June 27th, 2012 at 2:58 AM ^

than prey on society's anger towards the institution. He's become increasingly radical over time and doesn't have a realistic understanding of how the real world works or what the bowls were originally meant to be. This article is far from a "must read.'


June 27th, 2012 at 3:22 AM ^

Doesn't have realistic understanding?  So your saying he's wrong about the greed and corruption within the current system?  He's not writing (at least not his main point) about what the bowls were supposed to be.  He's writing about what they are and what they are is a big crock of poo.  I'm not even a proponent of a playoff but I happen to think, like him, that the bowl system in place is bad news (yet at the same time, like he states, it's just how it is and how it will be for some time).  You are right, it isn't exactly a must-read, its an article that many could have written with the time and, like you say, obeys what are much of the general population of fan's anger and thoughts/opinions.


June 27th, 2012 at 6:15 PM ^

feel any "anger" whatsoever, and by anger I also mean frustration, unhappiness, or in fact any negative emotion--at all-- toward bowls or the bowl system. In fact, I think the general population LIKES the bowl system.  I have literally never once heard any negative reaction or opinion at all among any fans I have ever encountered, my friends, co-workers, relatives, strangers, no one. I realize my circle is not the proof of my point, but IMO this opinion against the bowl system  is mainly a media creation that some fans like yourself do agree with. But those fans are a small minority--in fact players themselves don't even feel that way-players like the bowls as well.

That doesn't necessarily mean you are wrong (though I think you are). It's just that I see media people all the time talking about how "the fans" are demanding change and a playoff, when in fact it is them that are doing so, cheered on by their individual twitter followers.


June 27th, 2012 at 7:23 PM ^

I actually probably agree with some of what you say.  I think (know) you're right about the amount of people who resent and are unhappy with the Bowls.  If I said it over, I probably wouldn't say the general population.  I will say that I think the general population/majority of College football fans are naieve as to what all goes into the Bowl system i.e. the shenanigans, the money exchanged to people, schools getting hosed on traveling to the destinations, etc. etc..  I like that there are writers out there who are willing to speak about all of the excess garbage that is involved in the College Football (post-season, primarily).  Some see it as a guy who is whining and just writing to be rebelious.  I, and others, see it as a guy trying to bring to light what's wrong with the sport and inform the uninformed.

Also, I actually do happen to like the "Bowls".  I always have and is why I was attracted more to the College game versus the NFL years ago when I became a football fan.  I've actually been against a playoff format for years (it's growing on me!).  I like the theory of the Bowls.  As I've gotten older though, and especially since the dawn of the BCS, I've realized (and am still learning) what really is at play within the Bowl system.  It's not all butterflys and rainbows.  There is much greed and corruption (in my humble opinion) and this is what I don't like about the Bowl system.


June 27th, 2012 at 7:31 PM ^

for being rational and realistic, even though we kinda disagree. For my part, I think that there are in fact some bad things that have happened, but I juat believe that for the most part, the bowls and people that run them are decent people not trying to rip people off. I'd extend that sentiment to most people doing anything.


June 27th, 2012 at 3:59 AM ^

This was supposed to be Wetzel's big day. Wetzel has to get over it. Yes, their were way too many people brainstorming and politicking over this playoff. We all new it wasn't going to be perfect.

Robbie Moore

June 27th, 2012 at 11:26 AM ^

Yikes! That is the understatement of the year. But it is so far from perfect it strains belief. Wetzel's best point was imagining someone going into Roger Goodell's office and proposing the NFL outsource the AFC and NFC title games. Yet that is what the NCAA is doing. So some middle men buddies get to rake millions off the top? And kick back a good portion to the very people who set this playoff system up? I've never been an advocate of providing stipends to players but I'm starting to think differently. 


July 2nd, 2012 at 7:56 PM ^

...one of the staffers read this article and took it to Goodell, saying "why didn't we ever think of this?"

