Jon Solomon of the Birmingham News (Alabama) is out this morning with a story, An idea whose time won’t come, on the lack of playoff talk at the recent SEC conference meetings in Destin, Florida. SEC commissioner Mike Slive is quoted as saying that the FSU president T.K. Wetherell’s recent comments on the certain eventuallity of a playoff were “counterproductive.” Slive went on to say, “The people who might have supported a plus-one were not going to support a playoff,” Slive said. “And if the idea was the plus-one was going to become a playoff …” He paused to collect himself. “I never used the p-word – ever. But that’s history now. It’s gone by.” That type of comment by Slive points to the absolute fantasyland that Slive and the rest of the BCS Boys live in, because they are assuming that nothing will change to alter how ALL of the decision-makers view the BCS. The decision-makers on the BCS include: the conference commissioners, the college presidents, the coaches, the players, and by far the most important, the people that pay EVERYONE’S salaries & scholarships mentioned above: THE FANS! Mike Slive can continue to go to work in his nice SEC office in Birmingham, but he cannot predict what might show up on the Internet in the coming months that might show the behind the scenes machinations of what actually goes on at BCS bowls: the over-the-top parties full of corporate bigwigs that care little about college football, but only how they can use the game to sell their products and services; the shopping sprees and very unusual and lucrative benefits at the bowl games that are given to football players that are not available to all other student-athletes; the direct opinions of people involved in the BCS on what they actually think of conference commissioners, college presidents, college football teams and players, and the colleges they represent; and many other items that make the BCS bowls look like nothing less than an Animal House frat party, and wouldn’t it be a damn shame if stuff like that showed up on YouTube.com? If there is one thing we do know here at Coaches Hot Seat, college presidents are very sensitive to things that might put their institutions in a bad light and things that are clearly not in the best interests of their student-athletes. Another thing that Mike Slive and the BCS Boys cannot predict or stop is a general boycott of all products and services of companies that prop the BCS up. If “X” companies and their products end up on boycott lists that are signed in online petitions by millions of college football fans, then Mike Slive and the BCS Boys are going to find that companies will not be so willing to continue to give money to an entity that might be costing them customers. A boycott list is not something any company wants to end up on, especially one signed by millions of Americans, and even worse if that general boycott and the products on it find their way into TV commercials. No, that would not be pretty….
Mike Slive and the rest of the BCS Boys can just keep whistling past the graveyard hoping against hope that college football fans don’t come to their senses on how fraudulent the BCS is (all of the BCS Boys know the BCS is fraudulent) and demand a playoff like there is in every other sport in intercollegiate athletics. The real question in the future is not going to be whether the BCS Boys can hold onto the bogus BCS, but whether they will even have a seat at the table once college football fans and more importantly college presidents understand the truth about the BCS, and how it is totally corrupting college football.
Mike Slive and BCS Boys: We are going to have a playoff in major college football and you can either be involved in transitioning college football from the fraudulent BCS to a legitimate way to determine the National Champion, or you will find yourselves on the outside looking in at a process that is totally out of your control. The college presidents could decide tomorrow that the NCAA was going to run the post-season in major college football and all of the TV contracts and bowl arrangements that you have put together in the past or even the future would be null and void, and there is not a damn thing any of the BCS Boys could do about that.
The BCS Boys should be very mindful of history and realize how fast things can turn in a society that is increasingly open and empowers the common folks to take on the powerful and mighty. The Berlin Wall was put up by Eastern Germany/Soviet Union in August 1961 to separate East and West Berlin. In the summer of 1989, just a little over two years after President Reagan demanded that Gorbachev “tear down this wall,” the Hungarian government removed its border restrictions with Austria and thousands of East Germans tourists then escaped to Austria. That was followed by mass demonstrations by East Germans against its government in October 1989, which led to the resignation of long-term German leader Erick Hoenecker (who was later tried for high crimes and treason). Hoenecker’s replacement, Egon Krenz, then said on October 21, 1989 one of most foolish statements in modern history, “The Berlin Wall will stand for 100 more years.” As we all know now, millions of East Germans then gathered near the Berlin Wall and chanted “Wir wollen raus!” (“We want out!”), and the Wall came down on November 9, 1989. Less than a year later, on October 3, 1990 East and West Germany were reunited into one country, something that no one on the planet would have predicted only 18 months earlier.
The lesson for the BCS Boys is that the future of the BCS is not under their control, because if enough fans decided that they want a college football playoff and that they were going to stop spending money on the products and services of companies that prop up the BCS (and maybe even the conferences themselves) then the BCS would disappear into history just as the Berlin Wall did.
We are going to have a playoff.