Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Get rich quick gimmick...

I'm not the biggest sports fan on the planet. And up until a couple of years ago, I'd been on a self-inflicted sports diet for about 7 years. However, I've slowly started watching most sports again over the past couple of years, and I have to say that my casual interest, coupled with using the games as an excuse to hang out with friends and drink beer, has made my spectating experience a much happier one.
However, even during this self-imposed sports blackout, I remained committedly interested in college football. College football is so much fun to watch, because the teams are forever changing, and a team that is good one year/multiple years/decade, will flounder in ensuing years, due to poor recruiting, sanctions, etc. The action is slower and less polished than pro football; but because they're playing for either the simple love of the game, or because they're trying desperately to get onto a pro roster, the players are much more invested than the pro athletes seem to be.
So why it is that we as a college football watching crowd, or really as a society in general, have allowed the Bowl Championship Series to manipulate college football, and take advantage of the free talent at their disposal, is beyond me. It all started back in the late 90s. College teams had been complaining that simply having bowl games which pitted specific conferences against one another both unfairly putting good teams into unwatched bowls, but also did nothing to demonstrate who the best team in the country was*. Therefore, the BCS was created to give college football a National Championship game. However, what has happened is that we have now a huge money-making business for the BCS, that has almost nothing to do with college football or the universities, but instead has as its sole purpose to sell ad revenue and make huge profits off the NCAA and the free labor that comes out of it.
The names of the bowl games is a clear indicator of where the priorities lie. The games used to be called the Rose Bowl, the Orange Bowl, the Fiesta Bowl and the Sugar Bowl. Now, with the advent of the BCS, the games are now called the FedEx Orange Bowl, the Allstate Sugar Bowl, the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, and the Rose Bowl Game presented by Vizio. These names are stupid. It's the same as the stadium names in professional sports, but at least the athletes are being paid in the Pro's.
But names are really the least of our worries; the larger issue with the BCS is that it's decidedly unfair. The ranking is unfair, the choice of which team goes to which bowl is unfair, the amount of money that teams spend and receive is unfair, and the fact the college students are being exploited is unfair.
College football rankings; Harris, Coaches and BCS polls all are unfairly bias toward bigger schools in either the midwest or the south, most specifically teams in the Big 12 and the SEC. For some reason the "power rankings" always reflect these conferences as being the toughest, regardless of how good the teams in that conference are. This year, the SEC happens to have some very good teams, four teams in the BCS top 10 in fact (a little suspicious...), but it's a little odd that the same teams and conferences happen to be in the top 25, regardless of how their seasons actually turn out. The Pac 12 gets a little respect, simply because their teams are so dominant, but still will lose out in power rankings to and SEC or Big 12 team, who supposedly have tougher schedules.
Make no mistake, LSU is the best team in the country. They're undefeated, and they've had a very tough season, with many tough games on the road. However, after that, it's difficult to figure out exactly how and why they ranked the teams the way they did.

Let me know what you think of the BCS.

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