They're probably on the phone with Sepp Blatter right now, finding out how to do it up right. And in a few months there'll be an announcement that the 2022 Super Bowl will be played in Dubai.


June 27th, 2012 at 10:05 AM ^

You might not like Brooks, but he kept the pressure on the Ohio State scandal and resulting NCAA investigation for longer than anyone else in the media or blogosphere.  

As for Wetzel, his column might not be "must read," but he did totally nail it here.  Wetzel has long been on record as a critic of the system, long before it was a popular stance.  He is correct in pretty much every assertion he makes in this piece.  The bowls are still running almost everything, and the presidents and AD's still get their perks, over and under the table.

Wetzel has the courage to take a stance that probably would have gotten him blackballed as little as ten years ago.  I choose to applaud that courage.  YMMV.



June 27th, 2012 at 6:50 AM ^

I typically ignore anything One-Note Wetzel has to say on the BCS and playoffs anymore, because he's just gotten to be way too shrill for my tastes.  He comes dangerously close to the line that Jon Chait pointed out was crossed by Snyder and Rosenberg, that of mixing investigative journalism with opinion journalism.  Remember, he's got a book to sell.

I read the article anyway.  Good Lord, what a Mitch Albom wannabe.  And he's really gotten himself out of touch.  For example:

Fans can imagine the surge of excitement in November and early December as teams scramble for one of the four playoff spots rather than play out the string toward a mostly meaningless bowl game. Yes, the regular season just improved. More games will matter. TV ratings will soar.

Yeah, because if college football has a problem, it's that people just ignore it in November.  Surge of excitement my ass.  Any team that's gonna be in contention for one of those playoff spots would not have had a problem in the past ginning up ratings, because this is college football fergodsakes.  Fans of teams like LSU will watch their team play against St. Rita's Kindergarten Bible School if they have to.  If Wetzel has worked himself into believing people's attention to college football has petered out and only a playoff can revive it, then he's no longer qualifed to write on the subject.


June 27th, 2012 at 9:34 AM ^

Plus, the excitement would only soar in those November games if there was a clear path to qualifying for the playoffs... like in the NFL.  If I knew a certain team had to lose in order for my team to get in, then I would be more apt to watch a game that I might not otherwise have watched.  But as far as I understand the new set-up, I'm hoping my team will win in November and December so some mysterious committee will smile upon them and choose them for the playoffs.  Well, that's really no different than me wanting my team to win in Novemebr or December so some mysterious committee selects them for a really good bowl game.

He's an idiot.


June 27th, 2012 at 8:57 AM ^

ok maybe the OP shouldn't have put "must read" - but I really liked the article. He is correct about a massive slew of points in this situation, and I share his frustration about the end result of this process. Greed and bribery must be the only reason this playoff was kept within the bowl system. I love the analogy of the NFL outsourcing their playoffs. It is exactly that stupid. Why give up something like that? I can't wait until it expands to 8 teams, but at least we get some form of playoff now. I was starting to think I wouldn't live to see it happen.  They will probably still use the shady "BCS computers" to determine the top four, so I won't be surprised to see smaller market teams continue to get screwed for the sake of the almighty dollar. 


June 27th, 2012 at 9:45 AM ^

angle has way too much time on their hands, not to mention a little too political and OWS view of the world. First, players do get paid, they get paid about 50k a year in tuition, room and board, travel, etc. Second, players get treated like kings on campus. Third, if this system is bad for players, why would so many athletes kill to be invited into this "immoral" system? This act is old and tired and shrill. His line about "rich people laughing at the unpaid players" was ludicrous and stupid.

Yes, there are problems, yes, some nequity exists, yes things could be better, and yes, some bowl executives misbehave. None of that means that the system is corrupt and immoral.


June 27th, 2012 at 6:58 PM ^

Maybe not immoral, because what the hell are morals anymore these days, but corrupt is probably an accurately descriptive word.  John Junker got caught; he is not the only butthole wrongly reaping benefits from the "system".  Maybe we differ on the idea of corruption, but to me the college football landscape is filled with it.


