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Tag:bcs
Posted on: July 23, 2009 10:55 am
 

Why the BCS is the best thing in the world

Not really but, hey, I got you to open this file so you might as well read on.

A friend here at the SEC media days dropped this stat on me...

Think about this the next time someone says college football is the only sport that doesn't decide things on the field. Since 2002 there have been 30 championship games or series among the four major pro sports -- MLB, NHL, NBA, NFL. In that span, only once have the teams with the two best records in those leagues met. That would be the 2008 NBA finals between the Celtics and Lakers.

We're talking about a Cardinals team that got to the World Series in 2006 with 83 victories. The Steelers won a Super Bowl as a No. 6 seed.

At least the BCS tries to line up a 1-2 game. So be careful what you wish for when talking about a playoff. Are you sure you can stomach Boise State as a national champion? 
Category: NCAAF
Tags: BCS
 
Posted on: June 25, 2009 12:27 pm
 

What, you were surprised?

The BCS presidents rejected the Mountain West playoff plan on Wednesday. You shouldn't have been surprised because you read it here first last week.

By now, this is almost a non-story. The new BCS contract starts next year. No matter what you're reading or hearing from Capitol Hill, the BCS will go on unabated until at least the 2014 bowls. I'm not necessarily advocating that fact, I'm just letting you know. Kind of cutting to the chase. 

I thought it was more revealing that outgoing commissioner Tom Hansen said if there ever is a playoff it will have to start at 16 teams. Hansen's comments appear in a story I wrote that is going up on Thursday afternoon. 
Category: NCAAF
Tags: BCS
 
Posted on: June 16, 2009 12:27 am
 

BCS to reject Mountain West playoff proposal

BCS commissioners aren't expected to take any action on the Mountain West playoff proposal when they meet Tuesday in Colorado Springs, Colo.

The commissioners agreed last month to take the Mountain West's proposal back to their conferences for discussion. The SEC already has said it will not support the proposal, coming out of its spring meetings earlier this month in Destin, Fla.

Upset at lack of access to the national championship game, the Mountain West lobbied lawmakers on Capitol Hill for change in the 11-year-old BCS. Earlier this year, it proposed an eight-team playoff. The teams would be selected by a human committee.

Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson then made a 90-minute presentation to his peers during the BCS meetings last month in Pasadena, Calif. The only question now is how the commissioners are going to make the announcement of formally passing on the the Mountain West playoff proposal. Most likely the announcement will come from the BCS presidential oversight committee.

The Mountain West has refused to sign the new BCS television agreement with ESPN. It is more of a protest than anything else. The conference is expected to eventually sign, or risk forfeiting the BCS money it receives each year. A new $125 million-per-year deal with ESPN takes effect in 2010 and lasts through the bowls of 2014.

 

Category: NCAAF
Posted on: April 30, 2009 11:56 am
Edited on: April 30, 2009 12:31 pm
 

Bobby Rush to chair BCS hearings

Friday's BCS hearings will be chaired by Illinois Rep. Bobby Rush. It's not clear if Rush has an agenda regarding this issue. It seems that everyone else gathering in D.C. certainly does.

Fellow Energy and Commerce Subcommittee member Joe Barton of Texas is a ranking member of the Energy and Commerce Committee. Barton proposed a bill late last year that would keep the BCS from calling a "national championship game" unless it was part of a playoff. Barton's agenda, obviously, is supporting Texas which lost that confusing tiebreaker in the Big 12 and essentially eliminated from the national title game.

Rush? All we (me, actually) know is that he represents Chicago and South Chicago. He has the highest percentage of African-Americans in his district than any Congressman. He was arrested in 2004 outside the Sudanese embassy in Washington, D.C. protesting genocide.

His son, Jeffrey, was fired from his job with the Illinois prison system in 2007 for allegedly having sex with female inmates. According to reports, Jeffrey Rush was hired by then-governor Rod Blagojevich's administration in 2003.

Bobby Rush supported Blagojevich's appointment of Rolad Burris to take over Barack Obama's vacated Illinois Senate seat. Here is a bunch of stuff from his past, none of it really relavant to the BCS.  

I talked to committee's press office on Thursday and was reminded that Congress is not in session. We're not sure how many subcommittee members will be in attendance. All we know for sure is that Rush and Barton will be there. One bowl source told me the hearings were for "fact finding." 

The rage against the BCS machine reached a new level on Wednesday when the subcommittee announced the Friday hearings to "examine competitive fairness ... adversely impacted by the ... Bowl Championship Series ..."

Hearings have been threatened by Utah Republican Senator Orrin Hatch but this comes from a different direction.

ACC commissioner John Swofford, the BCS coordinator, has been invited as a witness along with Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson, Paul Hoolahan, chairman of the Football Bowl Association and Gene Bleymaier, the Boise State AD.

