Thursday, July 30, 2009

God Bless Harvey Perlman

A couple of weeks ago, Stewart Mandel wrote a piece about Congress' boondoggle regarding college football's BCS "championship": Why Congress' BCS hearing will be a waste of time.

This part caught my attention (emphasis added throughout):
Believe me, I'm no fan of the BCS, though perhaps for different reasons than the playoff proponents. The 11-year-old system, which is contractually scheduled to run until at least 2014, has irreparably destroyed the century-old tradition of college bowl games by moving them away from New Year's Day, watering down the matchups and stripping the individual bowls of their uniqueness.
EXACTLY! Right on, Stewart. But later in the piece, Mandel gets to the heart of what REALLY drew my interest:
But suppose I'm wrong. Suppose my admittedly amateur interpretation of federal antitrust and commerce laws is off, and suppose that, in some parallel universe in which such things proceed in a timely manner, an anti-BCS lawsuit or congressional bill actually succeeds.

Even then, the BCS still would not be obligated to adopt a playoff. The more likely result is that the BCS would simply dissolve. The bowls would go back to making their own individual deals with conferences. The Rose Bowl would go back to hosting the Big Ten and Pac-10 champs, the Sugar Bowl the SEC champ, etc. Maybe the Fiesta would still take an occasional stab at an undefeated Utah or Boise State, or maybe it would take 9-3 Notre Dame instead. Whatever would sell more tickets.

The sport existed in this manner for nearly the entire 20th century, and there's absolutely nothing stopping its leaders from returning to it, as Nebraska chancellor Harvey Perlman — recently appointed chairman of the BCS' Presidential Oversight Committee — told the Nebraska State Paper last week.

"The alternative is not a playoff," said Perlman. "The alternative is to go back to the system we had. That's fine. Many of us would think that's not a bad outcome."
YES!!! Oh, please, please, please let that happen! The old system wasn't broken and didn't need fixing. Bring it back!
In other words, your elected officials are dedicating valuable time and tax dollars toward a cause that, even if successful, would actually move the sport further than it is now from determining a true champion.
I can live with that. The focus on crowning a "definitive" national champion has already devalued the game's traditional rivalries and traditional bowl matchups. And it is TRADITION that makes Division 1-A college football the best game on the planet.

Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
College Football is the Greatest Game on Earth, and How I'd Make It Better

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At 7/30/2009 1:37 PM, Blogger Michael D. said...

I do like the idea of having the #1 and #2 teams play each other, but if the BCS gets outlawed, then the heck with it, let's go back to the old way.

Making conference championships more important may improve out of conference regular season scheduling, so I'd be fine with it.

At 7/31/2009 8:44 AM, Blogger Terry said...

I do like the idea of having the #1 and #2 teams play each other,

As do I, but last year in particular proved it's impossible to know who those teams are, so like you and Jay I say let's just return to what was. And selfishly, it will do something else for someone who grew up with the SWC: return the Cotton Bowl to the prominence it deserves.

At 7/31/2009 8:56 AM, Blogger Jay Anderson said...

"... return the Cotton Bowl to the prominence it deserves."

AMEN to that! As another SWC alum, I find the 2nd class status of the Cotton Bowl hard to take. Under my proposal, the Big 12 champ would play an at-large team.

My fear, however, is that the Cotton Bowl committee will move the game from ... you know ... the ACTUAL Cotton Bowl to the new Dallas Cowboy Stadium. Just more tradition thrown away like Miami did with the Orange Bowl.


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