The BCS Helped Move College Football Forward For The Better

As the BCS takes its final breath with the perpetuating inevitability that a playoff will be installed, many shout for joy.

The system that has brought about computer calculations and poll averages has been hated for a number of years now. Fans of the game spew vitriolic words towards the system. It has become the enemy, the wicked witch of the sport.

Now, the BCS we’ve come to know for the past 14 season will die.

While that’s all and good and everyone can go home with a trophy, a juicebox and a popsicle in these hot summer days, it’s important to remember the role the BCS played in getting to this point.

Yes, it hindered the possibility of a playoff for a few years. That shouldn’t be mistaken as television deals expanded and fans wanted some type of clear-cut winner at the end of the day.

The BCS provided splits of decimal points and radical anger. It created a monster that grew larger and larger, and now has the fans’ voice being heard by coaches, committees and presidents.

Think back to what college football was before the BCS. It was a mess of deep bowl bureaucracy and firm affiliations. Michigan and Nebraska split a title in 1997 because the two schools couldn’t play in the same bowl game.

The BCS helped get rid of that little error (at least with bowl affiliations), and for the most part fans saw the two best teams battle it out for the crystal football.

Did it marginalize some of the better teams who almost had glory? Absolutely, it did. Lest we forget the Auburn Tigers with Cadillac, Jason Campbell and Ronnie Brown. We feel bad for those who have been shafted in the process, yet the process mostly worked.

It worked in the way that anything with a specific endgame works. Rigidly, and without much evolution to go along with it. The BCS’ purpose was to get the two best teams on a neutral field. It did a damn good job of it.

The game grew in popularity, the teams got better and the little guy got a couple of shots too. Yes, years occurred where the little guy was left out, but rightfully so. In years where they had a chance, we saw them fall dramatically. That too was entertaining.

We saw the game unfold as a dramatic, week in, week out thriller with an understanding of the importance of the whole system.

Some of us realized how damning and useless a preseason poll can be. Strength of schedule, once a dumb idea in the setup of the former bowl system, became something a program needed.

The game improved because of the BCS. Now, a playoff system will be established. That playoff system will improve the game some more. Then, it too will have problems and the public will yell in outrage. Such is life. Such is sports.

But, there will at least be a playoff system. And that playoff system? Well, it probably wouldn’t exist without the BCS and the last 14 seasons.

Yes, the BCS as we know it will soon shrivel and die and exultation will be proper. No longer will there be someone left out in the cold (until the next time someone’s left out in the cold).

Throw your biggest party, college football fan. May you dance on happily as they lower the old system into its grave.

All that’s asked of you is to throw a rose from Pasadena as it drops down into the dark abyss.

After all, it helped get you here.

8 Replies to “The BCS Helped Move College Football Forward For The Better”

  1. For all the shit people gave the BCS, we all do tend to forget it at least was a step in the right direction, trying to match up the best two teams to decide the best team on the field. It was flawed, but it was better than the old system.

  2. This is a golden opportunity for the players to show some solidarity and agitate for a bigger slice of the pie. Remember in “Goodfellas” when Morty was looking around the bar after they pulled their big caper and said, “where’s my cut? Everyone’s flashing new stuff; obviously they got theirs; why am I wearin’ the same ol’ shit?”

    The college players should say, “Excuse me, but this extra game is going to bring in millions of dollars of cash for the schools, networks and host cities. Are we supposed to play in it for the same old tuition, books and laundry money? What’s in it for us? We’re the ones risking injury and playing practically an NFL schedule. If you want an extra game, you best come off some pocket change.”

    1. yeah thats good in theory but how do you divide the riches and considering that most schools are in the Red even after receiving their conference split bowl payouts, this would just allow for some athletic departments to be able to keep the lacrosse or the womens field hockey team afloat.

      People always bring up that “pay the college athletes” but that would essentially user in the free agency mentality and create a bigger divide between the haves and have nots. Will Alabama pay their players the same amount as a Kentucky or a Northern Illinois, HECK NO because the revenue you pull in is greater with the Crimson Tide, so then it becomes a bidding war between schools and recruits, and there still is no guarantee it will stop players from taking extra benefits.
      Yeah xyz school is paying me 2 stacks each semester but i need more because my people back home are sweating me, or I need that new ride, so would I be wrong to take this handshake from a booster or get paid for a job i know i didnt work

      1. Considering that the women’s lacrosse teams are still here even though at some point they decided to pay coaches millions (at some places 20 times what the schools best professors get), I think the other programs will be fine. Some programs may have to make a decision on whether to pay more for coaches or players but hey that’s life or at least it should be.

        From where I sit there is already a gap between the haves and the have nots; we don’t exactly see Grambling competing with LSU for players or championships. If you could be a star at Alabama and possibly go to the NFL would you go to Northern Illinois.

        I think if players are paid there is less incentive for boosters to pay players since they are already getting money, they could even set it up where the boosters can give money directly to the program to recruit and pay players. Besides if the taboo of players getting paid is gone I doubt many people will care as much about a couple hundred dollars or someone taking you to dinner as long as there is no gambling.

        1. you say that now but let your child play baseball or a less glamorous sport and you will see how infuriated you will be to see the hoops/football programs who may not even be good take the lionshare of financial benefits from the athletic department.

          well grambling isnt in the same converation because its not D-1 but tell that to a school like TCU/Boise or even Stanford who is dealing with one obstacle in higher academic standards than most programs. Yes you wont have MAC/CSUSA/Sun belt programs competition for mythical national championships but what about that USF team from some years back that was rated as high as #2 or the WVU team that, if they hadnt lost to Pitt, would have been playing in the championship game. they are competing against a stacked deck because their alumni/booster base isnt in the same stratosphere as the SEC/B1G programs. Other than an occasional Noel Devine or JPP those school rarely attract top recruits so now it would be harder because the players they do get would then be going to mid level power conference schools because at least ole miss/purdue/washington can pay their players more than WVU/USF due to the higher bowl payouts acquired from their conference.

          there is no guarantee that going to Alabama = the NFL or going to a lower rung D-1 school will exclude you from the NFL

          and to think the athletes still wouldnt take money is foolish, they get their fair share of benefits compared to most college student (free food, tutuoring, books, bowl game swag) and its still not enough. The books in themselves make it a even trade considering how much i paid for mine back in 97-02.

          I will say they need to make it where once i take ownership of anything i have the free will to do as i please with it, beit sell it on eBay or donate it.

          Outside of allowing players to receive endorsement deals and having a percentage of that accumulated money go into a fund for that particular sport, there is no exact means of justifying why players should get paid.

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