Sunday, December 03, 2006

How to Fix the BCS Mess

So with the loss by USC – the BCS is in chaos and no matter who is chosen to play there will be lingering controversy well after the championship game on January 8th is finished. The way I see it – there are two main problems with the current arrangement.

1. The championship is not guaranteed to be decided on the field. There are too many scenarios which could lead to controversy and every year we find a new one.

2. The traditional value of a good season being rewarded by going to a bowl game and January 1st as a national day of football glory has been debased by too many bowls, TV networks spreading games out over several weeks and corporate sponsorship debasing the name value of the traditional big games (I can’t even tell you what the official names of the Sugar and Cotton Bowls are any more).

What I suggest is the following:

1. After championship Saturday – take the top 8 teams in the BCS rankings and put them into 4 bowls on January 1st. Note – it’s the top 8 teams period. No automatic births for any conference champions.

2. On the following Saturday (making sure there is at least one calendar week in between) – two more bowls are played matching the winners of the previous games. The match-ups are set according to rankings with the top remaining seed playing the bottom remaining seed in one game and the other two remaining teams playing in the second game.

3. The following Saturday – the two remain teams play for the Chris Lynch National Championship Trophy (hey it’s my idea – I get to pick the name of the trophy). My suggested system would need seven bowl games. Take the top seven currently (say the Rose, Orange, Cotton, Sugar, Fiesta and two more) and rotate the championship games between them.

This system would fix and address the following:

1. Right now the number 3 team in the country feels like it is getting screwed (this year that team will either be Michigan or Florida). With the new system you could get complaints from the 9th or 10th teams in the country thinking they should have been allowed in but that would have been Arkansas and Notre Dame this year. Once the games begin – people will quickly forget the about whining of the 9th and 10th teams whereas if Michigan or Florida win on January 8th – the team not invited will be carping for the rest of creation. Things get settled on the field with my system.

2. Right now too many teams get to go to bowl games. Can you believe that Navy, Cincinnati and Miami are all probably going to a bowl game? If we kept the number of bowls the same – the proposed system would cut the field by 6 teams (same number of games but there are now 3 games in which teams will be playing their second or third games) which would make getting a bowl bid a more valuable commodity and a more cherished reward for a good season.

3. Corporate sponsorship – the amount of money that could be generated by this system would be huge and a good amount of that money would have to go to pay off the big conferences that get automatic births today and thus automatic big paydays for the conference. Notre Dame would also have to be paid off.

One final thing - I would also make the money generated by this system taxable. Let's also fix that loophole while we are at it. These bowl games have nothing to do with education. Its business and the revenue should be taxed. That’s my suggestions. Take it for what it’s worth.

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