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BCS committee ready to dump playoff responsibility on presidents

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As of a few weeks ago, the idea of a four-team playoff seemed almost inevitable. There was a model (four teams) and what sounded like a general consensus on a couple of important items, such as where the games would be played (semifinals within the bowl system; championship game bid out) and how the field would look (not conference champions-only).

But Dennis Dodd saw the writing on the wall. So did Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany. There were too many issues to resolve and not enough time to do so — the deadline was originally June 20 — without someone hurting themselves. So, someone(s) in today’s BCS meeting probably had a meltdown that morphed into a Lewis Black-like tirade that morphed into the following decision:

The BCS committee will present “options” — plural — to the BCS Presidential Oversight Committee on June 26 instead of providing just one option. Supposedly, they’ll take it from there. I think. Maybe.

Our job is just to narrow and refine the options,” Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott said.

What Scott is really saying is that the 11 conference commissioners and Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick didn’t want the responsibility anymore. So, the BCS committee decided to dump the job on the group that was going to approve/decline a decision anyway.

Here, you take it. No tag-backs!

“We made progress in our meeting today to discuss the future of college football’s post-season,” a statement from the BCS read. “We are approaching consensus on many issues and we recognize there are also several issues that require additional conversations at both the commissioner and university president levels.

“We are determined to build upon our successes and create a structure that further grows the sport while protecting the regular season. We also value the bowl tradition and recognize the many benefits it brings to student-athletes.

“We have more work to do and more discussions to have with our presidents, who are the parties that will make the final decisions about the future structure of college football’s post-season.”

Conveniently, the chair of the Presidential Oversight Committee, Virginia Tech President Charles Steger, also issued the following statement earlier today saying the group is up to the task:

“This is an important decision that will not be taken lightly. The group will weigh the upsides and downsides carefully. It is the group’s desire to maintain college football as an element of higher education, to preserve the importance of the regular season, and to continue the bowl tradition and experience.”

Also on that committee is Nebraska Chancellor Harvey Perlman, who not 10 days ago said a plus-one was on the table. A week before Perlman, Scott did the same. I thought they were joking, but BCS executive director Bill Hancock reaffirmed it today.

With so much left to decide, serveral options are on the table, including a four-team playoff, but also the one where college football’s power brokers toss up piles of paper in disgust and decide to keep everything as is.

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29 Responses to “BCS committee ready to dump playoff responsibility on presidents”
  1. bertenheim says: Jun 13, 2012 4:55 PM

    Predictable. The presidents will have the final say anyway.

  2. joshuavkidd says: Jun 13, 2012 4:59 PM

    Typical of the general state of this country… “we can’t make everyone happy so lets just do nothing and wait till someone else figures it out.”

  3. Deb says: Jun 13, 2012 5:24 PM

    Not unexpected … but I’d much prefer having football people make these decisions. E. Gordon Gee is the last person I want to have a hand in deciding the playoff question. Good grief!

  4. alligatorsnapper says: Jun 13, 2012 5:34 PM

    Southernpatriots anticpated this a long time ago. Hopefully, their letters (and the letters, emails and telegrams of so many other fans) will have a positive effect.

    I am going to at least make a few phone calls to a couple of those FBS schools which took so much money from me and put in my playoff conviction.

  5. kdbroom says: Jun 13, 2012 6:17 PM

    Still don’t understand why ND is getting a seat at the table in these discussions. They’re not in a conference, so why should they have any say? Why not let other independents (like BYU, and Navy, and Army) have a say too? ND hasn’t been relevant on the national stage for over 20 years now.

  6. thefiesty1 says: Jun 13, 2012 6:33 PM

    These people will find a way to screw up a good thing. It’s obvious that they’ve all reached the Peter principle and none of them are qualified to make a rational opinion on anything much less how to figure out a college football playoff system. They’ll create a moose, that’s what happens with a committee of a bunch of yahoos.

