Courtesy Opinion Daniel Wernofsky: BCS System

One of the biggest aspects of a college is their football team. Football teams can generate the most money out of any sport, especially through bowl games at the end of the season. The money generated from these bowls not only help improve the university, but benefits the community of the city it is in. However, the way money is distributed through these bowl games at the end of the season is not equal dispersed, especially BCS bowls.

The BCS was created to fairly pick the best team in the nation. Along with the National title game, there are other BCS bowl games that make millions for schools.  This is ironic because the BCS has inspired a system that is anything but fair. The three polls that decide the BCS standings are manipulated so that six major conferences (Big 10, Southeastern, Big 12, Pac 12, Atlantic Coast, and Big East) remain dominant. Along with being dominant they receive the most revenue from the BCS bowls. This system stays intact due to three major polls that make up the BCS standings.  The USA Today Coaches poll allows coaches to vote on the best teams, but will rank teams associated to them and their conference higher. The Harris poll is made up of writers who vote for the teams associated with their conference to make them look better as well. Finally, there is the Computer polls, which are programmed by the BCS to determine which teams have had the toughest schedules. The strength of schedule of a team is manipulated and is up for interpretation.

However, conferences outside of the BCS can make it into a BCS bowl. According to the BCS selection procedure, non-qualifying teams have to be ranked higher than 16th in the BCS standings and higher than a champion of the major six conferences. However, if they make it to the top 14th they are automatically eligible. These requirements help keep most of the revenue within the major conferences. On the NCAA website, they show the revenues from bowl games earned by conferences. The Big East, a qualifying conference, made $19,787,058 in 2010. The Mountain West Conference, a non-qualifying conference, only made $9,878,710 in 2010. That is less than half of a qualifying BCS conference.

Something needs to be done about the system the BCS has inspired. Next year the BCS is incorporating a “playoff” that will take the top four teams in the BCS standings, which is closer to where the BCS should be. Until the BCS incorporates an actual playoff where the real best teams in the nation can compete for the National Championships and other BCS bowls fairly, you must advise your cities writers to make this issue known. Writers need to call the BCS out and let them know that this bias isn’t right. The biggest impact will be to support the non-qualifying BCS teams as they try to be a “BCS buster” this season and change the system.

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