BCS Doubts A College Football Stadium Can Host A College Football Game Comment Count

Brian April 25th, 2012 at 11:40 AM


It appears that conference commissioners are against home games for a four-team college football playoff. Since it's tough to think of a valid reason to be against them, the commissioners have to make up bad reasons. Bad reasons like "they play basketball at neutral sites" that ignore things like the NFL and every other playoff in the country that is not NCAA hockey.

That only is the third-worst argument.


The second-worst is "what if Cincinnati gets a bid?" Here is a complete list of teams that would have hosted first-round games if a four-team playoff had been instituted in 1998, the year of the BCS's inception:

  • Tennessee [102,455]
  • Florida State [82,300]
  • Virginia Tech [66,233]
  • Oklahoma [82,112]
  • Miami [74,916]
  • Nebraska [86,304]
  • Ohio State [102,329]
  • LSU [92,542]
  • USC [93,607]
  • Texas [101,624]
  • Florida [88,548]
  • Alabama [101,821]
  • Auburn [87,451]
  • Oregon [53,800]

All but three of those stadiums have capacities above 82,000. The exceptions are Miami's Your Name Here Stadium (75k), VT's Lane Stadium (66k) and Oregon's Autzen Stadium (54k). Each would have hosted once. Since the capacity of the Fiesta Bowl is 63k and the Orange Bowl is held at the same place Miami plays home games, stadium size cannot be a reasonable objection. In the event a tiny stadium would get to host, make them move the site to a reasonably close stadium of appropriate size, or just count your money from the many, many times college teams with capacities 20k larger than the biggest pro stadiums have hosted. Problem solved.


So that's a bad argument. But it's not the worst. This is the worst:

BCS executive director Bill Hancock has said there are questions about whether some college campuses had the infrastructure necessary to accommodate the crush of fans and media attending a college football semifinal.

"The infrastructure needed on campus is significant," Hancock told the Associated Press. "That's a factor. That's just one example of the intricacies that are part of this."

Bill Hancock wonders if college football stadiums have the infrastructure to host college football games.


You can't make this up, because if you did people would hit you really hard with rolled-up socks.


French West Indian

April 25th, 2012 at 12:58 PM ^

...is the sticky issue of home field advantage being determined by poll position/ranking.

If you think fans are screaming now when somebody gets left out of one of the top two spots for the BCS game, just wait until teams start getting screwed out of home field advantage because of poll politicking. 

That's the real reason neutral fields might end up being the consensus amongst the power players trying to decide this thing.

[edit:  shit, beaten to th punch by bojangles above.  sorry for the redundant comment]

EQ RC Blue

April 25th, 2012 at 1:02 PM ^

Listen, it may or may not be a good decision, but the derision is unwarranted.  Wondering whether many small campuses could handle the influx of media, out-of-towners, etc., not just for the game but for potentially a few days is reasonable.  You can't assume that those schools listed will make it.  What about Pullman (pop <30,000), and that's a PAC12 school?  What if a small school makes it?  What if the school isn't particularly close to any professional football stadium?  Boise State plays at a stadium that seats 35,000 and will soon seat 40,000.  What's the closes pro stadium?

Also, a semifinal is a lot more likely to sell out than a bowl game, in my opinion, because bowls have suffered by being outside the championshiop format. 

Perhaps the best thing to do would be play the games at college campuses, but these reasons given aren't so crazy.  The anger and derision detracts from the credibility here.

MI Expat NY

April 25th, 2012 at 1:08 PM ^

Fine, set a 50K minimum capacity.  Most schools that don't meet this will have an NFL caliber stadium nearby.  Those that don't (Boise) would till probably prefer playing in Seattle (8-9 hours away) than playing in Phoenix (18 hours away).  

Or, since potential candidates will be known 4-5 weeks before a selection is made.  Force schools with a shot at hosting to submit plans and bids with alternative stadiums if necessary (this happens in baseball).  All these problems can be easily worked out if it weren't just an excuse to keep the bowl sites in the picture.

EQ RC Blue

April 25th, 2012 at 1:20 PM ^

You would ask all schools "with a shot" to submit plans? What schools would count? What if the bids were rejected? What if Seattle is hosting an NFL game that weekend? Plus, you still wouldn't necessarily be playing at the college campus. If you can't guarantee you'd play in Boise or Pullman, then you are already going down the path of not playing at the host team's stadium, and you're just wondering what's the most reasonable solution? In the end, it may be what you're saying or something similar, but it's hardly obvious or so easy to accomplish. There's a reason the B1G determines where it's championships will be years out, for example. All the anger and derision is just petty and doesn't do the credibility here any favors.


