A day ahead of yet another round of Congressional hearings, ACC president and BcS coordinator John Swofford took a few minutes out of his busy schedule stomping out the growing number of playoff fires at his organization’s feet to answer a few questions from RealClearSports.
If you are a fan of the current system, Swofford comes off as an intelligent, reasoned individual whose arguments make sense.
If you are not a fan of the current system, well, let’s just say “smarmy” and “egotistical” and “these dudes are batspit crazy” come to mind.
Case in point?
The timing of tomorrow’s Senate hearing. Two days after the July 7 hearing, conferences can sign an amendment to the BcS’s television agreement. Senator Orrin Hatch, who is spearheading this latest assault on the current system, wanted these hearings to take place before the TV deal could be made official, perhaps in hopes of delaying the official extension.
Swofford’s response to that line of questioning?
“The BCS is voluntary. If a conference decided it did not want to be a part of the BCS there is certainly no requirement that it do so. Obviously if certain conferences said they were not going to be a part of it, that could be a factor in its continuation–depending on which conferences, that is.”
Translation? ”God help us all if the SEC or Big 12 bails on us. The Mountain West and WAC and their ilk bolt? (Uproarious laughter).”
And therein lies the problem, and is yet another sign why the antitrust tag Hatch and others are attempting to attach to the BcS may ultimately stick.
Swofford and his contemporaries could care less about the “lesser” weights involved in the BcS, as his comment above outlines better than anyone could.
It’s all about the Big Six, and to hell with anyone else. It’s exclusionary, whether the other conferences are technically included or not. Public pressure and congressional scrutiny is the only way to force the BcS to level the playing field for all conferences when it comes to having a legitimate shot at a season-ending trophy.
Perhaps the best thing to come out of the very public attention Congress is paying to the current system is the fact that those in charge of said system are being forced to, more and more, publicly defend their system.
The more they talk, the more they defend, the more they peel away the layers of their real agendas, and provide additional ammunition for those with real power on Capitol Hill to force a change that’s long overdue.
So, I say keep it up Mr. Swofford, Mr. Perlman. Keep talking.
Your publicly verbal tack is the best thing going for fans pining for change.