  7. kozbee says: Jun 13, 2012 7:18 PM

    Lets see what the Presidents think,everyone else knows more then the BCS..And kdbroom i agree about ND ,why should they have a seat.

  8. WingT says: Jun 13, 2012 9:28 PM

    I just don’t understand what is so important in regards to “The Bowl Tradition”. Just what the heck is the bowl tradition?

    And also, can someone please explain to me what “benefits” the bowl tradition brings to the student athlete. Can these bowl benefits be replaced with equal or better benefits for the student athlete?

    Why is this so difficult for our publicly paid University Presidents to figure out?

    Are they that stupid? I bet their Wonderlic score is for sh*t

  9. weavergm says: Jun 13, 2012 10:29 PM

    Notre Dame has a seat at the table because they drive television ratings. The playoff is less valuable if they’re not included. You don’t have to like it, but as long as TV executives want them at the table they’ll be there.

    When the original BCS was proposed it was the only option on the table by the time it went to the presidents. Now they will have maybe three to choose from, one of which is probably a plus one. That’s more or less the default option, and probably the single most likely outcome at this point, since it’s the least disruptive to the status quo.

  10. kdbroom says: Jun 13, 2012 11:12 PM

    That may have been true in the distant past, but ratings in the recent past have been dismal (even to the point of NBC pondering a significant reduction in the size and scope of the contract). When ND plays the better teams, their ratings are indeed better. However, one can argue that the opponent drove the ratings just as much, if not more, than ND (especially against teams like USC, Michigan, etc.). When ND plays a team like Army, the ratings suck, hence the reluctance from NBC.

    Here’s a factoid. According to Bloomberg, every SEC team earns more from television rights than Notre Dame.

    ND will be value-added only when/if they can figure out how to right the ship. Until then, they don’t deserve a seat at the table.

  11. alligatorsnapper says: Jun 13, 2012 11:38 PM

    WingT:

    Great posting and great questions. Last winter while working with the doctor and nurses of southernpatriots family in Appalachia, I asked some of the same questions. Let me see if I can answer them the way the doctor did for me.

    1. FBS football coaches say the athletes love the bowl experience (parades, pagentry, atmosphere, etc.), so the coaches almost always will accept any bowl for their team, even IF that bowl expense actually loses millions for their school.

    2. In a true playoff, the atmosphere can be there as well, and the payoff for athletes would be a true crowned national champion.

    3. The presidents don’t ever want much of a change. They resist it almost always. The ones who did respond to southernpatriots admitted they were for changes in the post-season, and were willing to support a playoff, if it was the consensus of other presidents, and (though unsaid) if they did not have to advocate a playoff themselves.

    Will you be coming to Baton Rouge for the LSU v. Bama game this year? Southernpatriots mentioned that they wanted to make you something special (I think they were talking about some Cajun food). I may have another double shift tomorrow if they can’t find anyone else, but I will monitor this thread and get back with you.

  12. mdak06 says: Jun 14, 2012 8:30 AM

    alligatorsnapper, that’s the “polished and cleaned” answer. If you ask some folks, the answer is:

    * players, coaches, conference and university officials are bribed with free stuff;
    * schools are forced to pay ridiculous prices for hotel rooms and required to book a certain number of rooms for a certain number of nights;
    * schools are required to buy tickets at inflated prices and attempt to re-sell them, while the fans know they’ll get lower prices if they wait long enough.

    That is “bowl tradition” for ya.

    I really don’t have a problem with the pageantry and all of that stuff, but I think that the schools are leaving way, way, way too much money on the table with the existing bowl system (and the universities are getting screwed, budget-wise, in the process). I am hopeful regarding the fact that the SEC & Big 12 are going to “bid out” the right to show their champions game, because perhaps it means the conferences will start dictating terms to the bowls, not the other way around.

  13. alligatorsnapper says: Jun 14, 2012 8:57 AM

    mdako6:

    “some folks” are correct. It is a scandal that has been hidden far too long. I volunteered at the Sugar Bowl and at several other bowls to get in about a decade ago, just to get in when I could not afford the tickets. I was told they did great things for local charities and all.