June 27th, 2012 at 9:53 AM ^

i must have missed the thread where we all decided to be happy that the playoff is going to involve the preposterously corrupt bowl system.


June 27th, 2012 at 11:05 AM ^

The BCS exists because the big schools, yes including ours, in the big conferences, don't want to split they money like they do in basketball.  Google doc is here for a low-down on the numbers.

  • ACC/SEC/B1G/PAC/Big12 = roughly 60 teams (notice I'm not including the Big East)
  • Rest of D1 - including the Big East = roughly 60 teams
  • 5 majors + ND  grossed $235,700,000 for the bowl season
  • Everyone else grossed $26,512,500

This is a no-brainer for the big conferences.

  • ~240MM/~60 teams = 4MM each
  • ~27MM/~60 teams = 450k

I didn't double check my numbers, but if you pull WVU's 17MM and TCU's 1.1 MM out of the 'everyone else' category the numbers get stark (a la the 2012-2013 bowl season):

  • ~9MM/~60 teams = 150k




June 27th, 2012 at 5:32 PM ^

Well done. The greed of the big conference schools and big conference football programs are why we don't have a real playoff. No other reason. They'd rather take larger pieces out a laughably small pie (considering the popularity of the product), then slightly smaller pieces out of a monster size pie.  Give the NCAA control of the playoff so they can do the amazing job they do with basketball, and the big boys give up control for good. 

The cartel would never do that.


June 27th, 2012 at 11:45 AM ^

and all I read was blah blah blah, croney, blah blah blah I hate bowls, waaaa, waaaa, cry, bowls suck... waaaaahh, I hate capitalism.. wahhhhh, car allowance... waahhh.

I get what he's trying to say, but this article has been written 1000 times before by 1000 different sports writers.  It's tired rhetoric and he comes off sounding like a whiney 8 year old girl that didn't get that pony for her birthday.


June 27th, 2012 at 12:29 PM ^

"Give us the game and, well, we'll forget all the ugly stuff for a while. We'll forget it for a lifetime, actually" - Dan Wetzel, in the article

I don't see this as true at all. Particularly in the discussion we've had on this blog, there is wide acknowledgement of the pressing issues that he mentions - specifically in this article, NCAA violations like impermissable benefits, concussions, and a few others. We can be entertained by the game, we can buy our tickets, and at the same time acknowledge that there are numerous issues requiring effective solutions that would improve the game even more. It seems to me as if he's talking down to people a bit here. The culture change he's talking about is not in the locus of control of the average fan, so I don't know what he expects people to do.

As for the rest of the article, I don't think it is particularly fair of him to imply that everyone is thrilled simply because now a playoff model exist. That certainly isn't true. We may like pieces of it - the four-team aspect, the change in selection method, etc... - but I haven't seen too many people that weren't skeptical of some or even many aspects. That is simply because it still involves the BCS and the bowls and the problems are well-documented. Again, what did Wetzel expect on a practical level?

 I am fairly sure the fact that this system, if you mapped it on a piece of paper, would seem so simple and yet has taken this long to get approval is a great fan dissatisfier too. I mean, there is a thread on the first page here which announces this agreement - it spawns further inquiry, not a great "Hooray!" for the most part. We acknowledge the issues, the possibility of further controversy, the inequities in revenue among conferences, etc...and yes, we watch anyway.

 I guess I am not sure  where Wetzel was headed with this - yes, humans run this system, so expect problems and individual mistakes. It doesn't make it a system that necessarily needs to be ditched in its entirety, but instead we can work on correcting the things we dislike about it. A fan of the sport wouldn't give up, I think, but would study the issues and talk about what could be done to make things right. Wetzel is talking about some moral abdication that I don't necessarily believe exists in many fans.


