve the national championship question, but it doesn't mean that we won't deal with the same issues then that we deal with now. How do we decide who the top eight teams in the nation are? How does a loss in a conference championship game factor in? We'd still have to deal with some of these questions, even with a playoff system.
Don't laugh-- that tiny dog was second on the Baylor depth chart at strong safety two years ago.
"Even without the BCS, I'm sure the NCAA would find a way to screw with UT."

Wah, wah, wah....

Poor, poor, pitiful University of Texas. I mean, you have a $100+ million athletic endowment. A huge stadium. Tons of fans (many of whom never stepped foot on a college campus, much less UT's campus). And a perennially ranked in the top 10 every year with a chance of winning a national championship.

Yes, we all feel very sorry for you.

I say stick with the BCS.

More importantly though, I'm banging my head against the desk and shouting, "WHY ON EARTH IS THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT MESSING WITH COLLEGE FOOTBALL!!! DOES ANYONE REMEMBER THE CONSTITUTION??" Seriously, if Obama and his band of merry elves in congress have nothing better to do than try to figure out how to "fix" the BCS, then I say it may be time to consider whether we need so much federal government in the first place. I am paying these people's salaries and they are spending their time having an argument that I have with my buddies at the bar? Seriously?

Man, I hate government.
I dislike the BCS system and would favor an 8 team playoff system with the championship game played in DC. That way the Rose Bowl, Orange Bowl, Cotton Bowl would return to being the major New years games as they were in the past. I think you continue BCS rankings to determine the Top 8. The argument is usually who is ranked 1 thru 4 and the omission of some fringe school that went undefeated. Granted they didn't play UT or UF or some big powerhouses during the year. This way they could prove themselves on a national stage.

I agree with RRL that there is no need for the Federal Govt to get involved. The NCAA should be able to figure this out. It isn't brain surgery.

I elected my officials to deal with issues like Pandas and flamethrowers.
I was going to say something about Lane's comment about the NCAA finding a way to screw with UT, but RRL pretty much covered it.

On the other hand, Pope makes a good point about the fight over who gets into the playoff. But a selection committee like that used for the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament generally gets it right.

Oh, sure, there's always grumbling about bubble teams that don't make the Big Dance. But given that bubble teams are generally seeded 8-12, when was the last time you saw a 10 seed, for example, make the Final Four? March Madness's large field provides temporary drama when David knocks off Goliath, but the committee generally gets both the seeding and the field right.
This is 11:17 again. By the way, re: 12:18's comment about no one game being important, please see the NCAA Basketball Tournament selection committee's focus on total body of work.
If you think UT got "screwed", wasn't it the Big 12 not the NCAA who screwed them? Had the tiebraker been different and UT been able to play for the Big 12 title, then they would have been the ones losing to Florida instead of OU.

And a loud, "Here, here!" to the sentiments about the federal government having absolutely no business meddling in this.
Why it so important that there be a "National Champion"? Part of what's interesting about College Football is that there's always something to debate.
College Football = Interstate Commerce. No doubt about that. The Federal Government could do whatever it wants.

The Cheteral Government would implement an 8 team playoff.
NCAA, Big 12, at 1:30 a.m., the niceties of governing bodies are beyond me.

Also, yes, it is more cruel to be capable of winning a national championship every year but have the chance to earn that distinction snatched away from you by the cruel arcanum of mathematics and BCS-borne sorcery.

Like all things, however, college football must be tightly regulated by the federal government to avoid such abuses. I propose a BCS-berth bailout to UT. They're simply too awesome to fail.
Anon 11:17, when's the last time I saw a 10th seed make it to the Final Four? That would be 3 years ago in the 2006 tourny. Perhaps you remember George Mason, an 11 seed and an at large bid? And don't forget about Nova's '85 win as an 8 seed.

An 8-team limited playoff field ensures two things: A) That really good programs still have a chance to play for the national title (see UT from yesteryear and the undefeated 2005 Auburn squad) and B) Each week in the "regular season" is still extremely important.
I hate college football as an institution, mostly because of how it distorts so many priorities, particularly as related to the arts. But I do watch it, nevertheless (yes, I'm a hypocrite), and I especially love it when the big schools lose.

I'd favor an 8-team playoff, but pull the regular season schedule back to 11 games from the current 12 and sometimes 13 (no conference playoffs, either!). Have the first round of the playoffs by mid-December, then the next two rounds asap after New Year's.

Not gonna happen, though... too much dough at stake.
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