April 25th, 2012 at 1:33 PM ^

I mean it wouldn't be particularly hard to make the cut off mark at the top 16 teams with 4-5 weeks left in the season. Again the problem with your argument is that it is banking on an unlikely event(Boise or Wazzou making the top 2) that hasn't really even come close to occurring(I think Boise's undefeated year had them at 4 before the Bowl season and Wazzou hasn't finished higher than 9th). For literally 100% of the BCS era so far, there would have been little to no issue. That's where the derisiveness come from. The decision makers can be disingenuous all they want, that doesn't mean we can't call them out for it. 

EQ RC Blue

April 25th, 2012 at 1:43 PM ^

First, if it's the semifinals, it's 4 teams, so BSU would have been in the top 4.  Second, you'd have 16 teams needing to present proposals, making it extremely likely that places would have to come up with something besides just playing at the stadium -- WSU was in the top 16 3 times last decade, BSU top 4 and other times in the top 16 -- and those are just teams off the top of my head.  Plus, you've have 14 colleges/towns spending lots of time and resources coming up with plans, all of which work would go for naught?  And that's if the proposals are acceptable?

Again, it's just not so easy.  There may be people in power being disingenuous, but part of getting into power is probably learning how to make decent arguments to achieve what you want even if you can't use the "real reason" to bolster your argument.

Ali G Bomaye

April 25th, 2012 at 1:51 PM ^

The easy answer is not to worry about it - let all schools host if they want to.  We're talking about maybe 1-2 times per decade that a school with a smaller stadium would host a game. The cost of not selling as many tickets as possible to those 1-2 games is dwarfed by the revenue from the increased number of tickets sold when Michigan/OSU/Penn State/Texas/Alabama/Tennesse/etc host a game, and if Cincinnati or Boise wants to move their game to the Bengals' or Seahawks' stadium to make up for the lost revenue, they're welcome to do so.

Plus, a lot of the risk of an ACC Championship scenario where a neutral-site stadium sits largely empty is removed when a school hosts.


April 25th, 2012 at 1:54 PM ^

It doesn't matter if Boise is 4th, since then they would have to travel to Alabama or somewhere for the game and not actually hosted it.  And unless we have a top 16 of Boise and all MAC/Sun Belt teams, we wouldn't need 16 teams to make that proposal.  The only teams that would need to submit an "alternate" plan would be those with a stadium size below whatever standard(let's say 50k).  Anyone else would just have to plan on having an extra game at their stadium, something that all Pac-12 teams already handle perfectly fine with their conference championship game format. 

MI Expat NY

April 25th, 2012 at 1:54 PM ^

If you said all "bids" have to be in the saturday before Thanksgiving, I'd imagine you have at most 10 teams with a "reasonable" shot at hosting.  For most schools the process is a no-brainer:  Have a stadium that seats 50K+?  Have reserved a couple hotels for the visitors?  Yes?  Done, you can host.  For those that can't do this, they have to scramble, but if they know the requirements in advance, this isn't a big problem.  Boise, or WSU, can be working on contingency plans well in advance of actually "hosting" a game.

As for not playing in the host team's stadium, this has been done repeatedly in baseball.  Your stadium isn't big enough?  Find one that is, otherwise lose out on the opportunity.  And even if the game isn't at home, the ability to be far closer to the stadium than your opponent and control ticket sales is still a huge advantage.  

It undoubtedly would be easier from a logistical standpoint to know your semi-final sites well in advance.  I just don't think the advantages are that much greater when the alternatives, as Brian points out, host 8 such events every year.  

EQ RC Blue

April 25th, 2012 at 2:08 PM ^

Reserving a couple of hotels?  Done.  Easy, right?  Hmmm....  That's all you have to do?

I don't want to get to personal, but what's the biggest event you've planned?  How far in advance did you make the preparations? 

How far in advance do you think Brian reserved the hotel for his wedding?  The venue?  