June 27th, 2012 at 12:47 PM ^

corruption is as American as apple pie. And if you point out in eviscerating detail exactly where it lies, many Americans will eviscerate you for it. They used to call it Know-Nothingism and it has not only made a comeback but staged a hostile corporate takeover of life in this country. Thanks for this, though. While (like Wetzel) I am happy enough for a four-tem playoff, I agree that almost everything else about it bites. Glad a few people who can think for themselve can still get to the podium now and then. 

Believe me, few or none of the people condeming Wetzel above could string together three sentences describing how his vision does or does not dovetail with Brian's. Through the cloud of their unknowing they just see their precious football and maybe Amurrica itself being criticized and start throwing pillows. It's all they've got to bring to the fight.


June 27th, 2012 at 7:01 PM ^

How do you know he's underserved of his self-esteem?  And nothing he wrote is "uninformed", nor ignorant; quite the contrary actually.  The point about "Know Nothingism" was spot on.  We as a society suffer from it and not just in the world of college football.

Maybe a little harsh in his 2nd paragraph(!), but because you don't agree doesn't make it neccessarily uninformed.


July 2nd, 2012 at 8:09 PM ^

didn't refer to people who knew nothing, but to members of an anti-immigrant and anti-Catholic semi-secret society who, when asked about it, were supposed to say they "knew nothing".

I'm not quite sure what it has to do with the bowl system, and I don't know much about how the Know Nothings felt about the corruption of their day. Maybe there's a connection there and the poster knows more American history than I do?


June 28th, 2012 at 12:47 PM ^


comments show "corruption is as American as apple pie."

The comments show no such thing. Just because they disagree with Wetzel, the way he presents things, or his unending and self-serving repetitive view on the subject doesn't mean they've been "corrupted."

"And if you point out in eviscerating detail exactly where it lies, many Americans will eviscerate you for it."

Yes, because if someone disagrees with you, YOU are the bringer of truth and the blanket statement that 'Americans' (vs. who, exactly?) will kill you for being the messenger of truth. Right.

"They used to call it Know-Nothingism and it has not only made a comeback but staged a hostile corporate takeover of life in this country."

Sounding like we're getting awfully political on the no politics board....

"Thanks for this, though. While (like Wetzel) I am happy enough for a four-tem playoff, I agree that almost everything else about it bites. Glad a few people who can think for themselve can still get to the podium now and then." 

So he completely apes Wetzel's view, but other people can't think for themselves. Riggggghhhttt. Wetzel has never had a forum to talk about this very thing. Oh wait, he wrote a book on it and has been beating the same drum over and over again to sell that book. 

"Believe me, few or none of the people condeming Wetzel above could string together three sentences describing how his vision does or does not dovetail with Brian's."

So, it's ok to ape Wetzel word for word, but if you do so with Brian you're illiterate.  That's consistent. It's also stupid, because Brian's view is probably a lot closer to Wetzel's than those who object to what Wetzel is saying. People disagree with Brian all the time. And frankly, if anyone has aped Brian, it's the OP (look at his sky is falling Rich history). 

"Through the cloud of their unknowing they just see their precious football and maybe Amurrica itself being criticized and start throwing pillows."

Why does he hate America? Ahhh, politics.  But more seriously terms like "cloud of their unknowing" means I'll dismiss their argument as inferior, because I have no argument to counter them with, and they disagree with me, so they must be stupid-heads.

"It's all they've got to bring to the fight."



July 4th, 2012 at 11:22 AM ^

then disputed their reasoning. Yep, bad reading comprehension. Oh, you might want to teach your students how to critique a post or article by actually, you know, explaining how the poster you insulted is wrong.


June 27th, 2012 at 3:59 PM ^

new system.  Why not just have be separate with the NCAA running the play-off as it does in basketball?  I really don't see what the universities get from involving the bowls.


June 27th, 2012 at 5:25 PM ^


Folks who equate approval of the bowl financial shenanigans, which basically steal from the schools and players, with being a true lover of college football, have been spending too many late nights on the town with John Junker. Get some sleep and clear your heads.

Wetzel couldn't be more right here. As he always is on the topic.