Empty bowls

College football championship system has little value or logic

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Money can’t buy you class or credibility. Take college football. Please.

The game has never been so awash in money, and maybe that’s the root of the problem.

It’s cash that has the game stuck in an antiquated, clubby and legally, morally and athletically questionable “Bowl Championship Series” – which, outside of the national championship game, largely pits whichever teams bowl organizers think they can make the most money off of. Merit hardly matters, as The Chronicle’s Scott Michaux noted the other day.

“The Sugar Bowl committee bypassed more worthy, but lower-profile, programs Boise State and Kansas State to invite big-name conference also-rans Virginia Tech and Michigan,” he wrote. “The idea was that their fan bases would flock to the French Quarter in droves. Turns out the joke was on them, because Hokies and Wolverines fans were too unimpressed with their teams’ unfulfilled seasons to want to spend a small fortune to watch a meaningless game to see which might claim a final top-10 ranking.”

Then, zeroing in on the heart of the beast, Michaux added, “If the BCS bowls aren’t going to be based on merit, they have no value. If they have no value, they should be flushed.”

He’s right. The BCS system is built by the big-money bowls to 1) keep others out of the money pie and 2) exploit these student athletes as much as possible while 3) denying them a shot at a merit-based playoff system and a real national championship.

Southeastern Conference fans have yet another reason to rail against the bowls this week, after organizers somehow managed the awkward feat of scheduling three SEC favorites – Georgia, South Carolina and Florida – to play all at the same time Monday. Whose bright idea was that?

They all have different fan bases, of course – but the SEC, the most respected conference in college football, is family. We all have our alma maters and favorite teams, but many of us have friends and family who attend, attended or just like to follow other SEC teams. The bowl folks made it impossible to follow all three on Monday.

How’d they manage that? Considering the fact that the bowl season now lasts longer than a Kim Kardashian marriage, you almost have to go out of your way to have all three teams playing at once.

Money is also at the core of the insanity that is now breaking up longtime conference affiliations and regional rivalries: Any team with a lucrative television market is now being sought and signed by any conference able to grab it.

What a shame that geographic and traditional rivalries are being blown up for some quick cash. And how much sense does it make to have teams crisscrossing the country every weekend to play games? How green is that?

Oops. We forgot. The other green counts for more.

Comments (11) Add comment
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omnomnom
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omnomnom 01/07/12 - 02:18 am
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would mcg combining with asu

would mcg combining with asu warrant the creation of a new football team for the state of georgia? they could be called the skeeters. or 'squitos.

Techfan
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Techfan 01/07/12 - 06:37 am
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The Azzizes? The mascot could

The Azzizes? The mascot could be a giant ego.

southernguy08
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southernguy08 01/07/12 - 07:19 am
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We pay pro football players
Unpublished

We pay pro football players MILLIONS to do one thing...entertain us. Pro football is a multi-BILLION dollar business. What's your point, AC?

Riverman1
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Riverman1 01/07/12 - 09:33 am
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College football is a

College football is a turbulent place to be. West Virginia doesn't even know what conference they will play in or what their schedule will be for next year. Geographic conferences are a thing of the past. Smaller colleges are losing fan support and depend on one or two sacrificial games a year with big money schools to support their programs. Plus athletes these days are anything but students. It's time to start reeling in rogue conferences, recruiting schools that should be left alone.

justthefacts
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justthefacts 01/07/12 - 09:45 am
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River, don't you think the

River, don't you think the merging of the conferences is the first step toward a playoff that everybody (not me especially) wants? Once we four or five "mega" conferences, like the NFL, it will be much easier to decide who makes the playoffs.

Riverman1
87582
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Riverman1 01/07/12 - 09:55 am
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JTF, good point. Before the

JTF, good point. Before the ACC came about, there was one big Southern Conference. Conferences had many teams. It's kind of going back that way. I know one thing, this breaking up of conferences the way it's happening ain't going to cut it for long. What if a school is left out of a new super conference and they sue for admission? Courts are going to take a hard look at the whole situation.

bubbasauce
22425
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bubbasauce 01/07/12 - 11:39 am
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The rest of the bowl games

The rest of the bowl games are at night. I won't be able to watch the first half before going to bed. Do officials that make these decision's about game time realize people have jobs or do they only care about the west coast watching the entire game?

bubbasauce
22425
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bubbasauce 01/07/12 - 11:40 am
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The rest of the bowl games

The rest of the bowl games are at night. I won't be able to watch the first half before going to bed. Do officials that make these decision's about game time realize people have jobs or do they only care about the west coast watching the entire game?

madgerman
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madgerman 01/07/12 - 02:24 pm
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Given all the different bowks
Unpublished

Given all the different bowks we have, is there a team that dosen't play in a bowl? BTW I don't wish to criticize but, I don't think it is the Sugar bowl anymore. Just how many bowls are there anyway?

shrimp for breakfast
5476
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shrimp for breakfast 01/07/12 - 08:21 pm
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Madgerman There are so many

Madgerman There are so many bowls we're running out of names for them. I like the name Toilet Bowl, Soup Bowl and Soul Bowl.
Also Finger Bowl.

justthefacts
22997
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justthefacts 01/07/12 - 09:05 pm
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It is the Sugar Bowl.

It is the Sugar Bowl.

prov227
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prov227 01/08/12 - 12:25 pm
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Too many bowls, just like too

Too many bowls, just like too much TV news. Boise State plays a team that is only 6 wins, 6 losses. Several bowls could be renamed the Mediocre Bowls Just for Money (MBJM).

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