MI Expat NY

April 25th, 2012 at 2:23 PM ^

Hmm... lets try and be a problem solver.  How hard would it be to reserve 75 rooms for a specific weekend before the season starts?  Hotels would be willing if some consideration is given (say extra business from the giant university in town).  As soon as it becomes clear the team won't host, the rooms are released.  If you're one of the few schools where this comes down to the wire, use some of the boatloads of cash that this tournament will create to compensate the hotels at the various schools that don't host.  You wouldn't have to do any of this in a last second manner.  

Again, this is done in other sports ALL THE TIME.  Green Bay, a city of 100,000 people hosts playoff games on a week's notice.  16 college baseball programs host three other schools for a regional on a week's notice every year.  Every other college football level holds playoffs where visiting teams need to be put up in hotels and they manage, often in cities with far less resources than your average BCS town.  Are you honestly trying to say that all these different sports manage to host events on short notice and big time Div. 1 universities couldn't get it done?  And if you are trying to claim that, you only have to look at the Pac-12 and it's championship game to see that you're wrong.



April 25th, 2012 at 3:32 PM ^

but it does raise some legitimate challenges. 

The demands for a FCS playoff game, and NCAA baseball attendance are not comparable to BCS-level football.  Basketball is brought up because it is the only reasonable comparison at the amateur level.  The NFL has around 30 teams, a dozen of which participate in the playoffs.  The NCAA would have 4 out of 100 or so.

Green Bay is prepared for the possibility of a playoff game every season.  A city like Pullman or Corvallis is not only much smaller than Green Bay (metro population of about 300K) but is FAR less likely to reap benefits from hosting a playoff game. They will be less inclined to put much effort into planning something that may happen once a century.  On the other side of it, a school like Cinncinati may not be able to reserve their nearby NFL stadium, which can host other events.

The Pac-12 championship is a great example for your case. But it is still is a 'regional' game that won't be quite the same challenge as a national semi-final.  The reason the Pac10 did this is geographic. There are few workable neutral-site options that didn't risk very empty stadiums because the Pac12 footprint is so widespread -- it's expensive to book a flight last minute, but not to drive somewhere for a weekend.

MI Expat NY

April 25th, 2012 at 3:48 PM ^

I only brought those up because of the absolute minimum that must be addressed for a school to host (i.e., hotels for the team, coaches, etc.).  Three college baseball teams needing 3 or 4 nights of hotel rooms would be close to what you need to host a college football team.  FCS is relatively close too.  Yes, there would be far more additional people travelling, but that really isn't all that different from when a school is hosting "the game of the century" during the regular season.  Media members and such don't often choose what game they're going to until week of.  I'm not saying it won't be more difficult to host on short notice, I just think with proper planning any school that regularly hosts full stadiums worth of college football fans, can make it work.  

I used Green Bay because it's similar in size to many college towns.  Not all, obviously, but many.  I also think your 30 vs. 100 teams argument is silly.  How many college football teams enter a season with a legitimate shot at being in the top 2?  If you say more than 30, you're full of it.  Any team with a legitimate shot, knowing the paramaters for hosting, could make adequate arraingements.  I'm acknowledging that logistically, for certain college towns, there may be difficulties, but they could easily overcome for the advantages that come with on-campus semifinals.

Yes, the Pac-12 is regional, but under the current system, couldn't you see a 12-0 Oregon hosting an 11-1 USC in a defacto semifinal?  I bet Eugene would still handle the influx that would be awfully similar to an official national semifinal.


April 25th, 2012 at 4:20 PM ^

Even if you don't have 'a legitimate shot' at the playoff, you still have to make plans for it. Teams that we'd all agree 'don't have a legitimate shot' regularly get there (or close to it).Oregon, TCU, Stanford, Boise, Utah and Missouri are teams that have finished in the top 4 of polls in the last few years that might have been put into the 'no shot' category.  Baylor, Rutgers, UConn, Fresno State, Houston, Louisville, Miami (NTM), Kansas State have all had years where they've come close.

Any of these schools COULD deal with the situation and would probably be happy to do so, but there could also be many senarios that create problems, complaints, and end up being more embarrasing and less successful than the stupid Bama-LSU rematch we had this year.

Yes, Oregon can host USC without a problem, but can UConn host USC?  Can Wazzu host 'Bama?  If New Mexico State turns into the next Boise or Miami...is Las Cruces going to be capable of hosting Ohio State fans?

I think YES - they can. You deal with the problems because it's far more interesting to watch - TV rankings will be better than they would be for a generic stadium experience and the college football brand will be better overall as a result.  But...that doesn't mean the problems are worth dismissing entirely just because they look unlikely at this moment.

