I got an email about getting a review copy of the book DEATH TO THE BCS: The Definitive Case Against the Bowl Championship Series, by Dan Wetzel, Josh Peter, and Jeff Passan. I don’t have time to read it and do a review, but I thought that some one of you college football fans might. If you’re interested, send me a note via email with your address and I’ll have a copy sent to you (first come, first served).
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There is no logical argument against a playoff in 1-A NCAA Football. As for the BCS, it was 10X better than what preceeded it. It is just time for 1-A to do what all the other college football leagues do.
Wetzel? You are offering book length prose from Wetzel? Isn’t that a war crime or something? I would advise pulping it, but then the toxic waste that results would be harder to dispose of…
Who hates you so much that they threatened you with that drivel?
I’m interested, but your e-mail link on the right only tries to open my Apple Mail app, which I hate. You can check my reply for my e-mail and I’ll send you my physical addy.
If I’m not frist, then nevermind.
I don’t really care, because sadly the whole Big East seems kinda screwed regardless of championship reform, at least for this year.
These schools think they are making decent coin with this whole BCS fiasco. A playoff would make them richer than Cresus. Take the conference winners, a few at-large teams, and go from there. You could still have the ‘bowl’ games for the like of 6-6 teams like Notre Dame, the smaller schools could still bank off of those, but a playoff for the 1-A division would make the basketball tourney seem like small potatoes. The television ratings would easily out-draw the final four. But big time college football is the ultimate old boys club, and the old fucks who run it are as adverse to change as your local group of teabaggers.
It’s a cartel at its heart. Notice how much push had to go to get TCU and Boise State invited into the inner sanctum. There’s a very glibertarian IGMFU aspect to big-time college athletics.
DougJ is the business and economics editor for Balloon Juice.
Right click on it and do “copy email address”.
Also goppatriot50 at gmail dot com
DougJ is the business and economics editor for Balloon Juice.
Is Wetzel bad? I thought this might interest people. I would do it myself if I had time right now.
@DougJ is the business and economics editor for Balloon Juice.:
thanks, just sent you an e-mail.
And, IMHO, Wetzel isn’t that bad. He’s far better than many of the sportswriting hack class. And from the past articles I’ve read that he’s done on the BCS, he’s really gone quite in depth on this topic.
actually there are tons of of great reasons to not have a playoff, the presidents of the schools are too polite, and worried that admitting to them would cause unending scandal, to admit to them…it would be career suicide, also too.
college football, especially for the best players on the best teams, is minor league football. the players who would most likely be the key players on the playoff bound teams are auditioning for the nfl. the alumni and fans need to believe their players are all rah rah for the school and shit, their cash flow depends on it, but as the season wears on, and the players get more of what they can do on tape, their interest in playing for free wanes considerably…
the naive call them upsets, and they happen a lot at the ends of seasons and in bowl games…what happens more likely, is the coach has lost the ear of the best players, they are listening to agents , loan officers scouts, all of which takes the top off the product they are trying to sell as a playoff…
that is why playoffs work at levels where there are fewer pro prospects, and in sports where there is less risk of injury, or where the job interview for the pro league isn’t quite so compressed at the end of a season.
but for fans who want to believe their college football is pure, they won’t accept that playoffs won’t ever be as exciting in reality as they are in their fantasy.
@arguingwithsignposts: They don’t want to run the risk of getting their asses handed to them by the smaller schools.
I think just the opposite. Teams that had national championship aims to start the season, find themselves in some consolation bowl against a team that did well just to get there. They are unmotivated to play in a meaningless game.
I haven’t seen pro prospects slack off in the NCAA Basketball tournament. So, I think you are off with your analysis.
And now for a really constructive, grown-up comment:
Fuck Notre Dame.
Re: the slacking off bit – let’s not forget that these players basically have about a month off between their last game and their bowl game. That’s a huge space for players who have been playing constantly for the past three months.
I don’t believe players slack off because of the “consolation” game aspect. I’m sure some do, but prob. not most.
One interesting aspect of this is the way the economics of the bowls filters through a school. School newspapers make major bank off of advertisers for special sections (this is also true for the basketball tourney). The bigger the game, the bigger the take on ads. You can also spread that out through alumni associations, programs, t-shirt sales, etc.
