May 4, 2008

Roundtable: Surprised by no BCS changes?

At the College Football Roundtable each week, we ask each of our national writers for their opinion about a specific topic from the past week.

There was a lot of postseason news this week, so we actually have two questions this week one we answered Saturday (Are 34 bowl games too many?) and one we'll answer Sunday.

TODAY'S QUESTION: BCS folks met in south Florida and basically decided that everything would remain status quo. Are you surprised? Are you disappointed?
Olin Buchanan

Anybody who really thought that the BCS commissioners would approve big changes to the postseason system was delusional. Even SEC commissioner Mike Slive, who brought the issue "up for discussion," said he wasn't necessarily in favor of the idea.

The whole issue of proposing a "plus-one" format to help determine college football's national championship struck me as a grandstand ploy. Now, all the suits in charge of college football can say they considered this "radical idea" and decided it wasn't best for the game.

So what if fans are disappointed? Do you really think conference commissioners and university administrators care what their customers want? As long as the money keeps rolling in, the BCS postseason format will remain status quo.

But I'm not disappointed. How can you be disappointed when you didn't expect anything?

David Fox

I couldn't be less surprised that college football's national championship plan remains unchanged. My hopes weren't up enough for me to be disappointed. Here's a sad realization for fans: Most of the powers-that-be don't care about what you think should happen to the sport, especially when your wallet tells them otherwise.

College football is as healthy economically as ever. Spring-game attendance is ludicrously high. Stadiums are expanding around the country. Bowls remain profitable. Advertising revenue is there to be had. According to college football bean-counters, there is nothing wrong with the sport because it keeps making money. It's like Major League Baseball during the steroid era, minus the illegal activity.

If fans want a playoff system quickly, they need to make the status quo undesirable. Don't go to the Rose Bowl. Don't watch the Fiesta Bowl on TV. But that's not a sacrifice fans can make. Why expect the profiteers of the bowl system to make the sacrifice for the fans?

Mike Huguenin

I'm not surprised nothing of note was done. And, frankly, if anyone was surprised, I question how closely they follow college football. The Big Ten and Pac-10 have been on the record about how they oppose any type of playoff. Heck, those leagues had to be dragged kicking and screaming into the mix when the BCS was proposed. What, exactly, has changed of late?

As far as disappointment, while I'm not 100 percent behind the BCS, I'm 100 percent opposed to a playoff. What I would like to see happen is a return to the "old" bowl system, then have a "plus-one" game after that.

I think there eventually will be a "plus-one" game, but using a tweaked BCS model. And I think a playoff eventually will happen in Division I-A just not any time soon.

Steve Megargee

I didn't expect any immediate changes in the BCS format, but I anticipated at least a little more debate. We instead found out why we shouldn't expect a "plus-one" system or any other major changes until at least after the 2014 season. It seemed as though SEC commissioner Mike Slive was the only person willing to discuss any changes.

While the Pac-10 and Big Ten already had voiced their opposition to any changes on numerous occasions because they don't want to disrupt the Big Ten vs. Pac-10 Rose Bowl tradition, it was a bit of a surprise to see Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe, Big East commissioner Mike Tranghese and Notre Dame athletic director Kevin White also express their satisfaction with the status quo.

Of course, there's always a way people's opinions can change. Slive has reason to support a playoff system after seeing an undefeated Auburn team get locked out of the championship game in 2004.

Maybe if Ohio State or USC went 12-0 and had to settle for playing in the Rose Bowl while undefeated teams from other conferences met in the championship game, perhaps Pac-10 commissioner Tom Hansen and Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany wouldn't be so steadfast in their opposition to a playoff.




 

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