A Letter from the BCS: The Source Behind the Aggravation and Abbreviation
Contrary to popular belief, “BCS” does not stand for Bowl Championship Series. Well, it does, but it turns out the BCS is more than just a flawed playoff system that will soon be forgotten (h/t Dennis Dodd, CBSSports.com).
These initials that have been critiqued, criticized and cursed at are more than just three very lonely letters. It turns out that the BCS is actually “BCS,” an individual with feelings and emotions just like you and me. And after 14 years of championships, frustration, controversy and the biggest growth the game has ever seen, he has something to say on his behalf.
You didn’t think the BCS had a voice, but it most certainly does, and that voice currently resides in a two-bedroom apartment in Douglas, Wyoming (according to the IP address, we’re not stalking him—OK we are).
Although the individual behind these words remains somewhat of a mystery beyond name and location, Bleacher Report has obtained an exclusive letter from BCS that should give you a more accurate understanding of his current state of mind with time winding down.
To the fans of the greatest game on earth,
To you, I am a failure. I am a conversation that takes place at bars, restaurants and in columns, and one that typically ends up in obscenities directed my way. I am a faceless evil for those thinking my retirement and/or death is for the betterment of the game. I am the enemy.
There’s nothing I can say that will change your mind on these emotions that have already been established and embedded within each of you. I just hope you understand that my failures and shortcomings were not simply because of one man, but instead a variety of unfortunate miscalculations over time.
My name is Robert Carter Samuels, and I am the BCS. My friends call my Bob, or Bobby, and so the appropriate abbreviation was born. It’s not something I am necessarily proud of, although college football officials needed a face for their system in the late '90s before we knew what exactly the BCS would become.
I don’t want to get too specific about who I am, what I am or how I am. I’m hanging in there for those that are curious, despite the fact that I will become an afterthought in roughly 797 days, but hey, who’s counting? I recently reached out to former Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe who has put me in touch with a brilliant therapist. It’s done wonders for my psyche.
Five years from now, you will no longer remember that I even existed. You will be concerned about who will be in Dr. Pepper’s “Real Good Time Final Four” and wondering if these final four teams will eventually be eight or perhaps even 16. Although I’ll be obsolete by this moment, it does sound like a pretty good time. Looks like therapy is paying off sooner than I anticipated.
In the past 14 years, people I've trusted have betrayed me. I started this whole thing bright-eyed and bushy-tailed but received some incredibly bad guidance over time. This changed me, and money changed all of us. We were corrupted.
Somewhere along the way we lost our love for the game, and I lost track of who I was. No, I never would have stretched beyond two teams playing for one national championship, but at least there was a national championship. There were also some great games played on my watch, games I’m proud of, that I will leave behind as my namesake. Not that UConn/Oklahoma Fiesta Bowl—no, that one sucked for everyone.
I tried to change, and we listened to your feedback. When that whole 2003 debacle surfaced, I adapted. I wanted to give you the champion you deserved and going forward we managed to do that. Was it perfect? No. Did it serve as an adequate gap to where we are today? I’d like to think so, regardless of the consistent negativity.
The Harris Poll was the final straw, a brilliant idea on paper that spiraled wildly out of control. Voters didn’t watch games, credibility was destroyed and my reputation was tarnished. Is it that difficult to stay up and watch the Pac-10 (now the Pac-12 and soon-to-be the Pac-32) play football? We didn’t think so, but we were wrong. It certainly wasn’t the only problem, but it was a problem.
You deserve more than that, and I’ll admit that picking only two teams to play for a title has its limitations. It was my hope that I would live on in a new format, but these wishes appear to be crushed as the powers that be are going in a different direction.
I’m sorry that I made you angry, I’m sorry that I disappointed and I’m sorry that I just wasn’t good enough. I hope we can enjoy these last two years together for what they are and that we can appreciate the game for what it is.
If you happen to know an employer currently hiring for the year 2014, please feel free to toss my name into the mix. You can send all potential leads to AtLeastWeTried@Disappointment.com. Your help is truly appreciated.
As for the select few that may serve on the college football “selection committee” going forward, I only have two words of advice to pass along with my crown.
Bob “BCS” Samuels
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