Friday, May 11, 2007

Sink the BCS!

Well, with the Phillies defining lusterless- and no football on the horizon- I am going to indulge in some utter navel picking about Tulane and C-USA.

Tulane is not getting invitation to a BCS League any time soon. That isn’t to say we ought not aspire to it- or jump at an opportunity if it fell into our lap. It is like the Lotto- one can justify a small amount of effort because the upside is so great and, heck, you might be walking around lucky and not know it- but you don’t seriously plan real time and effort in it.

I’m not saying it is easy, but a more realistic plan is try to kick this busted League of ours up a notch or two in quality. The Big East is a semi-decent example- in the sense that five years ago it was not a legit BCS League. But it has adroitly managed itself, consequently gotten a lot better- and now produces six-eight teams that would not shock you in they were Top 25 in any given year. Most importantly, it sort of proves that a rising tide lifts all boats- there is no Rutgers' miracle without quality programs in West Virginia, Louisville, etc.

Granted C-USA doesn’t have the Big East’s BCS advantage- but why can’t we- and our peers- improve the League some? Get six-eight teams to rotate up to the Top 60, the top half of college football?

Correspondingly, one thing that makes me crazy is the absolute unwillingness of the non-BCS schools- who make about half the I-A voting membership- to follow the “leadership” of the BCS schools and form a similar cabal to wield what power we have.

I’m not saying get into an ugly brawl- which we’d lose- with the BCS schools. But a non-BCS cabal could force some “populist reforms” to level the playing field. And I say populist in the sense that opposing them would be hard for any other reason than simple greed- a tag BCS schools deserve, loathe and, fortunately, the sporting press loves to hang on them:

1. Agree that no member would play any football series without at 1 for 1 home games- or at least 2 for 3.

2. I-A teams must play one away out of conference game against any other I-A team- either a BCS or non-BCS team.

3. Increase the bowl eligibility standard to seven I-A wins: get rid of 6-6 BCS teams taking mid-major spots, force scheduling away from I-AA teams- games that come at our League’s expense- particularly helpful with the above reform.

4. Decrease the financial standards for putting on a bowl game- non-BCS Leagues need more New Orleans Bowl, Motor City Bowl style games, not fewer.

5. Insist the fifth BCS game take the best mid-major available- instead of qualifying participation.

6. Knock the scholarships allowed down by two-three a year- force costs down and the talent around.

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