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The BCS Mess
TIM LAYDEN
November 29, 2004
The Bowl Championship Series is facing the same old problems--and a few new ones. How did it all go so wrong?
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November 29, 2004

The Bcs Mess

The Bowl Championship Series is facing the same old problems--and a few new ones. How did it all go so wrong?

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However, granting access to more teams from more conferences doesn't make everyone happy. This year Texas, No. 5 in the BCS rankings, will likely be driven out by Utah's guaranteed berth. "Good for them, bad for us," says Texas athletic director Deloss Dodds, a playoff proponent.

Bowls are not thrilled about selling tickets to representatives from mid-major conferences, especially for an extra game played at the national championship site, one week early, as will likely be the plan for the fifth BCS game. "It creates more supply, which is the worst possible thing for our industry," says the BCS insider. "You can't legislate a market. To argue that a 9--2 champion from a minor conference is as valuable to the bowls as 9--2 Nebraska, for instance, it won't work." Still, any new TV deal will increase access for mid-majors. While Utah has to finish in the top six in the BCS rankings for an automatic spot, future teams need finish only in the top 12.

on some levels the BCS is a roaring success. It has eliminated the antiquated bowl free-for-all and preserved the sport's cutthroat regular season, an underrated selling point. Plus, even controversy attracts attention. "Before the BCS our sport was getting flat," says Kramer. "Now we get interest in December we never got before. It's not all positive, but it's coverage."

The system, above all, has proved itself resilient. As long as the TV money keeps coming, the BCS will endure, shedding criticism like nonstick cookware and on occasion even putting together the perfect championship game. "We're going to see many more years like this," says Dodds. "There's no use in fighting it anymore."

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