    The doctor in the southernpatriots family took me aside and showed me that actual payouts for the SunBowl, Orange Bowl, Sugar Bowl, etc. and about the only bowl that actually pays out anything substantial is the Rose Bowl.

    The rest of them appear to spend more on junkets for politicians and waste millions while giving local children’s charities only at pitance. And the rest of what you posted is correct for most of them, the only two exceptions I know of is the Rose Bowl, and Chick-Fil-A Bowl because the founders Truett and Dan Cathy have truly a vision for sick children and sponsor camps, treatment, etc. I won’t volunteer any longer for most bowls, even if they beg (as one did a few years ago when they desperately needed a construction engineer.

    No one in power (NCAA, college presidents, etc)appears to even be considering scrapping the bowls, but they need to, or get some supervisory oversight as was done with the Sun Bowl after their recent scandals.

  14. florida727 says: Jun 14, 2012 9:51 AM

    “snapper”, enjoy your posts, thanks as usual for the insights. I agree with “Deb’s” comment… this decision needs to be made by football people, not university presidents who know so little about the sport. They solely make their decisions based on dollars and sense. That needs to be a consideration, of course, but not the driving force behind the ultimate decision.

    I have a friend whose son played on the back-to-back Florida national championship basketball teams. I know March Madness is different than college football, but the experience (the gifts, the atmosphere, etc.) is amazing… and a reward for the work the athletes put in. That said, I’m most in favor of the suggestion “snapper” made regarding some sort of oversight governance of these bowl games. That way you maintain the “tradition” (read: experience) for the athletes, yet remain true to the charter of the bowls, which is charity-driven, or at least supposed to be charity-driven.

    I’m still rooting for the six-team playoff using the existing BCS bowls and a bid-out title game. #1 and #2 gets byes. #3 plays #6 and #4 plays #5 in two of the existing BCS bowls. The winners advance to play #s 1 and 2 at the other BCS bowls in the semi-finals, and the championship game goes to different locations, similar to the Super Bowl. I realize this will never happen because… it makes too much sense :)

  15. orthomarine says: Jun 14, 2012 11:16 AM

    Not It!

    LOL

  16. alligatorsnapper says: Jun 14, 2012 11:22 AM

    florida727:

    Maybe we can get some sort of playoff system in beginning way and expand to a better system down the road. The BCS committee, and even more the presidents, will not move a major move, maybe some baby steps, and that’s about all. I do like your plan, but I am somewhat like you…skeptical that they will ever go with that type of plan, because like you said, “it makes to much sense.”

    The SunBowl after their scandals, now have an oversight committee made up of football people and elected officials (the last part I am not sure of but think that is correct because the state does have an interest, and at least those folks are elected by the people).

    I know the Cathy children’s charities (Chick Fil-A) does provide oversight for the funds received and dispenses the funds for the charities. I wish all bowls did this, but sad to say, most do not and out of millions spent on junket payoffs to politicians, and other perks in the millions for officers, they send $10K or so to Salvation Army, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, American Cancer Society, etc.

  17. dmcgrann says: Jun 14, 2012 1:14 PM

    alligatorsnapper, I’m not aware of any scandal involving the Sun Bowl. Perhaps you meant Fiesta Bowl?

  18. alligatorsnapper says: Jun 14, 2012 2:31 PM

    dmcgrann:

    Fiesta Bowl was the one I was thinking about, thanks for the heads up. Sun Bowl was one of the many that did not give out much to local charities.

  19. mdak06 says: Jun 14, 2012 9:23 PM

    Thanks for your insight snapper. I really hope things change for the better.

    I think the bowl games, as a basic “postseason exhibition game,” are not a bad thing at all. I’m sure that the players have a great time. However, the fact that so many schools lose money traveling to a bowl game is insane.