MI Expat NY

April 25th, 2012 at 4:34 PM ^

The easy answer to your problem is that if schools that are a long shot (and I think that of the ones you listed, Utah is the only one that might have entered the season not thinking their chances were legitimate, and actually did ultimately have a shot) don't do the prep work in the off-chance that they do have a miracle run to the top-2, they don't get to host.  

I get your point.  Worst case scenarios need to be addressed under any plan.  But the point remains that for any team succesful enough to be in the top 2 of College Football, the school and the city it resides in will be used to hosting crowds relatively on the scale of a national semi-final.  Yes, the influx will be bigger, and conditions may be less than ideal for some visitors.  But that will probably be expected if a game is hosted in Pullman, Wa. and won't be a black eye for the sport.  And, after all, only so many people will travel into a game when tickets are scarce.  I'm hard pressed to see an amount of visiotrs any larger than 125% of your typical home game sell-out.

EQ RC Blue

April 25th, 2012 at 3:32 PM ^

Being a good problem solver requires recognizing the problem and not underestimating it.  . 

You say: "If you're one of the few schools where this comes down to the wire, use some of the boatloads of cash that this tournament will create to compensate the hotels at the various schools that don't host."

So, we're to set up a system in which proceeds from the home game at school X are to be alotted to schools Y and Z to defray costs to hotels in the town where Y and Z exist?  Or will some central mechanism handle all this?  In fact, how is the money split in the first place in these games? 

Every problem is oh so easy to solve until you get down to the details.  If you want to think these problems are easily washed away, I probably won't be able to convince you otherwise.  But my experience in detailing with complex events, with multiple parties where big money is at stake, is that it's not so easy getting everyone to simply give the thumbs up to a plan that you think everyone should be happy with.


MI Expat NY

April 25th, 2012 at 3:54 PM ^

There are details that need to be worked out under every scenario.  For neutral site only: how do we bid out the games?  What factors will we consider?  How will we decide which teams to send where?  etc.  We're eventually going to have to come up with a plan that's "detailing with complex events, with multiple parties where big money is at stake" whether it inolves on campus games or not.  To dismiss on-campus games simply because some different set of details needs to be worked out as compared to neutral field games is foolish (unless you're secretly a BCS honcho).

Have I solved or even anticipated all the problems?  Absolutely not.  But I look around the nation and see similar problems solved on a constant basis and wonder why anyone would assume colleges and local municipalities couldn't similarly figure it out.

EQ RC Blue

April 25th, 2012 at 4:20 PM ^

This is exactly the kind of discourse that would be needed before dismissing a problem out of hand.  How do I know if it's a problem?  Is it like other problems that are solved relatively easily throughout the country in different sporting events or not?  Just saying "this is a dumb reason" doesn't convince me it's not a good reason.

I am ready to be convinced that it is feasible for college campuses to host the semifinal games.  I am not ready to join in off-hand angry rejection of what could be plausible reasons from a source that seems to offer similar reactions so freely and commonly.

EQ RC Blue

April 25th, 2012 at 4:51 PM ^

I have no doubt that many BCS college towns (and of course big cities like LA, Chicago, Boston, Minneapolis) could handle a national semi-final game.  I don't know just how high a % it is -- I'd assume Corvalis or Champaign could, but I don't know for sure.  I really don't know about Pullman.  It's probably pretty high.  Of course, those games that you mention also provide lots of lead time.  Also, I don't know about all those other towns, whether there is a reason I'm not thinking of that would cause problems. 

Anyway, the real question is whether you can count on being in one of those places and what happens if you're not?  Could the B1G adopt a plan that would, for instance, disproportionately penalize Minny and Indy with the assumption they wouldn't make the title game because they've been bad for a long time?  They did adopt divisions based on competitive balance, of course.  But was that the only way to do it? 

Again, I think it the right answer might be to hold all the games in the college sites regardless of other considerations.  I just don't think it's obvious on its face that every reason to do something else is dumb.

MI Expat NY

April 25th, 2012 at 5:26 PM ^

Yes, big regular season games are fairly predictable with more lead time, but for those most likely to travel in, that's not nearly as true.  Media members choose which game to go to maybe a week or two out.  Gameday famously makes that decision on Sunday of that week.  For fans that are travelling a distance, the lead-time works both ways.  Less are likely to travel with less lead time, easing stress on infrastructure as compared to the fiw biggest regular season games a year.  

