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Follow the money, BCS edition

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Johnny Dangerously, Jan 10, 2009.

  1. Johnny Dangerously

    Johnny Dangerously Active Member

    I keep waiting for someone (60 Minutes?) to do an extensive piece or package on the obstacles facing proponents of a playoff. It's easy to blame it on "the BCS," but the gawdy bowl jackets were hanging around press boxes long before the birth of the BCS more than a decade ago. We didn't have a playoff then either. Still, there's a great piece (perhaps mixed with some levity) awaiting someone who wants to explore why we are where we are and can't get to where so many seem to want to go.

    Eric Idle standing at a commercial intersection in New Orleans in "The Rutles: All You Need is Cash" comes to mind: "I'm standing by the banks of the Mississippi." A TV reporter would have trouble finding the right stand-up. There's no BCS Building in Chicago or BCS headquarters in Indianapolis or wherever. There are so many pieces of the puzzle, and no real buck-stops-here person. The old-guard good ol' boys of the bowls, old and new, the TV networks, the major corporate sponsors, the universities themselves -- all have a financial stake in the current system. The NCAA? It likes to say, "Hey, we're an association of our members, and that's all; we're not this monolithic empire people try to make us out to be," but let's get serious. We all know how powerful the NCAA is. It has long arms. If the NCAA wanted, really wanted, are you telling me it couldn't create a playoff and real championship system for major college football, its most high-profile sport? It has championships for everything else -- and is ruthless in controlling every aspect of each of them. You know what I'm talking about if you've ever dealt with blogging rules, wireless fees and a dozen other things, right down to someone telling you only Pepsi cups are allowed on press row because the TV cameras might show your Coke cup, and well, we have this agreement with Pepsi ...

    The BCS is in large part the result of brainstorming that began at ABC in the early 1990s, when the network was looking for new programming ideas, and the short version is Roy Kramer was the perfect man to help ABC. Kramer enlisted the help of Charles Bloom in the SEC office to come up with a plan, and we were on our way to the BCS after the short-lived Bowl Coalition. (Frankly, I'm surprised there are no conspiracy theories about some of that, seeing as how the SEC has won five of 11 titles in the BCS era, including the last three.)

    A great multimedia series is just waiting to be put together by the right news organization (do we still have any of those?). Who's keeping us from a playoff? Who's preventing what most Americans seem to want? Who's keeping the bowl system caretakers in such a position of power that the unpopular BCS remains in force?

    TV?
    Bowls?
    Schools?
    Conferences?
    NCAA?
    Sponsors?

    Yes.

    I'd love to see a really good series or package on this by an organization with national reach. In this age of specialization, I'm betting you'd have a lot of important people saying, "It's not me holding up the idea of a playoff. It's those guys." The rest would just keep spouting the party line.

    Follow the money. Show me the money. Make this story package.

    Anyone? Anyone?
     
  2. GB-Hack

    GB-Hack Active Member

    Saw an interesting angle on the need for a playoff by SI's Andy Staples earlier today.

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2009/writers/andy_staples/01/09/playoff/index.html

    Basically, the idea is that the colleges are leaving money on the table by not having a playoff, and by leaving money on the table, it results in taxpayers having to fund public school's athletics depts.
     
  3. Johnny Dangerously

    Johnny Dangerously Active Member

    Interesting read. Thanks for posting it.
     
  4. DirtyDeeds

    DirtyDeeds Guest

    That's good stuff. Great job, Andy.
     
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