When the BCS put together their 'system' for how the BCS bowls would select each years teams the deciding factors would be wins vs. losses, BCS rankings and money. Money? Oh say it ain't so!
Well, it is so. The 'rules' allow each BCS bowl to consider the "economic impact" in the bowl's marketplace when selecting the teams. Or in other words, it's another reason not to invite one team while an excuse to invite another.
In a story published in the Idaho Statesman today, they report that the Fiesta Bowl is making fan travel (money) the central element in their team selection process. Not just one element but the central element. So much for wins and losses.
Tony Alba, the Fiesta Bowl director of media operations said in the Statesman's interview "This year more than any other, the number of people a team will bring and the length of time they'll stay here and fill hotel rooms - from an economic engine standpoint - that's going to be very important to us." In other words, it's all about hotel rooms, car rentals and eating out.
It's all about the money. Boise State is at risk in this deal. They are a small market team and of all the teams presently on the Fiesta Bowl radar, Boise State is the closest to Phoenix. So close that many would drive from Boise to the game. It makes perfect sense with the cost of air travel people would car pool and make the drive fairly easy while saving money. That means fewer car rentals. It means shorter hotel stays because if you drive, you have more control over when you arrive and when you leave. It means less 'economic impact.'
Here's a thought. If Boise State were ranked #2 in the BCS poll, could the BCS say "we didn't invite Boise State to the National Championship because they wouldn't have the kind of 'economic impact' the other team would." Sure they could say it! It's the big dogs versus the little guy. It's the fat cats getting fatter and little guy getting smaller. It's a democracy!
Who cares about wins and losses, right? Isn't that what they are really saying? No wonder the BCS doesn't want a thing to do with a playoff system! It could have an adverse 'economic impact!' Can you imagine if a Troy, Middle Tennessee, Louisiana Monroe or University of Idaho made it through a playoff to a bowl status? They'd cancel the game due to the adverse 'economic impact!'
Every BCS Bowl has the option - yes it’s an option - to not invite a team based on their season record if another team could bring a greater financial impact on that market’s economy.
Should Boise State be a little worried? I would be. Would the Orange Bowl select Boise? Not enough economic impact. The Sugar Bowl? Not enough money coming into town with a Boise State when they could select a Penn State or Iowa in their place.
Not fair? Well, fair or not that's the way it going to work….. And we wonder why the BCS doesn't want a playoff format.