    I could see a future in which all of the conferences start making agreements to bid out bowl games, and if no one wants to buy them, they simply do it on their own. “Worst case” is that they use one of their own campus stadiums to host a game, possibly alternating locations if there is an agreement between two conferences.

    As an ACC fan I’m glad that the Peach bowl is one of the few “good” ones. Frankly, I’d like to see the ACC champ start playing there in the future.

    FYI (to anyone) the Arizona Republic has a great online section regarding the investigation of the Fiesta Bowl corruption. It also covers a lot of information about problems with other bowls too.

    As far as the playoff, I’m hoping for an eight-game one sooner rather than later. Four is ok, but eight would be much better. And I see no reason the bowls (as relatively meaningless games) cannot coexist with a playoff system, although I don’t think they should be part of the playoff system.

  20. suprmous says: Jun 15, 2012 1:07 AM

    I’m goin to stick my foot in my mouth and overload my ass but I got my info from the 3 brothers who played at Bama. There’s a need for a playoff system and it’s better to have an 8 game start. With a 4 team system that’s far from gettin to the bottom as to who’s the best. When the winner emerges there should be sufficent time for the winner and their bowl opponent to have equal rest and be on the same page as for as talent goes. As for the $$ the individual schools get for playin in the bowls there should be no team to get a higher percentage than another, they should be equally paid for their appearance. With a lot of the games bein played around the Holidays they need to be rescheduled until shortly after the regular season. In doing this the players, the band, the coaches, and the fans alike can spend quality time during the Holidays with their families. K, I know I sound as if I’m ramblin on but I’ve been up for 36 hrs non-stop but I’m sure you get what my brothers are saying. I appreciate some of their points and I disagree with some but I think what there sayin as a whole idea makes sense.

  21. suprmous says: Jun 15, 2012 1:16 AM

    alligatorsnapper, hope all’s good with you and your’s along with southernpatriots. And the rest of you folks I’m wishin that for you to though I haven’t been over here when you’ve been here. alligatorsnapper, I want to apologize to you in front of these folks and the World for the problems I’ve caused you and you know what I’m talkin bout. And if you would please tell southernpatriots as well. I’m not one to back down but I seriously think it’s bout time for me to lockup my shop and head on outa here. It’s been a pleasure bein able to know that you gave me a chance not long ago as well. Take care and here’s a GEAUX TIGERS for ya. Take care of yourself and southernpatriots.

  22. alligatorsnapper says: Jun 15, 2012 9:29 AM

    suprmous:

    Thank you for the apology. I will relate that to the good doctor, nurses, and teachers, as well as a LPC (licensed professional counselor), a former UGA football player and now retired businessman, and all the others in their extended family, who help others every day, just as if all they is just natural but some of it is just extraordinary.

    They just received an award from Gov. Jindal of Louisiana for their work after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and an award from the gov. of West Virginia for their decades of work there. When they finish their work for this season in Central Appalachia, at least some of the family will go to Haiti to start several medical clinics which are desperately needed there.

    I am not sure I will go to Haiti with them, but I am helping them expand the Neighborhood Watch they started in a small south Louisiana town after two children were brutally attached, one dismembered and the other 12 year old boy raped in a Burger King restroom by a 50 year old pervert rapist man. The mayor there is going to have a big event when they all return to present a “key the city” to them for their work there.

    I have made two phone calls about this post-season playoff situation, and I may make a few other phone calls. My sister went to Southern Miss and they are FBS and have a vote, and several co-workers went to A&M, and one to Texas, so I am going to see if they will make telephone calls to their alma maters. Hopefully, these presidents will not choose the path of least resistance, but I think they may.

  23. alligatorsnapper says: Jun 15, 2012 5:51 PM

    mdak06:

    I completely agree. I wonder if the future you envision may be sped up to be the near future, like when the present contracts expire or this fall? Just hoping. It has been far too long that schools have lost a great deal of money on bowls (except the Rose Bowl) and have not had good business when it comes to their school’s involvements and participation with the bowls. It is high time they start (or at least the conference starts to have some say, and if some say, maybe some changes will come).

