NCAA, BCS politics, are protection rackets for major conferences
Whatever powers that be decided that the Cotton Bowl needed to be replaced as one of the top four bowl games must be scratching their heads and I hope they scratch all their hair out anyway. The Fiesta Bowl never has had the gravitas to join the mighty Rose, Sugar and Orange anyway, but I digress.
The issue at hand today is not the shaft given the Cotton Bowl many years ago, but rather the shaft given Horned Frogs and the Mountain West Conference; and Broncos and the Western Athletic Conference, respectively.
The looks on the faces of the respective players and students told the story, when the announcement was given on the Bowl Championship Series Show excuse for teasing commercials for thirty minutes to name ten teams playing in five games, which were:
- Rose Bowl: (B10) Ohio State Buckeyes 10-2 vs. (P10) Oregon Ducks 10-2
- Sugar Bowl: (SEC) Florida Gators 12-1 vs. (BE) Cincinnati Bearcats 12-0
- Orange Bowl: (ACC) Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 11-2 vs. (B10) Iowa Hawkeyes 10-2
- BCS Championship Game: (SEC) Alabama Crimson Tide 13-0 vs. (B12) Texas Longhorns 13-0
- Fiesta Bowl: (MW) TCU Horned Frogs 12-0 vs. (WAC) Boise State Broncos 13-0
The NCAA is a racket for the protection of the “major” conferences.” The media is a shill for the ACC in basketball and the SEC in football, and for the record, Braves-Gamecock loves ACC basketball and SEC football, but we have to speak da truf in our Law and Politics examinations. Yes, this is politics, not law, and not even sports.
In March Madness, where they have to admit the so-called “mid-majors” into a basketball tournament, they stack the deck against them by taking great pains to keep teams from the same major conferences from playing each other as far into the brackets as possible.
Now we come to what replaced the old grand, yet imperfect, bowl system that at least gave more than two teams a shot at finishing ranked number one after New Years Day. Braves-Gamecock loves a good argument over who’s #1 (We don’t mind several teams claiming same and for the AP to vote for a team not playing in the BCS game. Absent a tournament of at least 16 teams, we think it will always be a mythical championship.), but we will admit that we have usually been satisfied with the BCS championship game match-up, as we are this year.
The injustice of the above bowl lineup is that no matter who wins the Fiesta Bowl, neither the Mountain West nor the WAC can advance the argument of entitlement to an automatic BCS bowl game slot in the future, and it is hard not to think this move by the NCAA wasn’t intentional.
Remember when BYU won the mythical national championship? So do the powers that be, and they didn’t like it.
Now, some interesting info and comment from the Persistent former Hoosier Cuss of a Pilgrim to the Permian Basin, bolsters our case:
The current rules for the BCS bowl games
Unless their champion is involved in the BCS National Championship game, the conference tie-ins are as follows:
• Rose Bowl – Big Ten champ vs. Pac-10 champ
• Fiesta Bowl – Big 12 champ
• Orange Bowl – ACC champ
• Sugar Bowl – SEC champ
• No more than one such team from Conference USA, the Mid-American Conference, the Mountain West Conference, the Sun Belt Conference, and the Western Athletic Conference shall earn an automatic berth in any year.
• A special case is made for independent Notre Dame, which receives an automatic berth if it finishes in the top eight.
The Big East champion takes one of the remaining spots.
Now bear in mind that the Big 12 champ and SEC champ can’t play in the Fiesta and Sugar because they are in the championship game. The sugar did the right thing by putting the SEC runner-up Gators in their bowl. The fiesta should have done the right thing by putting the runner-up ‘huskers in their bowl. I would have made the bowls this way:
Rose Bowl – Ohio St v Oregon
Orange Bowl – Georgia Tech v Cincinnati
Sugar Bowl – Florida v TCU
Fiesta Bowl – Nebraska v Boise St.
My condolences to Oregon St and Iowa. You did not win your conference, and the winner in your conference was not good enough to go on to the BCS championship and leave you with a spot in the Rose Bowl.
Braves-Gamecock is satisfied with the Beavers and Cornhuskers exclusion from the BCS lineup but we would have preferred that our Ramblin’ Wreck play an undefeated team.
Heisman is for offense
We think the persistent cuss agrees that Peyton Manning got the shaft when Heisman voters, for the first time ever, awarded the most famous trophy in sports to a defensive player. But we think the Permian basin denizen disagrees with us that no defensive player should receive the award, absent extraordinary domination on the defensive side, the likes of which Braves-Gamecock has never seen.
We think that if the defensive player from Nebraska, who will be occupying the NY Downtown Athletic Club seat that C.J. Spiller of the Clemson Tigers should have been sitting in when Alabama’s RB Mark Ingram wins, that we would have been hearing about him on front pages all year. We didn’t. He had a good game last week and so he will be made a token. I guess its ok for him to get a trip to the Big Apple, so long as he doesn’t win.
Spiller will have a better meal in Dixie anyway.
Mike DeVine’s Charlotte Observer, Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Minority Report columns
“One man with courage makes a majority.” – Andrew Jackson
Originally published @ Examiner.com, where all verification links may be accessed.