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BCS Head: Playoff Makes More Money

MIAMI - JANUARY 08:  Head coach Urban Meyer of the Florida Gators celebrates with Brandon Spikes #51 their win over the Oklahoma Sooners after the FedEx BCS National Championship Game at Dolphin Stadium on January 8, 2009 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)
Pete MisthaufenAnalyst IJuly 31, 2016

While college football fans have debated the issue of what would make more money, a playoff or the BCS, BCS Coordinator John Swofford recently answered that question in an interview with the website RealClearSports on July 5, 2009.

RCS: Andy Staples of Sports Illustrated criticized your testimony in the House hearings, writing, "Swofford couldn't decide whether the BCS exists for financial or competitive reasons."

How much should financial reasons be considered, if at all, when discussing the BCS?

Commissioner Swofford:  Financial reasons are a factor to a degree—probably more of a factor to some than to others.

In and of itself, a playoff of some type would generate more money than the current BCS.  But what would be the effect on the regular season?  What about the effect on the other bowls?  But the BCS is certainly healthy financially and has been from the beginning.

At the same time, we have been able to maintain the bowl system, while matching the top two teams, which prior to the BCS was often not possible because of the conferences’ bowl agreements.

So it’s a hybrid.  It’s a hybrid of competition, the marketplace, and the bowl system. {Emphasis added}

The BCS has already looked into provided college football with a playoff.  They have heard offers to broadcast it.  And they have turned it down, even though it would make more money.

So, I guess we can put to bed the argument that the current system is maximizing revenue.

Swofford's two other concerns:  the regular season and the lesser bowls.

The regular season has been cheapened by the addition of so-many cupcake games (I am calling  you out Penn State, Mississippi, and Texas).

In a recent article, I set forth that 26 of the 72 bowl teams were not qualified to play in a bowl game under even a reasonable standard.

So Mr. Swofford, what are you really saying?

I will say it for him.  "We need to protect the power and position of the Big Six even if we are losing revenue to do so."

Thanks Mr. Swofford for your moment of honesty.

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