You Can't Be Surprised

By Adam Caparell - April 30, 2008


As I'm sure you've heard by now, Bowl Championship Series officials got together in Florida this week to discuss some proposed changes to the most controversial championship format there is in American sports. And after the end of the three days of playoff and plus-one talks we're back to where we started.

If it comes as a surprise to you that the BCS doesn't want to adopt the plus-one model - basically a four team playoff - for the 2011 season then chances are you haven't been following college football for very long.

Whether you blame the Big Ten and Pac-10 - the two conferences who have been so adamantly against any change to the BCS format on account of their agreement with the Rose Bowl - or not, the fact of the matter is there are plenty of parties to blame.

You can start with the conference commissioners of the other four BCS conferences who have never openly come out in support of the plus-one model. If one of the four commissioners - the SEC's Mike Slive, Big East's Mike Tranghese, Big 12's Dan Beebe and ACC's John Swofford, who also now serves as the BCS commissioner - had at some point openly come out and backed the plus-one maybe the other commissioners would have felt pressured to more seriously consider a change.

You can place some blame on the television networks and the BCS who somehow allowed the contracts of three of the BCS games - Fox owns the rights to the Orange, Fiesta, Sugar and BCS title games - and the Rose Bowl to be separate and of different lengths. The fact that the Rose Bowl is contractually tied to ABC and specifically a Big Ten/Pac-10 matchup in almost exclusively until 2014 and the other bowls' contract runs up after the 2010 season is a major point of contention. Not to mention a huge stumbling block.

You can also blame the independent bowl games who don't want lose what they've got. They're a business and a playoff would in almost all cases bad for business.

And of course you can blame the presidents of the universities who, aside from a select few, seem to be so adamantly against changing the BCS format and instituting a playoff. That is hypocrisy at its finest. The presidents argue that they don't want football to become a two semester sport, but have no problem with their basketball teams spanning multiple semesters and missing weeks upon weeks of classes during March while they take part in conference tournaments and the NCAA Tournament. The presidents say they don't want to add more games to the players already packed schedule, yet just a few seasons ago voted to allow teams to play a 12th regular season game.

So if you're like just about every college football fan who wanted to see a playoff, aim your venom today at whoever you see fit because there are plenty of candidates. Just know that the opportunity for change, very positive change, change that would only benefit the sport of college football, was tabled for a long time.

More?: And in almost equally absurd news, the NCAA sanctioned two more bowl games for the 2008 season.

Licenses were granted for the Congressional Bowl in Washington, D.C. that will feature the ACC vs. Navy and the St. Petersburg Bowl in St. Petersburg, Fla. that will matchup the Big East and C-USA.

The last thing college football needs - the absolute last thing - are more meaningless bowl games that will feature 6-6 teams playing each other.

Please, enough already. You thought 32 bowl games was too much? Now we have 34 on our plate. Talk about being stuffed during the holidays.

At least the NCAA had the wherewithal to nix one of the proposed bowls. The Rocky Mountain Bowl in Salt Lake City, pitting the WAC vs. the MWC, was not licensed.

That's the best news college football's heard all day.

Hall of Fame Time: Thursday, the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame will announce it's class of 2008 in New York. Eleven former players and two former coaches from Division I-A will be inducted into the hall and here's one name you can practically guarantee will make it.

Lou Holtz: He's the only coach to guide five teams into the Top 25 and the only coach to lead six different teams to a bowl game. He ranks eighth on the wins list and won it all with Notre Dame in 1988. NCAA violations at nearly every stop, notwithstanding, of course, Holtz will be forever enshrined in the South Bend, the same town where he's best remembered.

As for the players, there are plenty of marquee names, but the College Football Hall of Fame is a different beast. Never quite sure which way they'll go. But here's some that you could very well see called.

Tim Brown, Notre Dame. Major Harris, West Virginia, Wilber Marshall, Florida. Steve McMichael, Texas. Deion Sanders, Florida State. Chris Spielman, Ohio State. Grant Wistrom, Nebraska.

The Other Draft: And with the first pick in the 2008 CFL Draft, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats selected....a Canadian. Dylan Barker, from the University of Saskatchewan, was tabbed as the first selection in Wednesday's Canadian Football League draft, but it didn't take long before there was a run on some American college players.

Weber State OL Dimitri Tsoumpas, Louisiana-Lafayette OL Jesse Newman, UCF DT Keith Shologan and South Carolina OL Justin Sorensen (who is only a junior) were taken Nos. 2-5 in the draft. The common thread? All are Canadian, as per rules dictate.

The CFL's annual draft allows the eight teams of the league to draft any available Canadian-born player who has played at least one season of college football in the U.S. or Canada.

Posted by Adam Caparell at 02:17 PM on April 30, 2008
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