A Liberty Bowl isn’t nearly as attractive to the interested parties as an Orange Bowl. And the BCS has just magnified that.
Shorter BGinCHI: FTMFI.
Yes, and the biggest scandal of the cartel isn’t the BCS at all. It’s the billions of dollars that big-time college sports bring in while playing up the pretense of amateurism. Amateurism is limited to the athletes, while coaches and administrators pull in huge salaries. The world would be a better place if Division I athletics were eliminated.
Fuck The MuthaFuckin’ Irish.
with props to Steve Gilliard’s FTFYankees.
@arguingwithsignposts: The Chicago media market is saturated with ND coverage. This year started out with them all over the Trib’s front page and sports page, as usual (the Trib is garbage, but it must be heaven to a ND fan).
Now, not so much….
Oh how the mighty, self-righteous have fallen.
Fortunately, I live far enough away from Chitown that I’m somewhat shielded from the slobbering nobfest of Irish coverage, although I see enough ND paraphenalia around here to understand your revulsion.
Until ND lowers their academic standards so they can compete with the Floridas, USCs, and Alabamas of the big-time college football world, they will keep living off the fumes of their legend.
@arguingwithsignposts: I wish Weis was still there. Was there ever a more perfect coach for that school and its acolytes?
Maybe they’ll bring the slobbering, right wing nutjob Lou Holtz back.
Dear NBC, we all promise to watch every minute of every game if you can engineer that.
actually they slack off in the ncaa tournament all the time..
teams that had national championship aspirations, and end up in meaningless bowls got there because they lost in season. maybe they tuned out the rah-rah college experience, or maybe they wouldn’t be in a mythical playoff anyway…
here is reality, 120 d1 programs, florida and ohio st spend more money buying lunch than the schools at the bottom spend to run their entire program, that isn’t going to change with a playoff.
with all of those schools playing 11-12 depending on whether they add a cupcake, there is no way to objectively give all of those schools an equal chance to win their way in. so the playoffs are going to be subjective, just like the rankings, the bcs all of it…its just the nature, and the tradition of the sport….
since they don’t use the 12 games they have now to settle it on the field, no reason to think a playoff will make people think they have seen the best team….you can’t go from 120 to 1 and give people an equal chance.
not unless you sever all conference ties, rivalries and make the entirety of the sport about a playoff. you have all schedules, divisions, etc done by a national sanctioning authority that would be the ncaa on steroids.
now, with all the other sports that satisfy the casual fan’s lust to see a champion, what is wrong with one sport still retaining its traditions, its rivalries, everything people who already love the sport, and love one or a few schoools already, cherish…
for what, so people who aren’t as committed to one school, the generic national audience as it were, is satisfied?
again, this is all with the understanding that no matter what you do, even if you organize d1 to the nth degree, you still haven’t solved the problem that players aren’t going to want to play, shouldn’t have to play for free, with their chance at a payday looming…its simply not fair to the players.
oh yeah, and i haven’t even discussed academics.
Who could possibly object to the rationale behind the Tostitos Meineke Kiefer Sutherland’s Comeback Bowl
For various reasons I’ve wound up being a semi-insider in college football, and I can tell you the #1 reason that no one is working to start a playoff: the schools do not want it. Period. I hear you objecting, but no no no no—they do not want the playoff.
First, they all (even the big schools) consider themselves universities first. A playoff would require traveling a huge team, plus spirit people (and in college, this includes cheerleaders and bands and a lot more — up to 500 people) on one week’s notice during Christmas break. Or worse, during finals week. They do not want this. Everyone likes to forget a few years back when TCU turned down one bowl invitation in favor of a smaller one because the first bowl game conflicted with the school’s finals.
“But the money is there to do it.” The money is not there. This year starts a new BCS bowl game contract with ESPN, and ESPN is paying less for the rights than FOX did in the previous four-year contract. Considering that broadcast networks have a built-in advantage because they want the games broadcast free everywhere, it’s very strong evidence that the networks aren’t willing to pony up the extra bucks necessary to get this working.
Then, as Jerry Palm at CollegeBCS.com has repeatedly pointed out, you’d have to have a 16-team format to have even slightly less whining than you have now, and that just adds more logistical difficulties. It adds huge problems for schools if the games are played on campus on basically one week’s notice, and it adds huge costs for everyone if they’re played on neutral sites. No set of football playoffs in any level happens at neutral sites before championship games. If you haven’t been around a university lately, you may not be thinking about how ridiculous it would be for a school to have six days to suddenly reschedule anything planned on campus for that day, clear out all the parking lots, get the 200-600 extra workers hired for another game (concessions, security, ticket taking, janitorial) when they probably had other plans, and so on.
