Gerald Herbert, File, Associated Press
So it was one big, long lie after all.
We were right.
The BCS was wrong.
But then we knew that all along, didn't we? And so did they, which makes it that much worse.
The BCS is doing an about-face. The Good Ol' Boys of college football have announced that they will switch to a four-team playoff. Next month they will meet to decide on the details of how it will work. Whatever it is, football is finally going to change and the BCS in its current form will die and not a minute too soon. As Karl Malone might put it, they're doing a complete 360-degree turn.
Just like that, the BCS has reversed field after 14 years of holding the sport hostage. They finally got the message. And hell just froze over.
What next? Will Philip Morris announce that cigarettes are bad for you and, sheesh, sorry about all the lies and the cancer?
College football, under the direction of various, ever-morphing organizations a la the BCS, has been selling its lie in the face of common sense for 14 years, that lie being that playoffs are not right for the college game and that the current system is fair. They did this despite widespread criticism and calls for reform coming nearly unanimously from every corner — fans, media, Congress. They did this while cheating fans, schools, coaches and players, and they did it simply because they had a moneymaker that benefitted a few and not the many.
And now that's changing. Bill Hancock, the BCS Executive Director and Chief Dispenser of Crapola, is actually using the P word. He's saying college football is headed for "seismic change."
SEC commissioner Mike Slive told Associated Press, "I think what's in the best interest of college football is a four-team playoff. I think it's better for everyone involved in the game."
News flash: We know.
This reversal is tantamount to saying they were wrong all along because nothing else has really changed.
The BCS has been trying to indoctrinate the country with the good-old-boys bowl system for decades. The Pre-Coalition Bowl Postseason, the Bowl Coalition, the Super Alliance, the Bowl Alliance and the Bowl Championship Series tried everything to make it work, except the obvious — playoffs. Now they have seen the light and become born-again playoff advocates, although one suspects that in their heart of hearts they knew this was the right thing all along. That makes this all a little hard to swallow. We're supposed to believe that they suddenly changed their minds after all the self-serving nonsense they have fed us over the years?
Hancock, the spokesman for the 12 commissioners who run the game, is the same guy who liked to say, "The fact is what we have right now works."
And now it doesn't? Hancock is the guy who once described his job this way: "Educate people about the benefits of the system we have on a day-to-day basis. That's the most important thing, just make sure it keeps moving forward and celebrate this game."
He's also the same guy who, when asked what he would tell undefeated Cincinnati after it was left out of the BCS bowls, "I would say to Cincinnati, 'You guys had a great season and you're to be congratulated for it.' "
Hancock was drinking the Kool-Aid and he wanted the rest of us to drink it, too. When asked last summer why a whopping 81 percent of the revenue from the five BCS bowls went to the six BCS conferences ($115 million) and the rest ($24 million) went to the five coalition conferences, Hancock used his dizzying BCS logic to explain it this way: The six BCS conferences accounted for eight of the 10 teams in the BCS bowls; therefore, those conferences deserve the big payout. Great, first the BCS creates an inequitable system that makes it almost impossible for non-BCS schools to get into a BCS bowl, then they use their absence in those bowls to justify the inequity in the payouts.
"It's a fair and appropriate distribution of the revenue," Hancock concluded.
(And here we are compelled again to recall what the great George Costanza once told his friend: "Jerry, just remember, it's not a lie if you believe it.")
Well, a four-team playoff is a welcome change, although it is almost certain to have inequities and flaws. It's a shame they didn't see the light sooner.
The list of those who were robbed by the BCS is long. Just pick a year, any year.
In 1999, one-loss Kansas State was ranked third in the final BCS standings but was passed over for a BCS bowl in favor of No. 4 Ohio State and No. 8/two-loss Florida.
In 2002, Nebraska, which failed to win its conference and was ranked No. 4 in the polls, played in the title game where it lost to Miami.
Meanwhile, unbeaten Oregon was shipped off to the Fiesta Bowl, where it crushed Colorado.
In 2004, Texas coach Mack Brown openly lobbied pollsters to leapfrog his No. 6 Longhorns past No. 4 Cal and the 'Horns did just that to land in the championship game.
In 2005, Auburn and Utah were undefeated at the end of the season and never had got a shot at the championship game. Utah got stuck playing an outmanned team from the Big East, Pitt, and won 35-7.
In 2007, the Orange Bowl chose No. 8 Kansas over No. 6 Missouri, even though the Tigers had just beaten Kansas.
In 2008, No. 9 Boise State and No. 11 TCU played in the Poinsettia Bowl — while No. 12 Cincinnati and No. 19 Virginia Tech met in the Orange Bowl.
In 2009, Utah routed Alabama in the Sugar Bowl in one of the most perfectly executed games ever played in a BCS game to claim its second unbeaten season in four years, but the Utes were never allowed to compete for the national title.
In 2011, we had 8-4 UConn — another gift from the lame Big East — playing Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl.
With Bud Selig-like speed, the BCS/college football has finally seen the light and will take a major step toward a more equitable system.
It's a welcome move, but it's difficult to applaud them for doing something that so obviously needed to be done a long time ago.
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