  24. mdak06 says: Jun 16, 2012 4:03 PM

    snapper, I hope it is sooner rather than later. I don’t think any actual change will take place this fall, since the BCS is still with us for another couple of years, but I suspect that changes will be put in motion and may be in full force by 2014-15.

    There may need to be some changes made to the way the NCAA operates (as far as the administration of bowls) but I am optimistic that those changes will happen.

    There are many possibilities for agreements between conferences. Even the “lesser” FBS conferences could take control of their postseason. Conference USA & the Mountain West could agree to send two teams to face each other in two bowl games, one in the east and another in the west, and bid them out for the best deal. Each conference could have multiple partner conferences that they work with to bid out games.

    Hopefully we’ll have a much more sensible football postseason in just a couple of years.

  25. alligatorsnapper says: Jun 16, 2012 6:07 PM

    mdak06:

    I had forgotten that we will still be under the BCS contract for a couple more years…ugh.

    Your postings reflect much thought and wisdom and optimism as well. I sure hope you are correct, but sometimes I get sceptical about the NCAA. It seems sometimes they can snatch defeat out of victory.

    I can wait a few more years. The good family of southernpatriots, with a former LSU player and many graduates, and a former Georgia player all have been advocating a playoff for over 40 years. Several of their family wrote guest articles for the Times Picayune and Baton Rouge Morning Advocate back in the early 70s. They laugh about it, but state they wish playoffs would come in their lifetimes. For their sake and for all fans, I surely hope it comes in a couple more years.

  26. jacksprat57 says: Jun 16, 2012 11:06 PM

    JoshuaVKidd: There is no boss of them who may or should assume command. No one can be dragged anywhere which they aren’t willing to go. Just as I can’t tell you what to do or where to go and expect that it’ll happen. :) Such is life.

  27. jacksprat57 says: Jun 16, 2012 11:15 PM

    AlligatorSnapper wrote: “My sister went to Southern Miss and they are FBS and have a vote, and several co-workers went to A&M, and one to Texas, so I am going to see if they will make telephone calls to their alma maters. Hopefully, these presidents will not choose the path of least resistance, but I think they may.”

    “…and have a VOTE….”

    No such thing. This isn’t some majority decides deal. Nobody needs go along with anything. Which means that not all dogs is equal in this here hunt. Of one thing I can assure you, that SoMiss is one of the less equals. Now, Texas is probably the most equal, but that doesn’t mean that they’ve got the power to dragoon anyone else (except maybe Kansas and Iowa State.)

    Anything not acceptable to the Big Boys will not get done. No matter how much backing Mike Slive has got down in the corner of America.

  28. WingT says: Jun 17, 2012 9:32 AM

    @ Allgatorsnapper
    Please tell southernpatriots thank you for their kind offer to feed me in Baton Rouge :) I am not sure if I will make the trip – I don’t go to very many games, mostly due to business priorities ruling my time. But if I do, I would welcome the chance to visit with all of them. It’s not the quality of the food that would make me want to visit , but rather the spirit of friendship and just being around good people.

    roll tide

  29. alligatorsnapper says: Jun 18, 2012 6:44 PM

    Wing T:

    If you are able to come, it would be a joy to show you around and show you some great South Louisiana hospitality. (and we will NOT open Mike the Tiger’s cage and push you in, as one LSU fan threatened a Tide fan a few seasons ago and the doctor of southernpatriots family intervened with some good smoked meats and brought civility again to the conversation)…

    Let us know via this method or southernpatriots and we will let you know how to find us in the tailgating area…it is really easy, once you know the sign…ha.

    Man, do I know about the business priorities. I accepted a promotion in March and now I am the one called upon to perform double shifts when such is necessary. When that happens I am not good for anything else, not even typing!

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