Tuesday, November 18, 2008

ESPN Gets The BCS Rights

This is hopefully extremely Pitt-centric as I'm hoping that multiple trips to the BCS over the next couple of years are possible. ESPN outbid FOX for the rights to start airing the BCS starting in 2011 which gives ESPN the rights to basically every meaningful bowl out there. If anyone ever wanted to know why there still isn't a playoff in college football this is it. There is so much money to be made off the bowl system that until a tournament that can be beneficial to all the hands in the pocket of the NCAA we will continue to have controversy.

I'm starting to get used to the idea that this bowl system will never change. As a Pitt fan I see the one benefit to us from this system, an undeserved automatic place in the BCS. Don't take this as a shot at the Big East I think the Pac-10 and the ACC don't deserve an auto spot in the BCS either. I would prefer not to even talk about the comical deal that the BCS signed with Notre Dame. This system is beneficial to conferences, like the Big East, that perpetually consist of mediocrity and one or two good teams. 

The power in college football is confined to the south, especially this year. SEC and Big 12 football is on another level that renders the BCS National Championship as almost a consolation prize to their respective conference titles. Somebody, ME!, can make a case that the real national title game will be played in Georgia disguised as the SEC Title Game between Alabama and Florida. The defacto play in game to the championship game is now going to be disguised as the OU-Texas Tech game in Norman on Saturday. Texas may be the odd team out in this equation with an OU win on Saturday which shows the glaring flaw in the BCS.

Then you have the non-BCS conferences that have undefeated teams. Ball St. is a great story but they seemingly won't get a shot in the big bowl, while teams like Oregon St. still control their BCS destiny. I'm assuming that Utah can get into the BCS with a win over BYU but will Boise St. who has been arguably as good as Utah get in. These teams most definitely deserve a chance to pocket the big money and national attention that comes along with these games but in this system fair is never the deciding factor in picking the games. 

So Big East fan please understand what the BCS means to our conference, New Year's Day bowl games. With an even playing field in college football would it be possible for us to compete with the upper echelon??? Just something to think about.


johnny said...

The Cotton Bowl and Gator Bowl take exception to your statement that the ESPN/ABC family of networks has the rights to every game that matters. Though, you are more or less correct.

J Jones said...

I knew this when writing the column but the Gator Bowl and Cotton Bowl really suck so I didn't include them.

Joshua said...

IMHO the Mountain West Conference (with Utah, TCU, and BYU) is making a huge charge to be considered as an automatic BCS-berth conference. If the entire Big East doesn't wise up and start winning big OOC games, it's going to get replaced eventually. Either Pitt or Cinci has to win out so that the Big East nightmare, a rehash of 2004, doesn't happen. If it does, and the conference champ gets stomped by Utah again, then you can kiss bye-bye to the Big East's automatic berth.