Death To The BCS. Finally.
In the world of sports and entertainment, sometimes the teams or performers that we love are altered drastically and detrimentally in some way, but in an effort to try and brainwash us into thinking the new version is as good as the old one, they keep the name the same and hope we will just believe that all is well.
The punk-ass version of the Dream Team in 1996 (after the transcendent 1992 version), the current iteration of the band Journey (with the Asian Steve Perry), and the various post-Matt Borne iterations of Doink the Clown are the primary examples of this phenomenon. (Especially Doink the Clown!)
Well, by definition, the opposite of the above would be the desire to swiftly change the name or title of something/someone because the newer version is so vastly superior to its predecessor -- that's what we have going on with college football's postseason.
The power brokers of college football are on the verge of flushing the current wretched BCS system down the toilet, and in the process finding a new name for its replacement.
Battle of the Piney Woods: SFA vs. SHSU
TicketsSat., Oct. 1, 3:00pm
University of Houston Cougars Football vs. Tulsa Golden Hurricane Football
TicketsSat., Oct. 15, 11:00am
Rice University Owls Football vs. UTSA Roadrunners Football
TicketsSat., Oct. 15, 6:00pm
Rice University Owls Football vs. Prairie View A&M University Football
TicketsSat., Oct. 22, 2:30pm
In October 2010, Yahoo Sports award-winning columnist Dan Wetzel wrote the magnum opus for any college football fan who despises the sport's postseason. It's a book called Death to the BCS, and it looks like come 2014 we will indeed see the actual death of the BCS.
In practicality and in name. Dennis Dodd of CBSSports.com wrote about the elimination of the "BCS" name in his recent post about this week's meetings of the conference commissioners:
College football's 14-year old postseason label will go away when the new playoff structure is determined, according to a source intimately involved in the process. While that move was largely expected at some point, the commissioners have been busy first determining the playoff structure itself.
One source indicated that the old name couldn't be attached to a playoff that will "eventually" be bigger than the Final Four and second only to the Super Bowl in terms of this nation's sporting events. The term "BCS" simply had too much of a negative connotation. The commissioners couldn't afford for the controversies attached to the "Bowl Championship Series" to accompany major college football's first playoff.
For the better part of the last decade, the BCS methodology of situating the upper tier of college football's January slate of games has been a lightning rod for criticism. From the nebulous criteria to the suspect credentials of voters to the cartel-esque hoarding of slots for undeserving entities like (lately) the ACC and Big East conference champions, the system has been at best broken, and at worst, completely undermining the sport's always spectacular regular season.
Yet in the face of the vitriol, school presidents, conference commissioners, and many athletics directors told us that this system is what was best for us.
Now, this same group of "leaders" are in the process of finally constructing something resembling a college football playoff with four teams (for now), and after years of espousing the virtues of the nonsensical BCS system, they want to change the name of this new system to something -- ANYTHING -- else because of the overwhelming negative connotations it carries.
Now you see, guys?
Of course, as momentous and "big" as the moniker "Bowl Championship Series" sounded to fans everywhere, if you break the entity down to its most basic level, it amounts to little more than some sort of college football shell company:
"There really is no entity," Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany told CBSSports.com earlier this year. "There is no BCS. There is a mark [logo]. There is a series of contracts. That's all it is."....Currently, executive director Bill Hancock and a couple of administrative assistants are the only full-time employees.
And soon enough those people will be gone, or at the very least, working for something not carrying the three-letter name that makes practically every college football fan cringe. The conference commissioners met in Chicago Wednesday afternoon and confirmed there will be a four team seeded playoff with models to be forwarded to the BCS presidential oversight committee for review June 26 in Washington, D.C.
Eventually, a solution will be settled upon. Will it be flawed? Probably. Heated discussions over how to determine the four participants in a playoff are already bubbling and indicate that arguments over who should have a shot at the title will not become a thing of the past, they will instead just be passed down from the fringe of the second spot in the title game to the fringe of the fourth spot in this new playoff.
But whatever the new system is, it will be a significant upgrade over the previous system and, more importantly, signal a shift in thinking at the decision-making levels that gives hope -- hope that the evolution from a four-team playoff to eight and then sixteen teams will come at a fraction of the pace that getting from the advent of the BCS to a four-team playoff took.
There is no new name for the solution that the powers that be will arrive at in the near future, but one could argue that you could keep the same initials to describe what it will be.
BCS...Better Championship System.
Listen to Sean Pendergast on 1560 The Game from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. weekdays, and watch the simulcast on Comcast 129 from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. Also, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Houston Press' biggest stories.