College football is not the NFL, and college administrations do not want to make it the NFL just because ESPN and sportswriters want a playoff to write about. Not to mention it would kill the existing bowl system which has some prestige and means a ton to the bowl-hosting communities, would add extra chances for injury, would involve significant travel during the worst travel weather and congestion of the year…all so that ESPN would stop complaining.
It’s not going to happen. Live with it.
Going back ten years I can’t find a single season that wouldn’t have been much better solved by a four team playoff (one additional game).
There are 11 conferences. You could put in all those winners and 5 at-large bids, maybe determined by the same formula they use for the BCS. Everybody would have a chance then.
You seriously don’t think they would pay more to televise playoffs than the current BCS? Instead of some meh game between Georgia Tech and Iowa, they would be showing the semi-final to the national championship. Maybe they won’t make as much money as Wetzel, et al, are claiming (a shit ton), but they will make more.
Geez, just off the top of my head:
2003: USC and LSU split the national championship.
2004: USC and Auburn both finished undefeated.
Funny, they already have *national championship playoffs* at every other fucking level of collegiate football.
The we can’t do a playoff, it’s too haaaarrrrdd is rank bullshit, and typical of the D1 crybabies. Put on the big people’s pants and do what *every other sport/division* in college sports does, WATBs.
BTW, nice how you equate “college football” with the 120-odd D1 schools.
Every DIA, DII and DIII school deals with a playoff. Fuck those money-grubbing shits. And if you think the ADs and coaching staff and assorted athletic boosting organizations are really more concerned about the academics than the football, maybe you should put down the press releases some time.
This is all silliness. If 1-AA, 2, and Division 3 can have playoffs, then 1-A can. 1-A has more money to travel teams than all those other divisions put together and multiplied by 3. If Lehigh University can travel to Montana for a 1-AA playoff with a weeks notice (they don’t start the playoffs in January), then certainly Michigan could get to USC. Anytime anyone in 1-A football plays the “student” card, I simply can’t stop laughing. It is a joke right? Student LOL
@Mark S.: ok, so who gets to play the sunbelt conference champion in the first round? and how do you choose up the 5 at large schools? seems like you have painted your problems and changed their name……
when do these games get played? finals week can be the second or third week of december, i would think you might at least want to respect that… you are pushing college football weeks into january, thus, the winter semester at most schools, this will create untolled dificulty at some schools, none what so ever at others, your grand championship is decided by academic calendar, and the coach losing half his team to the one semester per year his players take a semi-normal class load.
oh yeah, and the nfl combine, the best players on the best teams might want to prepare for that, and you are keeping them bumped and bruised for three extra weeks, leaving them a month to recover and get in the best physical condition of their lives, because this time its their own money on the line.
what about the prospect of asking 100,000 fans to turn out in january in state college pa? sure they will want to go, but can they get there, and how well dressed for the occasion will they be? frostbite anyone? or do you put the games where warm weather schools have permanent home field advantage?
i thought the whole point of this was to be fair…
ok, ignore everything i just wrote….
college football vs minor league football, who wins….
that minor league they started, that no one watches? every one of those teams would kick the ass of any ncaa team.
but yet no one watches…
what you are talking about is turning college football, which people like, and making it into nothing more than minor league football. after the novelty wears off, people won’t like what they are left with.
and there’d be another cough, but I don’t want to trip moderation.
Yes, they’d have to rework the schedule. There’s also no reason they have to be playing regular season games in the first week of January. The Big 10 doesn’t.
That’s a good point. I remember when the Steelers hosted a playoff game in January and only 5,000 fans showed cause it was cold that day.
Huh? How is college football not the de facto minor league of the NFL right now?
ETA: I meant December up there in the first paragraph, not January.
Those teams play shorter schedules, They playoffs are done a week before Christmas, and have maximum attendance of something like 25,000—less than the Div 1-A basketball championship game. They travel maybe half as many people as a big school. Smaller is easier, whether you want to believe it or not.
