Saturday, July 28, 2007

Editiorial: Keep Dreaming, NCAA Playoff Advocates

by Justin Karp, Host of Sun Devil Power Hour on The Fan AM 1060.

In simple terms, it will never happen. There are three main reasons we’ll never see it: logistics, revenue and tradition.

Logistics

In 2006, the NCAA mandated for every BCS school to play 12 games during their regular season. On top of that, qualifying teams play in their bowl game (up to 13) and teams who travel to Hawaii are allowed to play another (up to 14). As a result now, regular seasons for all teams stretch into early December.

A playoff system, whether it have 4, 8, 12 or 16 teams, would extend the season through December and into January, putting an extra travel and work strain on each school’s student athletes. And despite what you may think, most of these students (pick your least favorite school year as an example of the opposite) actually have classes. At most schools, including Arizona State, mid-December is a time for final exams.

Putting an extra strain on these students would severely interfere with their ability to fulfill their academic responsibilities. Even NCAA basketball teams take a week off from games in December for finals.

Another logistical nightmare involves the amount of teams actually qualifying for the playoffs. Four would be the quickest, but it leaves out the most teams. 16 would allow mid-major conferences to join the bracket, but the playoff would take at least a month and be a logistical nightmare to schedule. Small conferences would revolt if an 8-team playoff was introduced, because their schools would without a doubt be left out in favor of non-conference champion BCS schools (acting under the assumption that each of the 6 BCS Conference champions qualify, leaving 2 at-large berths).

Simply put, a playoff would be more trouble than its worth.


Revenue

This one is easier to explain. Money talks.

School presidents don’t want to lose the revenue their teams make from bowl games. Cities that host bowls don’t want to lose revenue from travel taxes, restaurants, hotel rooms and other things visitors spend their money on. The list goes on and on.

Teams who qualify for BCS games make, at minimum, $14 million just for showing up as a bowl payout. Add to that the amount of tickets sold by each school to these games, and the number goes up from there. Even minor bowls pay out upwards of $1 million to their losing teams, and smaller schools with lower budgets are in no position to give up that potential payout.


Tradition

What’s the end of the college football season without the Rose Bowl? Or the Sugar Bowl? Or any other bowl that longtime fans are so used to seeing?

Old school fans of football have already been alienated enough since 1998 and the introduction of the BCS. The sight of Miami (ACC) playing Nebraska (Big 12) in the Rose Bowl was enough to make longtime football fans wretch.

College football bases a lot of its appeal in its traditions; marching bands, tailgate parties, rivalries and, most especially, trips to bowl games.

That, more than anything, is something conferences will never part with.

1 comment:

Charlie Turner Thorne's Thong said...

W\o the BCS the regular season would NEVER be as good as it now. Every single game, every single week counts in the current structure. I love it.