The NCAA Loves Controversy (Op-Ed)

In 1997 I remember watching the Rose Bowl that Ohio State won and thinking to myself this is the greatest game I have ever watched. That bowl game just happened to be the last time I remember enjoying how National Champions were determined.

In 1998 the BCS was created and over the next 16 years College Football fans had to deal with things like computer rankings, margin of victories, biased voters, and something called a Harris Interactive Poll. In those 16 years the system overall never really didn’t work. In nearly every year the teams played their seasons and everything worked out well. In 2003 there was a split title with USC and LSU but that is the lone controversial year. Everyone hated the BCS system across the board. The call to end the system started the day it was created and didn’t end until it was destroyed.

The drama that the BCS created fed the NCAA with non-stop water cooler moments that began in August and didn’t end until after the NCG was completed. Even the mighty SEC leaders and fans hated the BCS system and they were dominating the system for the entire time. Why did they want change? Well they wanted more of their teams to get a shot at playing for the title.

So after 16 years change was a coming insert the CFB Playoff system. Whats the biggest difference between the BCS and Playoff? Instead of 2 teams you get 4 teams. Everything else stayed pretty much the same. The committee still uses biased voters rankings, computer rankings, strength of schedule, and what ever else they can use to be controversial.

Don’t believe me? Ask yourself this why did the committee use Oregon having OL injuries as justification for ranking them higher than Arizona who beat them head to head? Why did they not give OSU the same courtesy for losing Braxton Miller and starting a back up against VT?

So we have the first ever ranking releasing and the SEC has 3 teams in the top 4 and 4 in the top 6. OSU is 16th do they deserve to be higher? Does it matter? The NCAA decided to create a new system that is even more controversial than the BCS system.

Why would they do that? In my honest opinion the NCAA is utilizing a brilliant advertising strategy. There is nothing better to build buzz and viewers and marketing money than to have people talking about drama. You see if the NCAA did the playoffs the correct way All conference champions are in and a few at large bids who would care about the rankings in October? Who would turn their TVs on to watch a bunch of guys and gal picking their favorite 4 teams and teasing another 21 fan bases that they have a sliver of a chance to make the playoff?

So there you have it this is about creating buzz and viewers and people standing around water coolers discussing the controversy and how they can’t wait to see how this goes each week for the next 7 weeks. This is about building a brand and making money and yes making you angry enough to keep watching hoping for your team to be in the top 4 this week or next or never more than likely.

How do you fix this system?

I am glad you asked. A playoff is the correct way to determine a champion. But why come up with a stupid way of determining who should be in the playoff? You have the perfect model already in basketball. Every Conference Champion is in. There are 11 conferences if you include independents (which should be forced to join a conference under this plan. So you have 10 locked in and add 6 at large bids and you have a 16 team playoff where winning in the regular season matters and the SEC can still use their clout to get 3 or 4 teams in the playoffs so they are ecstatic. The B1G and Big 12 and PAC 12 all have teams in the playoff and no one is screwed. Who cares how the teams are seeded win and you move on lose and you didn’t belong anyhow.

The fix to this issue is simple yet the NCAA chose to make it controversial for their selfish reasons and the schools fell in line lemming after lemming.

The only way to change the system right now?

You need to hope and wish for the SEC to get 3 or 4 teams in the playoff this year. If they get 2 teams the fans and media can justify that enough to placate the angry people. But if the SEC fills out the bracket you will see an uproar and it will happen in the media which can influence the NCAA like no fan ever could. So if you want change this is the quickest way to facilitate it in my honest opinion.

What says you?


  1. Great article… one small correction.

    The NCAA has nothing to do with the Playoff, just as it had nothing to do with the BCS (other than “sanctioning” the tax free money grabs that are the bowl games… but I digress). Both of those are created and directed by a partnership between bowl sponsors, conference commissioners (and university AD/Presidents), and media interests.

    In spite of the fact that the NCAA was created to reign in big time football, D1 (FBS, whatever) is the only area where the NCAA doesn’t have an authorized championship or recognize a champion.

    That being said, your point about the member institutions reaping the benefits of controversy is pretty spot on.

    • Hello Old Friend :)…. first thanks for stopping by and reading my post.

      Secondly and bare with me here…

      The NCAA and the conferences and the schools themselves are all the same entity. Just like you and I and President Obama are all the United States of America. The NCAA and the schools themselves are one in the same. The BCS was a separate shell corporation that made money and controlled the BCS system and the NCAA made no money from that venture so to speak. The schools who participated made money as did the conferences the schools belonged to did.

      Who runs the College Football Playoff?

      The College Football Playoff is run by the FBS conferences. All 10 conferences, as well as the FBS Independents, are now members of the new entity – CFP Administration, LLC. These conferences manage the semifinal games, as well as the College Football Playoff National Championship. A Board of Managers, Management Committee, Counsel and College Football Playoff staff also assist in the execution of the playoff.

      Which in and of itself is pretty similar to the BCS system. Where we differ on opinions is that the NCAA and Schools/Conferences aren’t the same thing. Essentially they are IMHO. The schools are the NCAA and the NCAA are the schools.

      The biggest difference between the BCS and playoff is revenue sharing. The NCAA or schools/conferences took control of where the money is going and keeping a bigger share for themselves instead of going to the BCS foundation and bowls.

      Each of those ten Football Bowl Subdivision conferences is expected to at least double the annual revenue that had been received under the BCS arrangement. The higher payments are a result of the increase in overall revenues from the playoff.

      “The College Football Playoff will include the top four teams, but every conference will benefit under the new arrangement. This approach rewards those teams that are part of the event and is fair to all the conferences and independent institutions that participate and make the College Football Playoff possible. It really will be a big win for all,” said Bill Hancock, Executive Director of the playoff.

      Which is a huge change from the BCS where only the schools and conferences who participated made any money. Now every school will make money from the playoff system.

      Some of this response was taken from feel free to stop by that and read more interesting info.

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