If Michgan travels to USC, it’s not just the football team. It’s a 300-piece band (you may consider them dispensable, but Michigan does not), the cheer squads, and others. Unless there is a few million dollars for this game, everyone but the team has to take buses there, meaning it’s a four-day commitment for everyone who can’t afford to fly. And I guarantee you the money would not be enough for everyone to fly. Only the team flies to most bowl games for most universities, for that matter.
And fucen tarmal raises another of Jerry Palm’s post: there’s no way schools would approve a playoff unless the winner of each significant conference got in. So you could still be seeing the MAC champ vs. the Conference USA champ in a “playoff” game, and be just as annoyed that it’s “meaningless.” Except most of the students can’t afford to go, the scheduling is insane, and no one wants it outside of sportswriters who a) demand a new story every week and b) want the privilege of declaring champions (like the AP poll) without being responsible for the consequences of those decisions (which is why the AP no longer lets the BCS use their poll, even though the AP still crowns a “national champion” and presents a trophy to that school).
In my semi-insider time, I have personally seen the athletic departments of more than one top ten football school turn down more television money or wider television coverage to move games to dates or times that would have been difficult on the university. I’ve seen them reject Thursday and Friday night games, I’ve seen them refuse to move games to noon EDT kickoffs because of other campus activities, I’ve seen them refuse to move games to 8PM EDT kickoffs due to issues that would cause real problems for the students. The most public example I can think of, as cited, was TCU accepting a smaller bowl bid because the one they “earned” conflicted with finals and campus activities. This happens on a smaller basis for every weekend.
It may be more fun to pretend it’s all about money (and for players like Reggie Bush, it certainly was), but this is not true across the board, and is especially not true for the people at universities making the decisions. They don’t want to be the NFL farm system or a professional minor league.
And at most schools, extra football money goes first to pay for other sports that normally wouldn’t even be played. Dozens of I-A schools are fielding teams in sports like lacrosse, hockey, track and field, softball, and volleyball that would not be possible without football revenues. Cal’s problems are more related to the State of California’s ongoing budget clusterfuck than to lack of Pac-10 football revenue. The new Pac-12 should help them out some, but maybe not in time to save the sports they can’t afford now.
If you think athletic departments are swimming in funds due to Halliburton-style football revenues, think about that. There is money in college sports, but never as much as most people want to think. It’s like the inverse of that graph about wealth distribution: in this case, people think the big schools have a lot more money than they do. I’m not saying football programs are hurting, but I do know that in a ton of cases, the extra football money goes to other sports that otherwise couldn’t survive on their own.
its difficult to imagine you can’t recognize how much different the bowl subdivision is, from the lower rungs, especially at the top end of the bowl subdivision. its like comparing the state budget of alaska to the federal budget.
I know at least one Div IA (FCS – whatever) school that played an 11-game schedule this year, not counting the FCS playoff game they’ve got slated (which they probably won’t play). How much shorter is that? And what exactly makes the fans/athletes/assorted hangers-on at Div IA/II/III any less special than the fans/athletes/assorted hangers-on at the Div I schools? They’re not “Big”?
Re: attendance/travel: Cry me a fuckin’ river. what you’re basically saying is that DI schools are *more better* than their smaller peers who actually do have to settle shit on the field.
Re: Academics/Sports: I am really laughing at your use of Texas *Christian* University (undergrad enrollment approx. 7,600) as an example of how big-time schools put the classroom over the football field.
Perhaps that explains all the multi-million dollar contracts that go to head coaches, or the new football stadiums going up at schools like Minnesota, or new training facilities instead of classrooms or teachers to lower student-teacher ratios. Wait, no it doesn’t.
I am under no illusion that the program at Utah State is rolling in the dough, but don’t blow smoke up my ass that the Texases, Alabamas, Floridas, Virginia Techs, USCs, or Ohio States of the world aren’t raking in the cash.
Just as an example, a Div II school is paid $600,000 to get punched in the neck by a top-10 ranked Div I school early in the season this year. Where is that money coming from? It’s certainly not bankrupting the Div I school to pay off a creampuff.
And FWIW, you’re probably right that the Div I schools will never have a playoff, but not because of their concern for academics, the logistics, or the “tradition” of the Tostitos Eagle Muffler Chick-Fil-A Bowl. They won’t have one because it suits their greed.
