Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 79

On the BCS
The BCS announced their bowl pairings, and the non-BCS affiliated bowls did the same. Blah blah blah. Regardless what BSC head Bill Hancock states, the BCS system has little to nothing to do with determining a national champion, and everything to do with revenue. The BCS is a cartel working to protect the financial interest of its members by locking in a significant portion of the bowl venue to the members. It is that simple.

On the Palin Wonder
Part of me has always thought that Sarah Palin stays in the news because of the money gained – thus nothing to do with running for the White House. Now that Kate + 8 Gosslin is to appear on the TLC show, that helps solidify that thought – thus Mama Grizzly and all her anger continue to smile all the way to the bank.

On Capitol Hill Shorts

  • Congress is currently in their lame duck session. At least in January they can return to just lame.
  • Alas – the Republicans extending unemployment benefits must mean they are socialists.
  • Speaking of the latest news from Washington, I appreciate this New York Times article.

On the Latest Theme Park
The Cincinnati area had Big Butter Jesus, which burnt to the ground in minutes after a lightning strike; BUT the church will replace it with something bigger. (My take on the burning.) On the other side of the Ohio River offers the Creation Museum, whose parent organization recently announced its intention to build a creation theme park with a huge ark. Oh boy … and in the spirit of Sonny and Cher, the beat goes on.

An addendum: Just discovered this free program at Evolutionary Christianity.

On Just Imagine
This past Wednesday marked the 30th anniversary of John Lennon’s death. Wow – to think he would now be 70. I invite you to stimulate your brain with this post by Al at 2012.

On a Classic Exit
Thank you Elizabeth Edwards for showing death with dignity – and you are at peace.

On a Simple Gifts of Handbells
Many of us associated Simple Gifts, the classic Shaker tune, with the current holiday season. Obviously, many arrangements exist Here is the one our handbell choir is playing this weekend, which includes a lively section.

On a Classic Angle
I must admit that one of my secret dreams is to be a traffic cop at a grocery store. Oh no, not in the parking lot, but inside the store because too many shoppers do not know how to operate a shopping card! Since this is the shopping season, this archived post is about a trip to the grocery store.

Have a safe weekend!

On College Football Problems

No doubt about it, college football is a great game. Yet, whether scheduling of out-of-conference games (OOC), bias in the polls, or no legitimate national champion, the game has its share of issues. Let us keep in mind that dollars are at the center of many debates. With this post, I’m taking an honest stand that will be unpopular with many fans – then again, that’s what I expect.

Let’s start is the ACC, Big 12, and SEC. These are the 12-team BCS conferences whose fans will be excited this weekend with their conference championship game. Wait a minute – why is there a conference championship game? Sure some fans will say because they have 2 divisions. I say what a bunch of crap! This extra game is all about revenue: revenue for the conference, revenue for the host city, revenue for the network, and possibly revenue for the participating schools. Why not play everyone and only 1 OOC game? Why have a conference if all teams don’t play each other? Oh, that’s right – revenue!

So how about the Big Can’t Count, most commonly known as the Big 10? Here’s a group of power elitists who not only forego a conference championship game by passing on a 12th team, each team doesn’t play 2 conference teams. Why not? Oh, that’s right. Playing more conference games would mean less home games – yep, less revenue.

Let us not forget about the BCS ugly stepsister, also known as the Big East. Given a 12-game schedule and an 8-team league, at least these schools play everyone in a season, but 5 OOC games is too many. Sure it is easy to say “expand by 2 teams” (and I wish they would), but pickings are slim (Temple, Army, and Navy) unless there was a major conference reshuffling – but that won’t happen because a conference would lose it’s title game.

So that leaves the PAC-10 – a 10-team conference without a conference title game, but where all teams face each other while playing 3 OOC games. (Interestingly, as a conference, they play the best OOC schedule). In my opinion, at least they serve as a model of what should be.

After next weekend’s games, the committees will announce pairings for all the bowls – and I can guarantee these things:

  • Elitist fans will demean the existence of the nonBCS schools, and the Big East representative.
  • Many fans will complain about the BCS format and call for a playoff.
  • Fans will forget that the conference title game is one of the extra games working against a playoff.

I can also guarantee that money is the root of the entire situation – including the money made by the conference title game. Bowl committees pick (or don’t pick) teams based on a business decision. The BCS lock-in system exists as a business decision. Meanwhile, as the upper division of college football continues to be the only major sport enterprise without a true champion, my hope of a playoff format continues to be nowhere in sight.

34 Bowl Games: The Why

Another college football season is about to close. Before clambering about too many bowl games, I have a statement will help anyone understand the existence of the plethora of bowl games.

