OK, now that bowl mania, Tiger mania, and Heisman conspiracies have settled down, time to get back to business.
When I left off on this series we discussed making the cut, seeding, and match-ups. Now to get to where these games will actually be played.
One thing I like about the current bowl setup (to an extent) is the distribution of the bowl games around the country. For the record, I completely disagree with a bowl game in Toronto because of passports (cost, expedition process, etc.).
This setup, however, gives more of the country a chance to see more than just games. The country gets a chance to see the bigger teams that may only end up in Pasadena, Miami, and so forth.
Higher rated teams are rewarded in the first round with a true home game, as you can see in the BCS Location Spreadsheet . Florida hosts Troy in the Swamp, the Sooners battle Buffalo in Oklahoma, and so forth.
An advantage to this is real simple. The home teams will certainly sell out the stadiums, even when the visitor can't muscle up enough fans to sell their share.
If Buffalo is given 'X' amount of tickets and only sells 'Y' amount, the Sooners can buy off the remaining tickets and resell to their fans. Either way, the tickets get sold and money flows into the schools and BCS.
The other huge advantage of this comes in the timing. Bowl season typically kicks off right before Christmas, which means most of the host schools will be on holiday vacation. Arrangements can be made for the visiting team to shack up at the dorms instead of spending money on hotel rooms and restaurants. This saves the visitor money and gives the home teams a chance to beef up its non-football image with good hospitality.
Round Two can also be seen in the spreadsheet. Once again, top-seeded teams will host unless they are playing a team who hasn't hosted yet. For example, Florida and Georgia each hosted a first round game, therefore Florida, as the higher seed, hosts. On other hand, Boston College traveled to Virginia Tech and will be the technical home team facing Oklahoma in Detroit.
As far as location goes the second round (eight games) has too many games to ship teams across the country to eight different sites. So regional games give the BCS a chance to spread the games around more.
Which regional site a teams goes to will depend year-by-year. In 2008, I went with what seemed like logical choices for locales (Midwest, Southeast, West, and Southwest).
I decided to send teams to the venue closest to the home team as finding middle ground could prove to be tough. Texas Tech-Penn State and Texas-USC go to Dallas for obvious reasons, the host teams are in Texas.
Florida-Georgia head to Atlanta since both teams are form the area. Alabama-Pittsburgh head to Atlanta also because it defeated the purpose of regional games to send both teams to Detroit, when Bama is not that far from Georgia.
Boise State-Ohio State and Utah-TCU feature three teams from west so San Diego was logical.
Oklahoma-Boston College and Ball State-Cincinnati grab Detroit for the Midwest connection, and like Bama-Pitt, it seemed pointless to send ship both the Sooners and BC far off.
Again, it would vary by year, and we'll look at 2009 with the same regional cities at the end of this series.
As far as choosing cities, NFL cities are prime locations to host the second round. Not only will it give cities like San Diego and Detroit big name teams coming in, but it will also give the BCS a chance to make more money.
For example, if San Diego wants to host two second round games for the next five years, the BCS can sell them those 10 games for a pretty penny. San Diego can then turn it around and sell the naming rights to those two games a year and make some, most, or all of the money back that was spent to lock up the games.
The games will also give the city a large of amount of sales tax and revenue coming in from people shopping at its stores, eating at its restaurants, and staying in its hotels.
That's is a win-win for both the BCS and the cooperating cities, especially a city in need like Detroit.
The quarterfinal setup is very simple: four games, four BCS Bowl sites. This will keep the primary BCS sponsors and locales happy because they will get at least that one game a year (up to two) with fans and teams coming in.
Three of those four sites will host two games a season as the semifinal (two games), and BCS National Championship game will stick with the current rotation of the BCS. As you can see, in 2008 the Sugar Bowl and Rose Bowl would host the semifinals, with Orange Bowl still hosting the title game.
The Fiesta Bowl, which hosted the 2007 title game, gets only the quarterfinal game but re-enters in 2009 as a semifinal host with the Sugar Bowl.
The rest of the rotation continues in the spreadsheet, shown through 2012.
Part Two: Round-by-Round Location and BCS Rotation
Part Three: T.V. Contracts and Ratings (Still to come!)
Part Four: Ticketing and Attendance (Still to come!)
Part Five: Round-by-Round Payout System (Still to come!)
Part Six: A Look At the 2009 Bracket (Still to come!)