I think there is also one point you're completely missing.  These really small college towns that you're worried about having the appropriate infrastructure.  Many, if not most of them, also have small stadiums.  The smaller the stadium the less people will travel, and the less stress there is on the infrastructure.  30,000 crazy Nebraska fans won't travel to Corvalis, when it's only reasonable to expect to get your hands on 5,000 tickets.


April 26th, 2012 at 10:36 AM ^

You're counting on the Saints not only making the playoffs (which historically isn't such a good bet), but getting a HOME game too. And playoff games can be on Saturday or Sunday, or the NFL flexs all the time. You act like they're blocking out Saturdays for 6 months. It'd be one week, the same week every year.  They can manage.


April 25th, 2012 at 1:14 PM ^

If we're going to start conjuring situations where the location of Pullman, Washington, home to a school that's never finished within 7 spots of the top 2 in the final polls, becomes regarded as a rational argument against home games, then the case truly can't be made. 

In reality, the games would occur every year in places well accustomed to handling national media attention and large crowds for up to 8 saturdays every season. 

I think the real reasons are that conference commissioners like being wined and dined by bowl execs,  that it's hard to play golf in Ann Arbor in December, and that the bowl executives are in the room where all this is being decided and conference commishioners don't want to tell them no to their faces.

EQ RC Blue

April 25th, 2012 at 1:28 PM ^

They played in the Rose bowl in 2003 and, hmm, I think it was 1998.  Boise State played in the 2006 and 2009 Fiesta bowls.  You can't assume that these teams won't be in the playoffs.  Thus, the discussion is what should be done. 

Perhaps there are "real reasons" behind this -- although it's not crazy to want a big event in a place people want to be.  Doesn't the NFL rotate the superbowl between a few cities, mostly warm weather places?

Again, you might decide that the best thing to do is play in the college campuses.  In fact, it arguably would be a better indicator of quality to make SEC teams come north in December.  And it might be more in the spirit of college athletics.  But dismissing these issues out of hand says more about the dismisser than the dismissed.


April 25th, 2012 at 1:43 PM ^

Yes the NFL rotates the Super Bowl between a few places, BUT and this is the point that everyone else is making, they DON'T take away NFC/AFC Champ games from the home stadiums(the equivalent of the Semi-final). As far as to what to do if a school gets their bid rejected, if they can't come up with a suitable alternative(and any school with a stadium under the minimum capacity would surely know this far in advance) simply loses the ability to host a game that year. Now as has been pointed out, this would have happened exactly 0 times in the BCS era(and I'm fairly certain you'd have to go pretty far back to find a school with under 50k who finished in the top two before bowls.), scrapping the plan on this basis is not smart.

EQ RC Blue

April 25th, 2012 at 1:59 PM ^

They'd lose the ability to host, and then what?  Someone would find somewhere else for them to play?  How far in advance would the proposals be rejected?  When would they set the place of the game? 

Also, I think someone said Boise finished top 4 recently.  TCU finished 4th and their stadium seats 44,000.

And the NFL playoffs are hosted at NFL stadiums in NFL cities, making it a bit different.

Anyway, as I've said, it's not that I necessarily think the games should be played at neutral sites.  To the contrary, I'd like to see them at colleges regardless of seating capacity, etc.  But to dismiss the reasons given out of hand is not to engage them and therefore not be able to address real questions.  In short, arguing against legitimate points is productive, mocking derisively, well, not so much. 


April 25th, 2012 at 2:14 PM ^

Well you were technically the one to bring the NFL/Super Bowl argument into it so I just made it a more apples to apples comparison. The point isn't that TCU/Boise finish in the top 4, it's that they have to finish in the top 2 to make this a worry at all, which is something you don't seem to be reading.  And if you lose the ability to host, then hosting either goes to the lower ranked team or the top two host eligible teams get to host games. As I've said several times, this literally would not have happened even ONCE in the past 15 years and I'd suspect that you'd have to go back a really long time to get to a point where a top 2 team was a under 50k. The championship game I figured would still be at some neutral site so even if a TCU/Boise won their road game, it'd be a moot point for that round. 


April 25th, 2012 at 2:03 PM ^

1. There's no reason to imply that a dismissal of arguments we know to be historically untrue is a sign of irrationality or incivility. 

