So they announced this new Bowl Championship Series model college football will use for the foreseeable future. A couple BCS bigwigs fielded questions
on a teleconference and tried to make everyone feel gaga about the addition of another big game.
The problem is, they said nothing. Which says everything.
After months of planning and plotting from some of the brightest minds in the game, we were treated to an hour of politically correct doubletalk and
the realization that nothing has changed since the BCS presidents announced months ago that there would be a fifth BCS game.
There's some fancy schmancy window dressing with another game, but other than that, it's status quo. Why? Because college football is about tradition.
It's about New Year's Day bowl games you know and love and polls you ride and ridicule.
Change is evil in college football, which is why this most recent change really isn't much at all.
The non-BCS teams - by the way, they're now called "coalition" teams -- will get access to a BCS game. We don't know how or when or where and for how
much money, we just know it's going to happen. Why? Because Oregon president David Frohnmayer and Big 12 commissioner Kevin Weiberg, the point men for
this "announcement," say so.
They don't know what the new bowl will be called.
They don't know how much it will pay or who will sponsor it.
They don't know if coalition teams will be paid as much as BCS teams.
They don't have a set BCS formula, and don't know how teams will access the model or if there will be limitations on the number of teams per
They just know that one of the four BCS bowls - Rose, Sugar, Fiesta and Orange - will host two games every four years as part of the new system. That
"system" will be tweaked once television partner ABC gets a good look at the fine print.
"Considering where we were a year ago, this is a spectacular set of achievements," Frohnmayer says.
Look, the problem I have with this whole mess isn't the foundation or the logistics. The problem is the way they go about it.
The presidents don't want to have a playoff and don't want college football to look more like the NFL. They don't want to upset current relations with
longstanding, tradition-rich bowls. Great, I'm fine with that. But if that's your reasoning, stop skirting the truth.
For instance, Frohnmayer and Weiberg were asked why a fifth bowl wasn't added to the process and why the BCS hasn't solicited offers from potential
television partners such as FOX, CBS and NBC. Instead of saying that constantly adding and subtracting bowl games or switching networks affects the
stature and tradition of the game, the BCS honchos talk about questionable financial viability of five bowl sites instead of four and contractual
obligations with ABC.
You don't have to be a Wharton School of Business grad to understand the best way to drive revenue is to have more options. The more bidders, the
higher the payout.
When the BCS was first formed in 1998, the Gator Bowl had the highest bid among the bowls competing for the four spots. The city of Jacksonville had a
brand new NFL stadium with luxury suites and club seats and all the amenities to showcase college football's brightest stage.
The Gator Bowl bid $116 million for the first contract, nearly $20 million more than the Sugar Bowl's runnerup bid of $98 million and nearly $25
million more than the Orange Bowl's bid. And it didn't matter. The Gator Bowl, which had Florida weather and a better stadium deal than any other
bidder, was pushed aside for tradition.
The Gator Bowl was never really given a reason why it wasn't chosen. The BCS powers that be said nothing.
Which said everything.
Matt Hayes, Sporting News