Posted on: December 31, 2010 7:27 pm

The Return of the Barbarians

Well, it's been over six months this blog has been active.  It started as a way of reporting on the have-nots of college football, the non-automatic qualifier BCS schools, the barbarians so to speak.  From that it morphed into a platform exposing the lies of the New Jersey media and their attempt to bring down the Rutgers' football program.  And finally, we got involved in the great Big Ten expansion debate.
The circle has turned and it's time to get back to the roots.  The support of a national collegiate football championship that doesn't exclude Division I teams merely because of the conference they're in, still seems a worthy cause. Two things have brought this to the fore again: the book Death to the BCS, and Mark Cuban.  If you haven't read the book, buy it.  If you think you understand how and why the BCS works (it doesn't by the way) you don't. The book explains it all.
What it comes down to, as many have always suspected, is nothing more than an attempt by traditional football powers in the Big Ten, the Pac Whatever, and the rest to control college football in this country.  Nothing more, nothing less.  Jim Delany, one of the biggest supporters of the BCS admits that a playoff system would make more money for the colleges. So why would he and the rest of the Big Ten, and the other big boys be against it?  Because as crazy as it sounds, they would rather make less money and be in control than make more money and be merely a participant in a national championship.  If this doesn't make sense to you, you need to go work in a law firm.  I remember how shocked I was to learn that a senior partner who would make more money by bringing in a younger partner would rather make less money and not share control.
In a privately run organization, these decisions are made routinely.  The problem is that this privately-run organization, the BCS, along with its bosom buddies, the bowls, have managed to parlay this desire into holding a national championship in college football hostage. If you play football for UCF, Boise State, Northern Illinois, or any other team that not part of the "in" crowd with the BCS, you will never play for a national championship.  Never.  Doesn't matter how good you are.  You're simply not in the right conference.  Well, we'll join the right conference, you say.  Nope, sorry, membership is closed. 
How can this be tolerated today?  Well the BCS makes a lot of money and the bowls pay this money to the schools.  Even schools that don't make it to bowls sometimes get a piece of it depending on the conference their in.  So if not for the BCS, the schools would get less money.
Wrong. Death to the BCS shows how the system is rigged to cheat schools out of bowl money.  Florida won the National Championship.  How much money did they make for being in the BCS "Championship?" Well, according to the book $47,000.  How can this be?  Well all those great bowl payouts you hear about? They get offset but something called ticket allotments. When a school is invited to a bowl they're given a block of tickets to sell.  If they don't sell them, they have to pay for the empty seats. This year UConn is going to the Fiesta Bowl.  A great achievement for the Huskies right?  Athletically, no doubt.  Financially, it's a nightmare. UConn is required to purchase 17,500 tickets for the Fiesta Bowl.  That's a cool 3.5 million.  UConn's expected bowl payout?$2.5 million.
So why does a school have to become a ticket agent for a bowl game?  Why can't these multimillion dollar making bowls sell their own tickets? Let the schools pay for the tickets they need, and tell the bowls to sell their own tickets.  Just one, of many baffling questions for the BCS.  To be continued.
Category: NCAAF
Posted on: March 7, 2010 5:41 pm

Big Ten Expansion - Notre Dame Is Still A Player

Yeah I know, I know. The Chicago Tribune says Rutgers is the leader.  Big Ten fans that think their conference should expand only for a storied program are unhappy.  Pitt fans that feel their history and location count for everything are livid.  Rutgers fans who would love to see Michigan, Ohio State, and Penn State in Piscataway are optimistic.

Well just wait a minute.  As much as I hate to throw cold water on fellow Rutgers fans, there's still a thousand pound gorilla in the room.  Yes, he says he's independent.  That may not continue though.

Now even Notre Dame fans will be angry.  How dare I question the Irish' desire for continued football autonomy?  Well think about this.  ND's AD has repeatedly said ND wants to stay independent.  People overlook another part of what he has said.  That was that ND would continue to monitor the situation as to how it could affect Notre Dame.

Notre Dame is very happy now to stay independent in football and a Big East member in everything else.  Why not, they're a member of the top basketball conference in the country.  What if the second part of that is put in jeopardy by Big Ten expansion plans?  Now Rutgers going to the Big Ten is not going to cause the downfall of the Big East.  What happens if the Big Ten poaches Rutgers  AND  Syracuse?  AND Pitt?  Or throw UConn in for one of the above.  Now take a look at Big East.  Football?  Not good.  Basketball?  Losing two of Syracuse, Pitt and UConn is a big hit.  Does the Big East still have the same value to ND as a host for all of its other teams with three teams poached by the Big Ten?  Next does it cause other football schools with good basketball programs like West Virginia and Louisville to look elsewhere, further dilluting the basketball league?  So you may end up with a Big East sans Syracuse, Rutgers, Pitt, UConn, West Virginia and Louisville.  Big East basketball kind of loses some of its luster doesn't it?  Something I'm sure Jack Swarbrick and his friends are keeping an eye on.

So let's suppose it becomes pretty certain that three BE schools are going to make the jump to the Big Ten.   Then all of a sudden, a phone call goes out from South Bend.  You know Mr. Delany we've had second thoughts.  We've rather be a full member of the Big Ten than a football independent and a member of the rump of the Big East.  Somehow I think Mr. Delany would reconsider his list of five, fifteen or whatever number it's at now.

Scenario #2.  Notre Dame plays the White Knight.  Once again, the tea leaves in South Bend indicate that three Big Easties are about to head west.  So a phone call goes out from South Bend to Providence, RI.  Notre Dame would like to help out its Big East brethren.  If the three teams about to head west agree to stay, Notre Dame will join the Big East for football.  After all, ND wants to help out its conference mates in this time of need.  Oh and by the way, ND wants a deal that makes Texas' agreement with the Big 12 look foolish.  Just some little things like keeping all of their TV money, in addition to getting a cut of BE money, requiring certain away games being played at large pro stadiums with ND getting a cut of the gate, and various other sweetheart deals that only someone truly concerned with helping their conference mates could come up with.

Yes the gorilla wants to stay independent now.  But if his access to bananas is threatened, or if it looks like he can get more bananas by joining a conference?  Bet on the bananas.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com