Only Hoolahan won't be attending. Past FBA chairman Derrick Fox, CEO of the Alamo Bowl, will take his place.

"We're prepared for this, this isn't anything that has caught us off guard," said Hoolahan who heads one of the four BCS bowls. "There is such a level naivete on how this thing oeprates. These guys want to get a sound bite and get up on the bully pulpit. More than anything we have to wage an informational campaign. When their constituents hear that they about to shoot the goose that lays the golden egg (they won't like it)."

What do I think will happen? Not much, at least for now. It's hard to imagine Congress will move on this while the country deals with a swine flu epidemic, two wars and the economy.

Thompson and a group of a Mountain West officials visited senior legislative staff earlier this year. Last week, Thompson detailed an eight-team playoff proposal by his conference to replace the BCS last week in Pasadena, Calif. during the BCS meetings.

Swofford reiterated during the meetings that he feels the BCS would stand up to any legal challenges. I detailed some of Swofford's confidence earlier this month in a story about anti-trust lawyer Tom Rhodes.

 

Posted on: April 29, 2009 9:43 pm
Edited on: April 30, 2009 11:06 am
 

Friday hearings in D.C. re: BCS

If John Swofford looks close enough, he might find Roger Clemens sweat stains.

The rage against the BCS machine reached a new level on Wednesday when the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee announced Friday hearings to "examine competitive fairness ... adversely impacted by the ... Bowl Championship Series ..."

There was more in the press release but it was superfluous language and it's been a long day.  Hearings have been threatened by Utah Republican Senator Orrin Hatch but this comes from a different direction. The Committee on Energy and Commerce is chaired by Rep. Henry Waxman. You might remember him as the main guy grilling Clemens a while back.

It's not clear who is going to chair the hearings on Friday. Swofford, the BCS coordinator, has been invited as a witness along with Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson, Paul Hoolahan, chairman of the Football Bowl Association and Gene Bleymaier, the Boise State AD.

Swofford, also the ACC commissioner and Thompson are the only two I could find Wednesday night who were committed to appearing. Hoolahan, better known as the Sugar Bowl executive director, told me he would not be there. There will probably be another FBA official there in his place.

"We're prepared for this, this isn't anything that has caught us off guard," said Hoolahan who heads one of the four BCS bowls. "There is such a level naivete on how this thing oeprates. These guys want to get a sound bite and get up on the bully pulpit. More than anything we have to wage an informational campaign. When their constituents hear that they about to shoot the goose that lays the golden egg (they won't like it)."

What do I think will happen? Not much, at least for now. This is a one day hearing and looks to be the work of Texas Rep. Joe Barton. Barton is a ranking member of the Energy and Commerce committee. Late last year he proposed a bill that would keep the BCS from calling it a "national championship game" unless it was part of a playoff.
 
Thompson and a group of a Mountain West officials visited senior legislative staff earlier this year. Thompson detailed an eight-team playoff proposal by his conference to replace the BCS last week in Pasadena, Calif. during the BCS meetings.

Swofford reiterated during the meetings that he feels the BCS would stand up to any legal challenges. I detailed some of Swofford's confidence earlier this month in a story about anti-trust lawyer Tom Rhodes.

Category: NCAAF
Posted on: March 31, 2009 4:08 pm
Edited on: March 31, 2009 5:46 pm
 

The Legislative Empire Strikes Back

Eight Capitol Hill legislators sent a letter Tuesday to BCS coordinator John Swofford urging "a new, more equitable approach in determining a national football champion."

The letter is the latest in a series of attacks from politicos against the BCS. The momentum has built since the end of last season. Last week, Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch promised hearings on the BCS. A staffer told me those hearings probably won't convene until the fall. There is still no word on who Hatch and the committee might call to testify.

The main authors of the letter are familiar to those who have followed the BCS/Capitol Hill battle -- Reps. Gary Miller (R-Cal.), Neil Abercrombie (D-HI) and Joe Barton (R-Texas).

Tuesday's letter was also sent to BCS Presidential Oversight Committee Chairman Dave Frohnmayer, Oregon's president.

Miller said: "While the current BCS system was created to identify a broadly accepted national champion, its implementation has failed to determine who is, without a doubt, the best team in college football. There is no reason the NCAA should continue to disadvantage certain schools when every other major college sport's championship is settled through a playoff."

Barton said: "We are serious about trying to move forward and trying to encourage the NCAA to ditch the BCS and go wtih something where the champion is decided on the field and not by some complicated algorithm."

Both representatives are still under the misguided assumption that the NCAA controls the football postseason. The NCAA, by itself, isn't going to institute a playoff. NCAA president Myles Brand is on record as saying the association would help run a playoff but any alteration of the postseason is most likely going to have to come from the commissioner and presidents.

