Bowl Championship Series ‘is a joke’

Travis Kriens

Travis Kriens

Harvey Perlman, chancellor at University of Nebraska-Lincoln, was recently chosen to be chairman of the BCS (Bowl Championship Series) Presidential Oversight Committee.

Who exactly is Harvey Perlman? To put it simply, he’s an idiot.

In 2003, Perlman said, “A (college football) playoff would extend the season, intrude on finals or the second semester, erode the tradition of the bowls and lessen the significance of the regular season.”

Back in November, the new chairman contradicted himself with this doozy: “The Bowl Championship Series is the best thing that has happened to post-season college football since the invention of the bowl games themselves.”

Let me start by saying the BCS is a joke and by the end of this article, any argument that says otherwise will be ripped to shreds.

This is the only team sport at any level of athletics that does not decide its champion through a playoff system. Instead, it takes the top two teams based on a series of computer rankings and decides the “National Champion” for Division I-A (FBS) football.

If we were to use this logic for the NFL, there would be no playoffs, but instead a series of meaningless one-time match ups between random teams to fill in the four-week break that the New Orleans Saints and Indianapolis Colts would have before playing in the Super Bowl.

As a sports fan, would you rather see the Saints vs. Colts matchup after having to wait a month, or have a playoff between the six best teams in each league to determine who goes to the Super Bowl?

The last time the top two regular season NFL teams met up in the Super Bowl was 1993. Major League Baseball: 1999. What this says is that sports are meant to be played on the field and not through polls or computer rankings.

I guess it is better than the old bowl system since the BCS guarantees that the top two teams at the end of the regular season play each other.

Here are statements Perlman made regarding the greatness he considers to be the BCS.

“First, a system of play must recognize that the athletes who play football are also students. For the vast majority of them, their success in the classroom will have far more to do with their success as adult citizens than their performance on the football field.”

This is the old “we can’t pull the players out of the classroom” argument. If you can show me any college in this country that has classes the last two weeks of December and the first week of January (when a playoff would be played) you are going to find the same number each time. Zero. Especially with BCS schools like Oklahoma, Florida, Texas and USC playing no more than four true road games a season. No sport is more classroom-friendly then college football considering 98 percent of games are played on the weekend.

“Second, any system designed to determine a national champion in intercollegiate football can only come about through the agreement of those universities that consistently field highly ranked teams. A system that did not involve schools from the six automatic qualifying conferences and Notre Dame could not claim to be one that is likely to produce a national champion on a consistent basis.”

Based on this statement, only schools that produce consistently high-ranking teams should be allowed to make a case on what type of system is used.

What team has had the most wins in the last 10 years? Boise State, which has not been given a chance at a national title despite going 26-1 the last two seasons and 14-0 this season. In no other sport is the champion debated at the end of the season.

“I don’t see fans travelling around the country three weeks in succession between December and January following their team. So you’re either going to have to play at home sites – which I’m sure everybody will want to play in Nebraska in December and January.”

Hopefully he realizes they do play a bowl game in warm and sunny Boise, Idaho, in December. It gets cold in the winter. More home games for teams is more revenue for the universities, or you’ll have to travel, which means bowls will cease being intercollegiate events, but will become corporate events, where everybody in, you name the city, will be there except the fans of the teams.”

Kind of like the current bowl system that includes the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl, the Bowl and others. With names like those, if big time college football and small time bowl games haven’t become corporate by now I don’t now when they will.

“A playoff would be a disservice to the regular season, student athletes, fans and the bowls, and would do nothing to resolve controversy over which was the ‘best team.'”

So I guess according to Perlman, all other levels of college football have meaningless regular seasons. On the other hand, a team that loses its first game of the season in FBS is basically out of the championship hunt after one game. Talk about a meaningless regular season.

While all these factors play a part, there is one deciding factor that looms the largest: Money.

Each of the five BCS bowls has a guaranteed payout of $17 million, bringing the total payout of all bowl games to $126.5 million.

While the six conferences with guaranteed spots in the Bowl Championship Series each receive at least $17 million, the five other FBS leagues will receive a total of approximately $18 million. That’s double what they would normally make because of Western Athletic Conference champ Boise State’s spot in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl.

The non-guaranteed leagues (Conference USA, WAC, Mountain West, Sun Belt, Mid-American) receive 9 percent of the projected BCS net revenue, or about $9 million on an annual basis, according to the BCS. That increases by another percent when a team from one of those leagues is in a BCS game.

The leagues then negotiate a split, with the biggest share going to the participating conference. Of the WAC’s money, more than half will go to Boise State. Athletics director Gene Bleymaier projects that at $3 million to $3.5 million.

This story was sent to Mr. Perlman for his reaction.

“I doubt that any arguments from such an idiot would convince you,” Perlman said.