While waiting for an oil change, I read a great article in latest edition of Sports Illustrated (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1183842/index.htm), about the financial problems of the Fiesta Bowl, which was one of the BCS bowls that was played at the end of the season.
Last year, the game which is usually played by the Big-10 champ, as well as an at-large bid, was a snorefest last year. Oklahoma dismantled UConn from the very beginning, blowing them out 48-20. The Fiesta Bowl has been a host for some of the most memorable BCS game in history. From Boise State’s ‘Statue-of-Liberty’ play against Oklahoma in 2007, to the Battle of the non-Automatic Bids in 2010, pitting Boise State against TCU, the Fiesta Bowl has been memorable.
But even with all of the memorable games, the CEO of the Fiesta Bowl wanted more.
Long story short, the CEO of the Fiesta Bowl, John Junker, wrote checks to friends of the Fiesta Bowl, excessively spent money for the bowl game, and altered financial paperwork. He was promptly placed on administrative leave before the investigation, and fired after the investigation was over.
Because of these misconducts, the sanctioning body of the Bowl Championship Series (BCS), the Fiesta Bowl could lose their BCS-eligibility.
The possibility of the Fiesta Bowl not staying in the BCS, and the success of this years March Madness, is creating a ‘Perfect Storm’ against the BCS, which could lead to an implementation of a playoff system in college’s most popular sport, football.
With the loss of one the most profitable bowl games, the BCS will be hurting. There has been outcry from the public that the BCS isn’t fair, and doesn’t give the smaller schools a chance to win the championship. Mark Cuban, wealthy businessman and owner of the Dallas Mavericks, has come up with his own playoff system, that is starting to get traction, which could lead to strong opposition of the BCS.
March Madness is also pushing the ‘anti-BCS’ rhetoric. In the Final Four, there are two teams that are outside of the Power-6 conferences (Big-10, Big-12, Big East, ACC, PAC-10, SEC), with one of those teams going to the finals. The underdogs have shined this month, knocking off the so-called ‘powerhouses,’ and providing excitement for fans.
This is what the BCS needs. They need a playoff system. It is unfair to the athletes, who train hard over the long summer months, and put their blood, sweat, and tears into their teams over the season, to rank them from a computer.
Having a 68-team playoffs like basketball is absurd. But a 16-team playoff would be perfect.
You have the winners of the Power-6 conferences get an automatic bid, along with the Mountain-West and Western Athletic Conference. After that, you get the top-8 teams in the BCS rankings. Seed them, then take the month of December, and play the games during the weekend. December is a dead month for college football, so you wouldn’t have to compete with many other sports for television time. You can then play the semi-finals and the finals the during the same time you play the other BCS bowl, so it would be like the BCS games anyway.
Now, the BCS will argue that they will lose money with a playoff system. But, in fact, they would gain piles of it. Think about it. I am not an accountant by any stretch, but just think of the fan support. They will buy more tickets and merchandise. TV stations would lineup down the block to get television rights for the games. And in advertising alone, you could make enough money to cover loss you would have transitioning from the old system.
So instead of making money off of five games, your making money off of 15-games.
With the BCS still deciding what to do with the Fiesta Bowl, all we have left to do, as fans, is to wonder what is going to happen. With all of the publics support, maybe the BCS will get the picture, and push for a playoff system in college football.
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