2. WSU may have finished in the top 10, but we're talking top 2. The highest WSU has finished, post bowl (I couldn't find final regular season rankings over time) was #9. If we go back to 1970, there have been two teams who have finished in the top two of the final polls who play in stadia of under 50,000 (Utah and TCU). Both of those are located in major metropolitan areas that would have no problem in handling a crush of media attention.

3.  I think they're over rating the "bigness" of the semi-final, as an event, particularly when forcing many fans to choose between the attending a semi-final or championship game. Currently, we have neutral site BCS bowl games where the upper decks are almost empty (Orange Bowl espeicially). What will attendance look like when the Orange Bowl semi-final is USC vs. Boise?

4. I do think that change is hard. It's especially hard to accomplish when the people whom that change will affect most negatively are sitting in the same room as those proposing the changes, and when those parties have a longstanding relationship. 

EQ RC Blue

April 25th, 2012 at 2:05 PM ^

"You can't make this up, because if you did people would hit you really hard with rolled-up socks."  That's the full dismissal of the infrastructure, etc., argument.  That seems closer to "uncivil" that "rational and persuasive."

Also, we don't know who will finish in the top 4.  BSU and TCU have done so recently.  And, like I've said, when you make such plans you can't count on the last 10 years being replicated exactly. 

I'd like to see them play the games at the schools, no deviations from that. 

As for 3, I'm not really sure, but I think bowl games aren't great indicators -- how many people attended games that included teams that might actually make the championship game (sadly, the B1G was not included, but the PAC12, Big12, and SEC championship games).

4 seems accurate to me.


April 25th, 2012 at 2:20 PM ^

Fair enough on the incivility. I do think that that proposed sock attack proceded from an argument about the quality of ideas offered rather than the quality of the people offering them.

You're certainly right that we can't know what teams will be good. History suggests that it will mostly be the usual suspects, but there may be occasional wild cards (though I couldn't find one truly unworkable situation). My inclination would be to say that if a team from a small town or with a small stadium gets a home game, good for them, enjoy the local tax revenue, the larger stadia will mean greater revenue in the long run, and the national media will get a new place to complain about. But those are legitimate concerns.

In the end, I'm most perplexed about the attachment of the conference commissioners to the bowl games when we know that those games have many times in the past decade cost their member institutions millions of dollars and when we know from the Fiesta and Sugar Bowls that their organizing committees are frequently wholly corrupt.

EQ RC Blue

April 25th, 2012 at 3:48 PM ^

I think people have good ideas.  I think they might be better ideas than hosting games at neutral sites.  But I do think people are oversimplifying the problem and underestimating the potential matters that would have to be sorted out (making the out-of-had derision seem unpleasant and naive).

I was including top 4 because that's who'll be in the semifinal games.  Nothing has been established regarding how these games would be played.  We can assume 1 would host 4 and 2 would host 3.  But what if there's a rule that one conference can't host both games?  In that case, perhaps 3 would host two.  What if there's a rule that conference champions automatically get to host the game if the other teams aren't champs (again, 3 could host 2, or possibly, 4 might host a game -- the conference champ might not finish highest in the BCS standings, after all).  Without knowing all the rules, I used top 4.  Maybe using top 2 would be better for analyzing the best solution, but, again, it's not quite so clear cut with having all the info. 


April 26th, 2012 at 10:42 AM ^


But dismissing these issues out of hand says more about the dismisser than the dismissed.

If you're worrying about things that may happen, that go against traditional logic, then you're basically saying everything is up in the air, and there's no point in discussing it till everything has been spelled out. What if they go to Brian's 6? 8? 64?  I mean, any COULD happen. But likely not. But there's just as much info there as having a rule that "two teams from the same conference can't host the two games." So why your arbitrary number is better than anyone else's arbitrary number even though it makes less logically traditional sense seems to have no justification other than "it backs my argument that FOUR teams might have to prepare for it"....when it much greater likelihood it would be 2; or equally likely it could be 8 or some random number and you've wasted your time arguing for a long time because you are saying that's it's pointless to without every single fact.


April 25th, 2012 at 3:52 PM ^

Would have been used a few years ago against Oregon, Boise State, TCU.  A couple decades ago it would have been Miami.  The instances of teams you don't expect to do it making the pre-bowl top 4 are not at all uncommon.

The main problem with the BCS is it there is no contingency plan for when it doesn't work out the way you hope it will.  Yet that happens all the time and people complain about how badly the system is designed --  the same approach is being taken for home-game playoffs.

