Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany was a member of the NCAA men's basketball committee for six years, chairman for part of that time. He shudders to think of some implications of injecting a human committee into the Bowl Championship Series.
|Peter Ueberroth has enough experience to be a good chairman. (Getty Images)|
"In this case I don't know if you'd get any volunteers."
The "who" of a BCS selection committee is only one of a blizzard of questions that still have to be answered. The "how" is more important.
How do you find an unbiased group of neutral observers to decide the best two teams to play for the national championship? Even then, can that group stand the scrutiny?
This fact still remains: If there are more than two undefeated teams from major conferences, someone is going to be left out. That differs radically from the duties of the basketball committee.
The nine-member group picks 34 at-large team, seeds 64 and kicks back. Any controversy dies down by the time the tournament tips off four days later.
A BCS committee literally could be making the biggest decision in a school's history: Which two teams are worthy of playing for the title?
Since the sample is much lower (two teams vs. 65), the scrutiny on the BCS committee could be overwhelming. This year, for example, the outcry became so intense that two newspapers sought to obtain the secret coaches poll ballots via the Freedom of Information Act.
Is it too weird to suggest that if he served, there would be a media outlet making a background check on the likes of Roy Kramer? Kramer helped invent the BCS and has been mentioned as one of those who would be on a BCS committee.
"The selection committee on the basketball side has three days of work," Delany said. "You're selecting 34 at-larges, 30 automatics with lots of principles and priorities. If you had a committee working in this area, their scope of work would be very, very narrow compared to what the basketball committee does."
It's assumed that Delany was kidding about the dog "threats." He assumes that the committee would select only the top two BCS teams. But there would be a whole new set of the problems if it also picked the at-large teams. Remember the controversy between Texas and Cal this year.
Like the BCS itself, the task of finding a group of truly impartial observers is almost impossible. Delany should know from his own conference. In 1973, Ohio State and Michigan tied 10-10. The Rose Bowl berth was decided by athletic directors who picked the Buckeyes despite Michigan having a large statistical edge in the game. Bad blood flowed for years within the conference.