BCS makes bowl season unwatchable

Even when the Bowl Championship Series “works,” it’s like the guy at a party who never stops talking and tells only one good story.

Yes, the BCS has produced one game that everyone wants to see this year: Auburn vs. Oregon, which just might be the most anticipated title game since Texas-USC. Unfortunately, there are 34 other bowl games to get through first.

Not a single one of which means all that much — unless you’re a bookie or a small conference backer determined to see TCU stand up to Wisconsin’s bulk.

It’s such an absurd, prehistoric system that it would be impossible to fathom for someone who didn’t grow up in the bowl era. If you brought some time travelers back to 2010, the BCS would even be harder to explain than either The Situation or Kathy Griffin.

Imagine the NFL deciding after the last regular season game that the Patriots and Falcons will meet in the Super Bowl. But first, the Detroit Lions and the Denver Broncos had to play at a neutral site. That’s the BCS.          

It’s all about making a few shady characters rich — and we’re not talking about Cam Newton.

Major college programs don’t depend on the bowl system for their bottom lines (most schools, in fact, lose money by going bowling). All the CEOs, executive directors and assistants of the various bowl games are the ones whose livelihoods are truly on the line.

You think Jayson Werth is being overpaid? Check into the salary of the CEO of the Sugar Bowl ($607,500) or the numbers behind countless other propped-up, once-a-year games’ full-time leadership teams.

It’s more than a little comical that UConn is getting ripped for landing a BCS bowl berth. That’s hardly the worst part about this absurd postseason setup.

The bowl system is a world where everything’s run like the Mets. Or Enron.

Only, college football’s most influential TV voices rarely comment on it. Instead, ESPN gives us Auburn coach Gene Chizik and Chip Kelly on split screen, pumping up the matchup on ABC with the gusto of Don King.

By the time Jan. 10 rolls around, every possible feature on Newton and Oregon tailback LaMichael James will have been exhausted — and if sports fans are lucky, there will be three or four decent stories among the thousands produced.

This is another byproduct of a playoff-less system. The wait is too long for the only game that matters, guaranteeing that a rusty No. 1 and No. 2 will not even be playing at top form.

It worked this year? Only in the most ridiculous sense.

–Chris Baldwin covers the sports media for Metro.

Metro does not endorse the opinions of the author, or any opinions expressed on its pages. Opposing viewpoints are welcome. Send submissions to letters@metro.us.


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