Tag Archives: bcs

The Giants and the BCS

Last night I joked that the Giants winning the Super Bowl was proof that the NFL needs its own BCS system. I mean is it really a good thing that a team that barely had a winning record in the regular season was able to win a few games in a row and become Super Bowl champs?  Actually, as much as it pains me to say this since I truly can't stand the Giants, it's a great thing and here's why:

  • The Giants spent much of the season weakened by injuries to key players.  They got a lot of those players back towards the end of the season and I don't think it's a coincidence that's when they started to roll. If they'd been a college team subject to the BCS system they'd have been relegated to one of the bowls sponsored by a company no one outside of Tennessee has ever heard of and would have had zero chance of playing their way to a championship.
  • If the Giants had been subjected to an American Idol type system for selecting finalists the way colleges are there's no way they'd have been be selected.  Sure there are a ton of New York gomers who'd vote for the Giants even if they went 0-16 (unlike Eagles fans, who seem to enjoy hating their team more than supporting it, the fans in New York are completely incapable of being objective about the Giants) the rest of the country would see what I see – a team that wins "ugly" and has you convinced that if they weren't so "lucky" they'd be fortunate to beat a Pop Warner team. If we'd had to vote for a championship game at the end of the season we'd have probably had a Patriots-Packers game, which might have been a great game but wouldn't necessarily reflect which were the two best teams at the end of the season. 

So while it's easy for someone like me who truly despises the Giants, who can't stomach watching them win ugly time after time and who can't stand the fact that they're too stuck up to be named the New Jersey Giants as they should be (total aside – I believe my beloved Redskins should be the Subarban Maryland Redskins until they do the right thing and move back to the confines of DC) to joke that they're the best argument for a BCS system, the reality is that they're the best evidence I can think of that the BCS system needs to be blown up and major college football needs a playoff system. 

Another Reason to Hate the BCS

I'm going to keep this simple: I hate big-tim college football's BCS.  There are many reasons for my hatred, not the least of which is that because of the BCS the national "champion" in football is determined in the same fashion that figure skaters and diving champions are crowned in the Olympics.  If you need more reasons than that to hate the BCS then all you need to do is read this Sports Illustrated article.  Here's a highlight for you academics out there:

Of the 120 athletic departments that play I-A football, 106 lost money in 2009, according to an NCAA report. Budget shortfalls forced the University of California in September to cut five sports. Virginia hit up students for $11.9 million in fees for the 2008–09 school year to offset athletic department operating expenses. Cincinnati reached two consecutive BCS bowls and still found itself $24 million in debt. All over the country, schools are turning to student fees, academic funds and taxpayer support to balance the athletic department's books, which helps explain the uptick in so-called pay games (Hey, LSU, good luck this Saturday against Louisiana-Monroe!), conference realignments and expansion of the men's basketball tournament.

Really, you need to read the article to see how bad this really is.

Personal aside: when I was at George Mason U back in the 80s the school was considering adding an intercollegiate football program, but eventually decided on building a Fine Arts Center.  Many students were aghast because we wanted a football team.  I mean, seriously, homecoming basketball games just don't do the trick.  If memory serves the school's president argued that the expense just wasn't worth it, though we students suspected that he'd used some inflated numbers since everyone knew he preferred the Fine Arts Center.  In retrospect I think he may have been right if they were looking at adding a D-1 program, but I'm still not convinced that a 1-AA program wouldn't have worked. Well, I'm proud to say that students at my alma mater didn't wait for the school's administration to put a team together.  In 1993 they started a club football team and it seems to be going pretty strong in the Seaboard Conference.  I have a lot of admiration for students who will go to that level of effort to play a game they truly love; to me they're true student-athletes.