It’s difficult to imagine the federal government couldn’t do what Alaska’s been doing since the 1970s.
If Michigan doesn’t consider its hangers-on dispensable then they can raise the fuckin’ money to pay for them to get there just like everyone else in the world.
You may not be able to remove all of the subjectivity, but you can reduce it. The problem you have right now is that a team can go undefeated and still not make it into the championship game. That isn’t purely because of subjectivity, either; there are only two spots in the championship but there can be more than two undefeated teams. Opening the championship up a little bit more, so that there is some kind of playoff beyond a single game, would help to reduce the chance of a gross flaw, like an undefeated team not having a shot at the championship.
a college crowd, and the trip to cowtown, is completely different, than an nfl crowd, plus 100,000 people at risk for frostbite, with very limited and old facilities for warming, ever been to heinz, or beaver stadium or many of the college facilities? many of the college facilities are simply not set up to have a large percentage of the crowd inside the stadium, vs in the seating section at one time.
as to your second point, its hard enough now to keep the agents away from the players, thus ending their eligibility…now the stakes are raised…a player is ineligible if he has contact with an agent. it happens every bowl game to one or two players. now the agents have a reason to keep their clients from further risk. now the players have a perverse incentive to make contact…..
to me the gross flaw is worrying about it at all, you go undefeated someone calls you a champion, like the old days….i would be perfectly ok if they voted for the champions at the end of the regular season, before the bowl games, like the old days…
d1 college football is never going to be fair, i think that is what i am trying to say here.
Ella in New Mexico
Excuse my ignorance, but they had enough to say about this issue that they could actually write a book about it? Wouldn’t an ariticle in Sports Illustrated have sufficed?
Sure there is. Or, at least, there’s no logical argument in favor of a playoff.
to quote bear bryant; “its kinda hard to rally round a math class.”
also,too many schools notice they receive more applications and get more of the students who apply, when the athletic teams are successful. boosters sometimes are encouraged or embarassed into donating to the general fund, or some other project, to secure their association with the athletic program, and the tickets…for some folks being a big booster is good business. winning can raise the rest of the university, but then you have to keep up with the joneses and the pickenses….
If you’re going to propose a playoff structure, at least have the decency to propose a serious one, not one that presumes the MAC or WAC are on par with the SEC or Big 10.
College sports strength is that it thrives on intangibles.the red river shoot out is the red river shootout no matter what players are on the field. No one gives a fuck if “pro propects” don’t want to try hard at the end of the season. It isn’t an issue now, why would a playoffs make it one
I hate to break this to you, but the NCAA college basketball tournament doesn’t consist of the 65 best teams in the country.
you may not care about the players, but unless you have good ones, no one gives a fuck about texlahoma
its an issue because people have this fantasy that the playoff games will be so much better, and more meaningful than the bowl games.
they won’t, they will probably mostly suck. guys who are playing for the pro scouts instead of the coach or team is one reason…another is that the best players will try and get out of playing additional games, again they aren’t getting paid, why risk it.
its also simply exploiting the unpaid labor, without the players you have no game. oklahoma and texas have sucked before, and no one cared to watch their rivalry, outside of oklatexas.
As a graduate and employee of an Enormous State University in the southern part of the US (and former pretty good footmaball player), I say “Death to all college football.”
It’s a waste of time and $$.
Also, I’m not 100% in favor of a playoff. Flawed as it may be, the current system does have its charms; mainly, every game really does count.
On the other hand, I don’t think I would miss the bowls. I’m not just talking about the shitty ones that pair a couple of 6-6 teams; the big ones have lost just about all of their luster. Part of this is because the ACC and Big East rarely deserve their automatic bids, and part of it is they just rarely put together really good matchups.
Of course not, but it’s also 65 teams deep, and no one pretends the automatic bid for minor conferences have any chance of winning. But it also means that those bids don’t likely cost an honest contender a bid either. A 16 team tournament with only 5 at large bids would necessarily exclude the 2nd best team in one of the 6 best conferences, and is basically to say that you’d be leaving out 1 or 2 teams with a legitimate chance to win the playoffs every year.
Just for giggles, let’s see who would have made it using my system. First, the conference champs:
Ga Tech, Texas, E. Carolina, C. Michigan, Alabama, Cincy, Ohio St., TCU, Oregon, Troy, Boise St.
