So the word on the street is that the BCS will soon be a shell of its former grotesque, non-redeeming self. That Lord Titlesque Automatic Qualifier (AQ) title, too, will be no more.
Hmmm…interest is peaked.
And…the history-packed bowl games (you know the ones) will continue to operate and teams will continue to be ranked by a combination of too-intellectually-lofty computer calibrations for me to understand and there will be a miniature college football tourney at the end of the year to decide a champion.
Heyyyy…this sounds good.
And all that is left, is for the current BCS power brokers to agree on the plans.
Screeeeeeeeech…BS detectors up and sensing waves of it heading our way.
Look, let’s follow the KISS principle and keep it simple here. The packaging may change some, and there may be some seemingly drastic shifts made, but at the end of the day, the one constant is that the power brokers who are making all the money will continue to hold the power and the money when it is all implemented. Just a fact.
And, speaking of facts, I will do my best to be accurate in this piece, but caveat this sentiment with the acknowledgment that facts don’t seem to matter on this topic anyway…the BCS powerbrokers re-write history, non-AQ university presidents change their tune when they join an AQ conference and the media distorts pretty much every facet of this story. So, what you are really getting from me on this one is my understanding of the facts and my reaction to them. It’s not pretty.
While I am sure history will show cases of when an extremely powerful or wealthy individual has chucked it all in the name of doing what is right over self-benefiting, but I assure you those are rare cases. The BCS brokers are following a tried and true script and the climax will be the same, their pockets stuffed, their turfs protected, and more folks crowding the outside to watch them all comfy on the inside. You know the drill…you have friends who will start a conversation with, “Look, it’s not about the money…” Wink, wink, clear throat, put straight face on…its ALWAYS about the money when you hear that phrase.
So, let’s do as a good investigator will do and follow that money a little to discover if anything at all is going to get better for ECU and our ilk.
Currently, the haves are dipping into some $180+ million annually. So with projections for a playoff looking at upwards of a $ billion or more per year, does it make any sense that the BCS cartel – I mean decision makers – would be motivated by anything like competition, a true national champion, the betterment of NCAA member schools, or the fans? No, it’s about the money…ultimately that they stuff in their OWN PERSONAL POCKETS and then of course what they can generate for their members schools (so they can stay where they are).
The corruption of the bowls has been well-documented, the sheer amount of cheating at BCS schools in the last decade, the full-on BCS political lobby industry, and insanity of the conference realignments give plenty of evidence of the value of this monster and being part of it.
Follow those dineros.. Anyone who thinks that the BCS power brokers are going to give up anything in all of this is seriously deluded. Change the name, call it something else, but still make bank. When they dodged the government, they cleared the only thing that could have stopped them. SWAG is the best type of booty to get…and they do it in plain sight of an inept NCAA, a disinterested legal system, and a divided fan base and they fortify their means in collusion with an equally unchecked and corrupt sports broadcasting industry.
We watch the commissioners from the self-appointed Big Six conferences self-congratulate themselves for giving the fans what they want, harkening back to circa 1998’s gelling of the BCS calling it a watershed moment where college football answered the fans deep desire to know a true champion each year all the while conveniently leaving out that that groundswell also included a full playoff system…which the BCS partners in crime – the bowls – would never allow under any circumstances. Remember, making the money is easy, the product sells itself, so all the decisions are about WHO gets that money. With a true playoff system where higher seeds play at home and TV monies are distributed evenly and broadly, the schools actually would get the money. But then what would all the self-appointed college middle men get. For a bunch of highly educated university presidents, not many of them seem to get that while they do have more money coming in now, they could have many times what the BCS provides if they all got together and negotiated as a full collective and directly with TV…cut out the middle men who profit so much for so little.
So where does that leave ECU…
We’re still very much on the outside with a crowd that I suspect will only get bigger. The Big East will be sacrificed – now that it really is just a collection of BCS short-timers – and those schools will be sent back to the previously known as Non-AQ pool. This is a good thing for the BCS powerbrokers – fewer mouths to feed.
The bowls – with so many of them now – will continue to be the only form of championship we will experience…which is fun and good for the fans.
The pathway to a national championship just got straighter for the haves and more windy for the have nots. And lest anyone believe that winning solves everything…forget that theory as well. It doesn’t matter. Only 7 BCS games have featured a non-AQ team – none of those were the championship by the way – and despite the non-AQ team winning 6 of 7 of those games, the reaction was only to tweak the computer models again (to make it harder for a non-AQ to get back) and to pit non-AQs against each other to keep the breach wider. Now, with this new plan proposed, there will be no non-AQs in the final four…bet on that.
But…there is some fun to be had. The SEC will likely get its way and we will see a four team playoff with 2, 3, and maybe even 4 SEC teams. A few years of that and the other big dogs will start grumbling and then the infighting will resume and a new change will come – maybe expanding the playoffs or limiting to conference champs only – whatever. At the end of the day, money will be pocketing and so much of it, the haves will shut up and be happy.
Here’s hoping that Notre Dame – the independent with the voting power of an entire BCS conference (funny what a billion dollars can buy you when you are mediocre on the field) – rises up again and goes undefeated. Imagine that fat cat starting to throw its weight around with the SEC…holy cow, that would be some infighting worth tuning in for. Maybe ESPN would televise it.
Please…some of my more optimistic Pirate fans…please chime in…make me feel better about this.