As much as fans want a playoff system and continue to criticize the BCS for not being what they want it to be, the BCS is about the major conferences dominating bowl money revenue. Keep the following in mind:

  • The BCS schools get about 80% of the bowl revenue.
  • TV networks pay big bucks for the broadcast rights so they can make money from advertizing.
  • Bowl organizers sell naming rights to fund the game and the payout.
  • Host cities hear cha-ching when it comes to out-of-towner revenue for hotels, dining, shopping, and other related expenditures.
  • Although the mid-major schools may lose money on bowl trips, the trip is an important recruiting tool.

At least at this time, bowl games have nothing to do with determining a national champion and everything to do with dollars. This may be tough to accept, but it is the way it is. Oh … the statement? – Follow the money.

By the way, one can learn a lot by doing the same with the regular season.

A BCS Rant on BCS Sunday

Later today the powers at be will announce the BCS bowl selections. Although pundits and fans have made many predictions and the tea leaves have aligned to make the announcement a mere anticlimatic event, fans will still display either joy, sadness, or discontent with the selections of some teams. Since the complaining about the Big East and ACC representatives started long ago, now (the time before the announcement) is the perfect time to set the record straight.

The BCS is not about determining a national champion – and has never been  –  it’s about money. The BCS is an agreement between the six major conferences (plus Notre Dame) so they can dominate the bowl payout revenue. The BCS conferences will take home about 80% of the payout. That’s 80% to the teams with highest Saturday revenues; the biggest stadiums, the most home games, the largest radio/TV monies, and the list can go on. For those who don’t know, “more” means MORE.

Look at these points:

  • Of the 10 BCS bowl slots, 6 are guaranteed to the champions of the 6 BCS conferences
  • Winners of nonBCS conferences must meet qualifiers to be one of the 10
  • No more than one nonBCS conference winner can earn an automatic berth
  • A second nonBCS conference winner may earn an at-large berth with it meets another set of qualifiers.

In short, at this time it seems Utah is in while Boise State, in the BCS Top 10, is out. Heaven forbid they used a system to determine the 10-best teams. Sorry Cinderella, no dance for you!

BCS conference members and their fans continue to disrespect the best teams from the nonBCS conferences: Oh how they are not worthy of being mentioned in the same voice as the power schools. Keep in mind that these schools are the ones who take BCS bowl revenue that rightfully belongs to those who created the format! After all, this year the Big 12 deserves three teams in the BCS bowls (although the BCS says no more than two), the SEC always deserves at least two (just ask them), and teams as Ohio State (and others) site a legacy clause as their right to be included and to discredit not only those undeserving nonBCS teams, but also the Big East and ACC champions.

Speaking of the Big East and ACC champions, they have earned their right to a BCS bowl in accordance with the BCS agreement. Suck it up and leave them alone! Better yet, try being humble and give them respect. Heck, let them play each other in a bowl game on national TV so they can get their paycheck while the elitist sulk.

The situation in the Big 12 South provides an interesting situation. To the fans of those schools, your problem is NOT with the BCS; it’s with the way the Big 12 determines its champion. Stop blaming the ACC, Big East, and non-BCS schools for your in-house problem. Would Oklahoma fans be complaining if the conference used the SEC’s tie-breaker method? What if the conference changes it’s tie-breaker method and it goes against Texas in the future? Will they then complain?

Hey Big 12, I have a novel idea. Cut back to 10 members, each team plays 9 conference games, determine an agreed upon tie-breaking system, and get rid of the conference championship game that is serves as one of the roadblocks to a playoff system. Oops … that can’t be done because that game is all about revenue.

There are, and will continue to be, those calling for a BCS Plus-1 game. These are the ones who attended the Bud Selig School of Decision Making and Problem Solving. What the heck will adding a game to a pathetic system do to determine a true national champion? By the way, that “solution” is easy to dismantle and solves nothing … so why not be like Bud and flip a coin!

November and December are full of BCS talk – and it will continue after the close of bowl season. Fortunately March Madness will soon be upon us. Sure discussions will occur about a team being left out and another who shouldn’t be there, but at least a champion is determined – a champion that everyone recognizes. And that champion went through a process that involves Cinderella capturing the hearts of many.

Meanwhile, for those expecting the BCS to get it right, remember this – it can’t! USA Today’s Christine Brennan defined BCS as Bogus Champion Selector. Well said!

In contrast to basketball, the wicked step-sister called the BCS doesn’t care much for Cinderella because it is a mythological story situated in the land of green greed while disguising itself as a method for determining a national champion – nothing more; and nothing less.