I agree the relationship with bowls is the REAL issue here, but that doesn't mean some of their public rationale is entirely devoid of reason.  It is simply much EASIER and LESS RISKY to go with the established neutral-site format.  Administrators, decision-makers, and people of all kinds like easy and risk-free.  It's easy for us to say, as fans, 'no problem', but if it's your ass on the line you might not be so flippant and dismissive.

Also, university presidents and athletic department heads don't necessarily want to go through the headache of planning an event they're very unlikely to have to execute.

What's good for powers like Michigan and Alabama isn't necessarily good for other schools.  Unless you want to split off the powers, you have to deal with the limitations and concerns of the have-nots.

EQ RC Blue

April 25th, 2012 at 1:50 PM ^

That's a decision-making question.  Do we plan based on "best case" or "worst case?"  Do we ensure a 100% chance of a decent outcome or go for a 80% chance of a better one?  What will happen in the "worst case?"  How much better is the better outcome than the decent one? 

Again, you can come out on the side of hosting the games at colleges.  In fact, I might lean to doing so, clean and guaranteed, no contingency plans going to some nearby NFL stadium.  But the answer isn't so clear cut.  Discussion can be civil, and people aren't predisposed to agreeing with what you say are more likely to listen to and be convinced by others who talk in a mature fashion.


April 25th, 2012 at 4:11 PM ^

How so? It seems to me the BCS was planned the way it was in an attempt to avoid disrupting the existing bowl structure, and its problems have largely emerged from its attempts to reconcile the needs of the bowl committees with the desire to crown an undisputed champion. It's the neutral site plan that replicates the faults of the BCS, not the home field plan.


April 25th, 2012 at 4:25 PM ^

with the best-case scenario in mind, without much consideration for 'unlikely' worst-case scenarios like mid-majors becoming obvious candiates, or lackluster intra-conference rematches would occur, or 3-clear-cut teams, or....

Look, I agree that the Bowls are driving the decison-making, but you can't just argue about how great the best-case scenarios would look, because the BCS can make equivalently valid arguments.



April 25th, 2012 at 4:44 PM ^

I guess I just don't see the worst case scenarios of the on-campus sites as rising to much more than logistical inconveniences (mainly lodging visiting teams and media on short notice), whereas the worst case scenarios of the neutral site options continue many of the worst financial features of the non-championship BCS games (particularly obligatory ticket purchases by athletic departments). There will certainly be more demand for these games in the abstract, because they're more meaningful, but they're also surrounded on both sides, for most teams, by other games (conference and national championship) that require fans to travel. 

French West Indian

April 25th, 2012 at 1:21 PM ^

It is a lot like the Euro currency which seemed like a great idea (and maybe it would have been) but there are too many structural inequalities amongst the participants that need to be ironed out before a playoff could really work.

As long as we have conferences with their differing rules, schedules & cultures then there will never be a playoff format that can offer a fair & level playing field to all the teams.  The SEC may be cleaning up their nasty oversigning habit at the moment but how long before they find another loophole to exploit?

Bowl games have historically worked because we know they are not fair (playing USC in LA or Miami in the Orange Bowl, etc) but most of us can still work out an approximate exchange rate in our heads and live with the fact that it's only a "mythical" national championship anyways.  Once a datum line is stricken and all teams are tied into the same system but coming from different starting points then it is only a matter of time before the incongruities boil over and break the system.

In 10-15 years, I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if people are calling for a return to the old pre-BCS era bowls.


April 27th, 2012 at 11:50 AM ^

You used a bad analogy.

The Euro is about to take over as the standard...taking value away from OUR dollar. I kinda see your point...but you chose a stoopid analogy. It makes you sound like you have no clue what you are talking about.

I love the dollar...but Euro is king outside of Smallville, USA, and Greece.


April 25th, 2012 at 1:21 PM ^

schmo school did make a breakthrough? Television would love it! 

But you miss one crucial f-up that goes with this: now fans of two of the four schools are being asked to travel to both the semi and the final. What if you give a final and nobody comes. . . cuz they're all flat-busted from a week ago?

Other Andrew

April 25th, 2012 at 1:22 PM ^

...is the media simply printing this shit without even the slightest fisking. I mean, I know I shoudln't be surprised after everything that's gone down the last 10+ years, but what the hell??