Recent BCS Transparency a Hollow Man
First it was the hiring of an executive director named Bill Hancock.
Then it was the creation of a Facebook page and a Twitter feed. Congrats on joining the 21st century, guys.
Then it was the hiring of former White House spokesperson Ari Fleischer to help with the public relations push.
The final straw, though, may be the creation of a Web site called “The Playoff Problem.”
Here I was, waiting patiently to see if this year’s potential Bowl Championship Series mess would sort itself out, but then the BCS goes and forces my hand by taking the offensive against those of us who push for a playoff.
You know, a playoff like every other college sport has—including the other three divisions of football.
Listening to Hancock (who is a nice guy, from all accounts I read from other folks) try to defend this 11-year-old train wreck of a system has been a painful experience.
Especially after Hancock stated on Mayhem in the AM on 790 The Zone in Atlanta that he would be in favor of a plus-one—which is essentially a four-team playoff.
Of course, the stale arguments trotted out by the BCS Twitter feed disregard the need for a playoff because it would lead to inevitable bracket creep and expansion. This is the critical point that the new playoff problem website states as well.
Like the bracket creep has to be a fait accompli.
I think it comes down to two things, and they are things that all of us can understand: money and power.
Unless it can be definitively shown that there is a contract from someone willing to pay more money for a playoff than can be earned through bowl revenue, these guys are not going to go for it.
Since they are in the unique position of not having to reveal just how much revenue is generated wholly from this entire industry, it becomes hard to present a scenario that they are going to find plausible.
There is a power aspect as well: The people running this system enjoy the power that comes with it, plain and simple.
Only when their hands are grudgingly forced do they allow things to change. Hell, I firmly believe that the BCS would rather have schools like Boise State or TCU on the outside looking in like Tulane was in 1998.
In fact, I think that this recent PR push was driven, in part, by the grandstanding that was done in Washington, D.C. earlier this year. It’s a way for them to say, “Look at how open we are. Of course we are willing to listen to the arguments for a playoff. We’ll disregard them and shoot them down at every turn, but yeah, we’ll listen.”
It’s an attempt at transparency, but it still rings hollow to me.
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