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BCS B_S

The BCS is a broken system. It makes plenty of money alright. But it's method of cashing in - the creation of a string of prime-time TV games without contemporaneous competition - obliterates tradition and fails in its alleged task of determining a credible national champion in college football. The yearly "fixes" to the selection process - oops! controversy! let's add a computer-based strength of schedule index ... oops! controversy! let's reduce the influence of computers - is an ongoing farce that undermines the credibility of the sport. Given the available alternatives, on the face of this evidence, one can only conclude that college presidents prefer a system which fails to produce a legitimate champion.

Ivan Maisel reports that in its latest metamorphosis, the BCS is poised to adopt the "piggyback system." One of the four existing BCS bowls will host a 2nd game each year, the BCS championship. The purpose of the system is to a) avoid a lawsuit by making it more likely that a non-BCS school will play in a BCS bowl, and b) avoid diluting the revenues earned by the four bowl games that currently constitute the BCS. That's all you need to know to evaluate the plan. Now ask yourself, would satisfying these two objectives result in any meaningful improvement in the structure of college bowls?

I criticized the "flower boys" of the Rose Bowl in yesterday's post, but now I see their objections were on the mark. The "piggyback system" reduces the value of the four major bowls. This dilution is offset within the BCS by the 5th game. But for the game overall, it's a step backwards.

Maisel notes that BCS representatives prefer the term "double-hosting" to "piggyback system." I find the latter term rather apt.

Update: SI.com reports that it's piggyback time, and it looks like it's the presidents who are responsible.

[Oregon's President] Fronhmayer said the university presidents rejected the so-called plus-one model, which would have matched the top two teams after the four BCS bowls, because it would a step toward creating a playoff system. He said there was "adamant opposition" among presidents for moving the BCS in that direction.

Either they can't count (see the update section from yesterday's post), or as stated above, they prefer not to have the champion determined on the field. I think these guys and gals are showing themselves to be poor stewards of the game.