Former director of the NCAA Final Four and current executive director of the BCS, Bill Hancock, wrote a column in today's USA Today defending the BCS and everything it stands for. After reading it, I couldn't help but react, so I figured why not have show my reaction here?
Below is Hancock's column, word for word, with my response to everything he says. Hancock's words are italicized, while mine are just dripping with sarcasm and disgust.
We've been called communists, a cartel, crooks — and worse — but that's malarkey. And I'm proud to stand up and point out why college football is so popular and why our system works so well.
I can't wait to hear this you commie pinko bastard.
College football was one weekend away from Boise State participating in the BCS National Championship Game because of what happened on the playing field — not in a chatroom, a boardroom or a newsroom. The BCS rankings are based on how a team plays between the white lines, and the results speak for themselves. If the BCS were corrupt, how could a missed field goal in the Boise State-Nevada game and a 24-point comeback by Auburn over Alabama have made such a difference?
I'm no genius, but I'm pretty sure that even before the BCS, Boise State losing to Nevada would have killed its chances to win the national championship in both human polls. I'm not sure that the BCS can claim that it invented losses. Also, should there be one of those crazy playoff things, that loss would have affected Boise's seeding in the tournament.
As USA TODAY reported shortly after Boise State lost its first game and TCU decided to join the Big East, "It's been a bad 72 hours for BCS bashers."
You know who the day was worse for? The conferences that the BCS has effectively killed due to exclusion. The Mountain West and WAC are dying because the teams that have the best chance to get to a BCS bowl game have to leave the conference so they can have a better shot at the billion dollar pie.
The purpose of the BCS is to match the nation's top two teams in a championship bowl game while creating a series of other exciting matchups. It's nothing more than that. This season, that means the No. 1 Auburn Tigers vs. the No. 2 Oregon Ducks.
Our other purpose? Make money money, make money money.
The problem people have with the BCS isn't what it's trying to do. It's what the BCS keeps from happening. You know, that playoff system that would allow more teams a chance to play for a national title, and actually settle it on the field rather than in the opinions the media and coaches, and the calculations of some computers.
If this were the shady system that some people claim, how could Boise State have been only inches away? And if the system were designed to shut out schools from the so-called non-power conferences, how could TCU — undefeated and No. 3 in the BCS rankings — play in the granddaddy of them all, the Rose Bowl?
Because the Rose Bowl was forced to take TCU, and because the BCS won't allow TCU to play for a national title.
The abuse from the critics is balderdash. The fact is the BCS accomplishes its mission with a stunningly popular national championship game. It regularly draws more viewers than the NCAA Final Four, the World Series, the NBA Championships and the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Other things that draw more viewers than those events: Dancing With The Stars and American Idol. You know what the difference is between those shows and the BCS? They actually force all the contestants to compete against each other and listen to the opinions of those who watch the show.
And it does this while maintaining college football's wonderful regular season and also by preserving America's unique multiday bowl tradition that rewards student-athletes with a celebratory bowl-game week.
Congratulations! Have fun in Mobile!
As this season proves, outstanding teams can play in BCS bowls, including the national championship game, no matter what conference they're in. For much of this season, Boise State and TCU earned the ranking of No. 3 and No. 4. That can't happen in a rigged system.
You know what can happen in a rigged system? Never allowing Boise State and TCU to get higher than No. 3 or No. 4.
Also, nobody is complaining that TCU or Boise don't get a chance to play in BCS bowls. The complaint is that a TCU team that is undefeated just like Auburn and Oregon can't get a chance to play for a title. Don't lie to me, Hancock. We all know that had Auburn lost to Alabama and then beaten South Carolina, they'd still be playing Oregon.
Commies? A cartel? Give me a break. The BCS is a voluntary arrangement that benefits every university in the NCAA's Bowl Subdivision.
You and I have different definitions of "voluntary," sir.
It has provided all schools with more revenue and more access to the major bowl games than ever before.
It just happens to provide certain conferences with more revenue and more access.
Why not a playoff?
This should be good.
Sure, I understand that many football fans want an NFL-style playoff instead. I know that they want to fill out a bracket, and that they want to watch more college football in December. They want their favorite team to have a slot in that bracket. But the desire for a different postseason format doesn't justify the false attacks against the BCS event. And as the person who used to manage the NCAA Final Four, I know that what works for one sport doesn't work so easily for a different sport.
Good point, Mr. Hancock. It's not like the FCS has a playoff system or anything. I mean, that's college football, where as the FBS is college football. It's totally different.
College football has the best regular season of any sport, and the lack of a playoff is one big reason why. Millions of football fans this year tuned in to watch the season-opening game between Boise State and Virginia Tech because there was so much on the line —starting early in September. If there were a playoff, the Alabama-Auburn game wouldn't have been as important nationally, or as dramatic.
Yes, we've all seen what playoffs have done to the NFL regular season. Those incredibly high ratings, packed football stadiums and all that money coming in has destroyed the sport.
I mean, nobody would ever tune into a football game if the only thing that was on the line was the top seed and homefield advantage in the playoffs.
A playoff also would mean the end of America's bowl tradition as we know it. As Rick Baker, president of the Cotton Bowl, said, "A playoff system would ruin the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic."
Yes, the Cotton Bowl Classic which recently left the actual Cotton Bowl for Cowboys Stadium. We certainly don't want to threaten that tradition. Surely with a playoff system we'd never again have a chance to see the third-best team in the SEC face off against the third-best team in the Big 12.
Under the current system, 70 schools and hordes of fans arrive days before the big game and immediately become the toast of the town.
"GIVE US YOUR MONEY!"
Fans and families plan vacations around bowl week. Student-athletes are celebrated as the players get to see places and do things they otherwise never could do. No wonder a poll of student-athletes taken by ESPN the Magazine earlier this year showed that 77% of players would prefer a career with three bowl games to a career with one playoff game.
Well, with a playoff system, if that player stayed in school all four years and only made the playoffs once, he'd end up playing in one playoff game and go to three bowl games. I wonder how he'd feel about that option.
A playoff, on the other hand, would be limited to a small number of schools,
Unlike the BCS, which welcomes 10.
and it would turn their celebratory week into a series of one-day business trips because the teams would arrive the day before the game and leave right afterward. If they won, they'd need to get ready for next week's game. That's not a bowl party — that's another game on the schedule.
While bowl games are another game on the schedule. There's a difference!
For the schools that don't make a playoff, their bowl games would fade away. Sadly, so too would a great American tradition.
Ah, yes, America. Baseball, apple pie and the DVDA Compass Bowl. I tear up just thinking about it.
If ever a season showed that the BCS is fair and that it works, it's this season. And it happened while maintaining the thrilling regular season in which every game counts.
Yes, that's right. This season, the one in which a team that has not lost a game this year and will be denied a chance to be champion, is the fairest of them all! Every game in the regular season counted, just not TCU's!
Thanks for helping me see the light, Mr. Hancock.