More BCS Controversy

Every year around this time, one major topic of discussion that comes about at the college level is the controversy as to why there is not a college playoff system at the FBS level unlike the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) level. Let me be clear in saying this…There will never see a playoff system in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) until money does not control the roost.


The simple answer is M.O.N.E.Y. Cheese. Scratch. Benjamins. Dollar bills. Greenbacks. Dough.

The FCS has eight conferences with eight “at-large” bids for each conference champion.  This system will not work in the FBS because there are already 11 conferences not including independents that need to be taken into consideration. This would severely impact the college season as we know it by lessening the number of regular season games played per team each year, in order to implement a single elimination tournament.

Not to mention, the large amounts of payouts would make it challenging as to which school would be the consistent National Championship venue each year and which team should be allotted which bowl game and the amount allocated for payout to each of the lesser bowls leading up to the National Championship. The FCS championship is currently held each year in Chattanooga, TN.

Below is payout schedule for last year’s (2009) Bowl Championship Series (BCS) bowl games.

2009 Fiesta Bowl payout                                  $17 million

2009 Sugar Bowl payout                                  $17 million

2009 Orange Bowl payout                                $17 million

2009 Rose Bowl payout                                   $17 million

2009 National Championship BCS payout        $17 million

The next closest payout in a bowl game was $4.25 million paid out to the participants of the Capital One Bowl. As long at these large amounts of money are paid to the participants of bowl games, there is no incentive for the schools of the FBS to make any changes to the current bowl system.

For example last year’s Poinsettia Bowl in San Diego, CA, featured Boise State Broncos against the TCU Horned Frogs.  The payout for that bowl game was $750,000.  This year’s 2010 Fiesta Bowl features the same two teams and will afford them a share of at least $17 million.

College football is a huge money making business, but it is still intercollegiate athletics; not a professional sport. The players, the fans, even the sports pundits have no real voice to effectuate the change of a college playoff system.  College presidents and conference commissioners across the country are well-aware of the amounts of money that are tied to each game and will not try to appease the general public for what seems like “the right thing to do.”

The payouts for the FCS Champion amount to a championship ring, bragging rights and about $15,000 per school. Sounds good and is definitely respectable, but at the end of the day, money talks.


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