Posted: Monday October 9, 2006 11:36AM; Updated: Monday October 9, 2006 7:45PM
"Presidents take the money and go spend it, but they don't worry about the business of making it better," Tuberville added. "They keep coming up with excuses, yet we're playing [the championship game] January 8. It's hypocritical."
Of course, Tuberville's being angry with a college president isn't unprecedented, as then Auburn president William F. Walker attempted a coup against Tuberville in 2003. But for the most part, he's correct: It is hypocritical. And mostly, the excuses for not having a playoff are double-talk.
During last year's NCAA basketball tournament, NCAA president Myles Brand was asked about the chances of a football tournament. He responded that the NCAA really had nothing to do with it, that it was up to the college presidents, that the NCAA is "ready to assist and help" should the presidents choose to implement a tournament. Right, and I'm sure the NCAA would hate their cut of the cash bonanza that would ensue.
Any argument that the "student-athletes" would miss too many classes is misguided. First of all, I know most of the football players go to school year-round. They have tutors and learning centers and all kinds of advantages regular students don't have, so surely they could manage to play a week or two later than they do now. After all, how tragic would it have been if Matt Leinart had been unable to attend every meeting of his ballroom-dancing class his senior year?
There's the argument that a tournament system would ruin the bowl system as it stands today, which might not be such a bad thing. Do we really need the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl, for example? And if the early rounds of the tournaments were played in the various bowls -- for instance, what if the 1-seed played the 16-seed in the Motor City Bowl -- wouldn't that just heighten awareness and intrigue, and ratings?
The anti-tournament stance that makes the most sense is that it could lessen interest in regular-season games, although I think the opposite would occur. That Florida State-N.C. State game last Thursday night meant virtually nothing in the grand scheme of BCS things, but if one of those teams had a shot at making the postseason tournament, wouldn't the national interest have been raised?
Of course, I realize that really, more than anything else, it's about money. And as long as the BCS is controlled by the big conferences, they'll probably decline any attempt to draw up a football bracket, lest they have to divvy up the money any further than it's already been sliced and diced to share it with the smaller schools.
Obviously, nothing's going to happen anytime soon. FOX's new four-year deal to televise the BCS kicks in this year, and surely the university presidents are already out spending that money. I still think they could make more through a tournament, but that would require some simple common sense.
Incidentally, Auburn lost on Saturday, probably eliminating it from a chance at the BCS title. Don't you think Coach Tuberville really wishes that tournament was set up and ready to go? And wouldn't you be ready to watch?