Then the top 5 left over from the BCS (for some reason, that was a pain in the ass to find):
Florida, Iowa, Virginia Tech, LSU, Penn St.
That’s the top 13 teams from last year’s BCS. So yeah, Troy doesn’t really belong, but they’d be playing Alabama in the first round.
I’ve seen what I’ve seen, and I know what I know, and I shared it. I’m not particularly interested in trying to prove that I know what I’m talking about, nor in repeatedly disputing arguments I know to be false. This is why I don’t work in politics.
But feel free to research it by actually talking to BCS-division university presidents and athletic directors and see what you find.
Shorter Matt: anecdote = data
ETA: for some actual data, indystar.com has an NCAA Financial Report Database.
And what’s up with the acronym, FBS?
Football Bowl Subdivision? Really?
DougJ is the business and economics editor for Balloon Juice.
FWIW, I think what you say is accurate and smart.
@DougJ is the business and economics editor for Balloon Juice.:
Sorry, Doug, but there are several inaccuracies in what he said (like the fact that lower-division football teams play shorter schedules, and that they don’t also have non-revenue-generating teams that make bank off the football team revenues).
It’s a much more nuanced argument than you’ll usually get from Bowl game supporters, but it still basically boils down to “it’s too hard!”
BTW, according to the indystar.com database, UTexas’ football-related revenue from 2005-06 was $50+ million. Those top teams are the ones who keep the BCS from disbanding, and it doesn’t have a thing to do with academics.
(FWIW, baseball players spend more time out of classes in the spring, not to mention soccer, basketball and other sports that play twice a week.)
If you really boil it down to its essence, the argument advanced above is about the tribe. Big-time college football is the most tribal sport (even more than the NFL, i’d wager, although an argument could be made otherwise). The tribal army has to travel with its marching band, its cheer team, and the tribal on-lookers when they go wage war on the field of battle.
I think a playoff is going to happen, because the lower-tier bowls are DYING a horrible death. Knock those out, and the money stream they give the smaller schools, and the pressure turns up to share the wealth via a playoff.
Having all 11 conferences represented, and all 11 getting a piece of the pie for their schools, is the only way to replace the lost bowl money.
The alternate scenario is one of the big conferences pulling out of the BCS because they get screwed out of the championship game one too many times.
Still, with all that – money is the driver, and those with it have a self-interest in keeping the BCS intact. Look how quickly the Big 12 implosion stopped when Texas
was bribedhad a change of heart about leaving the conference. THAT was the BCS turning the screws to keep the golden goose laying eggs.
lets not forget, the d1aa schools are only able to make money on football by playing guarantee games going to play at d1 schools. before they institute a playoff, so they can be like the less successful divisions(because that is always such a wise philosophy, model yourself after the bottom) they would eliminate the pay days that keep your vaunted division afloat.
Oooh, blackmail. such a nice sentiment. “Nice D-IA you got there. Hate if something should happen to it.”
Or, you know, be like *every other sport/division in college athletics.*
Really, the thing that gets me most about the BCS/Bowl defenders is the constant special pleading.
sorry but college football is different. at least at the highest level, for a lot of reasons that might as well be quantum mechanics to people who aren’t emmersed in it…
and yeah, sorry, its hard to argue that a lower division does it so much better, when they rely on the upper division you are comparing them to, for survival. whining about the facts doesn’t change them.
i don’t rely on special pleading, let the bowl games go back to what they used to do, make attractive match ups as the season unfolds. i am all for the championship remaining mythical. its the idiots who demand the finality that the sport cannot realistically provide who need to go watch soccer. its all propaganda and you are just its victim.
Comrade Nimrod Humperdink
Of course the sport is tribal. That and the schematic matchups are the reasons it’s so much fun to watch. I’m actually with tarmal, I think I liked the old bowl system better. I don’t need the finality of a playoff. When I was a kid the arguments were about Notre Dame/Miami or Colorado/Georgia Tech, or Washington/Miami, but they were the same arguments. I preferred seeing the crowd tossing oranges onto the field in frigid Nebraska or Oklahoma in November after the Big 8 champ had been decided, and so on and so forth. A lot of it is probably nostalgia, but of all the things to get in a froth about regarding big time college football, the BCS is not real high on my list, either way. If playoffs come, then they come. I like the bowl system, but I won’t be too upset if it dies.