The Death of the BCS

With the chaos of last week's games and the news leaking out of the BCS meeting that the commissioners are considering ending the BCS except for the National Championship, it's been a crazy week.  Want something else to drive you nuts?  The SEC may get three schools in BCS bowls this year with potentially two of them who did not even win their division.   Here's the obscure rule that could overflow the coffers of the SEC: "No more than two teams from a conference may be selected, regardless of whether they are automatic qualifiers or at-large selections, unless two non-champions from the same conference are ranked No. 1 and No. 2 in the final BCS standings." (Italics mine)

If LSU wins, but loses to Geogia in the SEC championship, the Tigers would still be #1 in the last BCS standings.  Georgia would go to the Sugar Bowl as the SEC champ and Alabama and LSU would play for the National Championship. 

If LSU loses, the Tigers are not likely to fall very far in the BCS standings, especially if it is a close game.  Arkansas would be No. 1 in the BCS standings, but Alabama play in the SEC championship, because they beat Arkansas and would be within five spots in the BCS rankings.  Arkansas could sit back, knowing that they have a spot in the National Championship without having won their division or their conference - and would still play Alabama regardless.  Again, a Georgia win could kick in the provision above that would allow three SEC teams to play in BCS bowls. 

The news out of the BCS Commissioners meeting was that they are considering ending the relationship with the BCS bowls and that the BCS would only be used for determining the top two teams for the National Championship.  The BCS is also considering opening the NC up to negotiations for different sites throughout the country.  Such changes would end the automatic qualifier statuses of BCS conferences, ostensibly making every team equal to qualify for the NC.  The limitation on two teams from a conference for BCS bowls would end.  The four current BCS bowls could negiotate contracts with whatever conferences they wished.  

Last spring, as Utah threatened an antitrust lawsuit against the BCS, Big 12 Commissioner, Dan Beebe, put it bluntly to the proponents of the antitrust lawsuit: 

"Don’t push it past this because if you push it past this, the Big 12′s position is we’ll just go back to the old (bowl) system. You’re getting the ability to get to places you’ve never gotten before. We’ve Jerry-rigged the free market system to the benefit of those institutions and a lot are institutions that don’t even fill their stadiums."


Whether the BCS is motivated by more money, concern about fairness, an attempt to stem the tide of teams joining AQ conferences, adopting positions that insulate BCS conferences from antitrust violations or attempts to free some conferences of the restrictions to two teams, significant changes without signs of a playoff loom. 

Utah vs. the BCS: A Primer


Utah vs. the BCS: Arguments Before the Court

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