Here is my latest story on the subject, featuring Miller. Here is copy of today's press release and a copy of the letter to Swofford and the oversight committee.

It should be noted that many of the same congressional leaders sent a letter to President Obama on the same subject. To the best of my knowledge it has not been answered.

 

 

 

 

Category: NCAAF
Tags: BCS, Oregon, Utah
 
Posted on: May 1, 2008 1:00 pm
Edited on: May 1, 2008 2:50 pm
 

The real story behind the BCS meetings

Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany's calculated plan worked.

Tuesday at lunch, Delany emerged from the BCS meetings and went on a rant about his place (and his conference's place) in the postseason. Remember, Delany doesn't talk publicly about much of anything with reporters. At least lately. This past week he has been practically chatty talking about his league's perception. He, the Big Ten, Pac-10 and Rose Bowl aren't obstructionists, he said, in college football's postseason. In fact, Delany contended, that the Big Ten and Pac-10 have been progressive in helping deliver the Rose Bowl to the BCS. Without it we'd still in the old Bowl Coalition.

"The characterization of the Big Ten and Pac-10 being at one place and everyone else being at the other place, I don't think that's accurate," Delany said. "You guys (media) have an opportunity to talk to a lot of people here. I would ask you to ask each one of those people how strongly they feel about the call for change. I don't see it."

Then Delany lobbed the bomb that changed the course of these meetings.

"Thirty-six months ago, all six commissioners, all six (BCS oversight committee) presidents, the AD advisory committee said we don't want a plus one," Delany said. "About 18 months ago, people people said let's look at it. I think there are a lot of people who like where they are, but they should speak for themselves."

Basically, Delany called out his peers.

If you want a plus-one, identify yourself.

On Wednesday, they did. The six BCS bosses were paraded out for the media to state their case. For: ACC commissioner and the SEC's Mike Slive. Against: Everyone else -- Big 12, Big East, Pac-10, Big Ten and Notre Dame AD Kevin White.

Considering the group needs a consensus to change things, there's a loooooonnnng way to go before we get a playoff. The Big 12 presidents considered the issue in March and turned it down flat. Big East commish Mike Tranghese said, "We're opposed to a playoff. We don't think a playoff is in the best interests of college football."

The great thing was hearing all these powerful public. None of us (media) thought a plus-one would be passed but we weren't expecting what was essentially a public vote. Now these guys are on record. If you want to write your local congressman, er, commissioner now you know where to go.

  Slive, who stuck his neck out and presented the plus-one, was disappointed that the issue wasn't "vetted" more by presidents at the conference level. The Big 12 was the only league that formally presented the issue to its presidents. The Big 12 presidents rejected anything resembling an NFL-style playoff that meant a team would have to play more than 14 games. A Big 12 champion playing in a plus-one championship game would be playing in its 15th game.

  The so-called Group of Five non-BCS conferences (WAC, MAC, Mountain West, Conference USA, Sun Belt) have a combined vote but didn't use it because a formal vote wasn't taken.

"There could have been support for a plus-one model if it meant a better chance for a team from the Group of Five to have a chance to play in it," said WAC commissioner Karl Benson. But we're happy with the system with the way it is. It has provided access and it has provided revenue."

  The so-called "bracket creep" argument doesn't make sense. Several commissioners said they were concerned that a four-team bracket would soon expand to eight or 16. Don't believe the hype. The BCS commissioners (and their presidents) control the BCS. That's different from Divisions I-AA, III and III where NCAA committees control the playoffs.

If the commissioners and presidents wanted a playoff to end at four, it would end at four. There would be no group above them who could overrule.

While I was in Florida ...

  These schools had more players drafted than Alabama (which had none): Arkansas State, Army, Bentley, Buffalo, Coastal Carolina, Eastern Kentucky, Furman, Gardner-Webb, Hampton, McNeese State, Nicholls State, Northwest Missouri State, St. Augustine's and Wheaton.

  Matthew Stafford somehow got anointed as the No. 1 quarterback in next year's draft. Stafford is popular with the honeys, loves NASCAR and can lift a keg over his head, but to call him the best NFL quarterbacks prospect after only two seasons? It must be a shallow draft next year. Matthew has yet to throw for 300 yards but has been held under 100 yards six times.

  Two more bowls made the postseason cut. The approval of the St. Petersburg and Congressional bowls by the NCAA on Thursday brings the number to 34. That's 68 teams for a division that produced only 71 bowl-eligible teams last season. That's also three more than the NCAA Tournament. I'm waiting for the time when the St. Pete and Congressional have to petition the NCAA to allow a 5-7 team in its shindig because there aren't enough teams to go around.

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com