Article Excerpts


·         Fayetteville Sports  1-13-2000        A Lonely Cry for College Football Playoff

It wasn’t a great year for college bowl games.  The Citrus Bowl drew its lowest figure since 1990.  The Gator Bowl attracted the worst crowd since 1958 and 27,000 fewer than last year.  The Orange Bowl wasn’t a sellout, and the venerable Rose Bowl, drew its lowest number since 1955.  USA Today reported that attendance was down 10.5 percent for the six January 1 bowl games.  Dare we hope that this is the beginning of the end for the Bowl Championship Series?  Playoffs are better!  No one argues that the BCS and other bowls will ever be able to match the revenue generated by a playoff.  They admit they can’t.  One argument in favor of the BCS is that the Big Ten and Pac-10 are contracted to the Rose Bowl through 2006, so no open bidding system can start until then.  My counter-argument is, so what?  Start a national championship playoff that leaves out the Big Ten and Pac-10 and see how fast the two conferences find ways to break the contract.  The argument about extending the season too long, keeping students out of class is hogwash.  The NCAA is already allowing teams to schedule a 12th game for the regular season.


·         Washington Post   1-6-2000             It’s Time To Play On, In A Playoff

We’re at a point where today’s thingamajig is tomorrow’s museum piece, and sports is always on the edge of the cutting edge of innovation.  Except, that is, for college football.  Well, not all of college football, just big-time college football, the game controlled by a few dozen or so old men who like to drag the game back to the 1950s.  Any argument against a Division I-A playoff is simply Neanderthal at this point.


·         USA Today   8-27-1998              Analysts take leaps of faith

One of the great appeals of sports is that it offers clear-cut results as an antidote to everyday life’s frustrating ambiguities.  In sports, you don’t need months of memos, meetings and rejiggered corporate flow chats to guess who won.  In the meantime, get busy expanding your vocabulary.  “Fans may not chant, ‘We’re No…1 anymore.  Now they can yell, ‘We’re in the top quartile’!”  CBS’ Craig James – “It’s total junk.  How stupid can we all be to not realize college football is choking right now?  They’re leaving other bowls to play in half-empty stadiums. … (BCS chairman) Roy Kramer and all those old-school guys would do college football a service by stepping aside.


·         ABI News        12/98               Playoffs should lead to the bowl

Kansas State is obviously upset about sliding all the way from the national championship game to the Alamo Bowl, which is supposed to take the No. 4 team from the Big 12 Conference.  Kansas State fans are bitterly disappointed about blowing a 15-point fourth-quarter lead to A&M and losing in double overtime.  But they can live with losing on the field.  The BCS, while linking its name to the Rose, Sugar and Orange Bowls – as well as the Fiesta Bowl which has this year’s national championship game – has nothing to do with the pairing of any of the other bowls.  In other words, there are two sets of rules being used.  So in literally one play – a quick third-down slant-in pass from Branndon Stewart to Sirr Parker for a 32-yard touchdown – Kansas State went from playing for the national championship to gaining the bowl berth slated for only the No. 4 team in the Big 12 Conference.  Do you have a better system, you ask?  Yes.  A playoff system.  It is time for NCAA Division I-A to join every other division in football and every other sport in determining a true national champion – on the field.


·         Forum by Douglas S. Looney  12-17-1999 Fix for boring bowl:  Make them playoffs

Defending the indefensible results in the ridiculous.  That’s why those who defend college football’s Bowl Championship Series (BCS) sound so silly.  Why not just have a playoff?  There is never anything to fear about doing the right thing.  A playoff would light up our lives in December with high-quality games of significance.  There is no downside, other than we would have to adjust to not being able to see Boise State play Louisville in the Humanitarian Bowl.


· - College Football                  A Playoff Makes Sense

The NCAA does have a playoff for Division I-AA, as well as Divisions II and III.  The college and NCAA big shots don’t seem to want a playoff, although the fans do.  What could be keeping this group from moving into the modern football era?  It only makes sense that the championship should be decided on the field, not by a vote.  The money that a college football playoff could raise might be staggering.  The bowls also raise a lot of money for the schools through corporate sponsorships.  Even the Rose Bowl is planning to accept a corporate sponsor now.  The Super Bowl sells tickets far in advance to fans from all over the country, plus local supporters.  The teams involved bring only limited numbers of fans.  So even with a playoff system, attendance should not be a problem, if it’s done correctly.  Proposals to involve the bowls in a playoff system - I agree with this approach.


·  12-5-1999       A (Div. IA) College Football Playoff

Where’s the downside, no where.  Where’s the upside, everywhere.  How often in business, or in life do you see a situation where everyone wins.  Not very.  It’s time for the NCAA to get their heads out of the sand and move forward.


·         USA Today  12-08-1999              A  four-team playoff could work

People point and say divisions I-AA, II and III all use a playoff format.  Why can’t Division I-A?  The NCAA, college presidents and athletic directors would be foolish not to look at ISL’s proposal or similar ones in the future because of the financial gain.  It’s about the money, and if you don’t believe me, take a  look at the deal CBS made, paying the NCAA $6 billion over 11 years for TV rights to the men’s basketball tournament.  Playoff opponents – who can make a one-game compromise – won’t see the current bowl system disrupted.  It is a solution college football can accept while making money and maintaining integrity concurrently.  And determining a national champion.


·         The Sporting News   08-03-2000   Who will the sun shine brightest on in Florida?

High school football has playoff systems.  Professional football has a playoff system.  All of college football except Division IA has playoff systems.  Why can’t we keep the bowls and have a playoff system too?  We will get a playoff system when someone emerges as a leader to convince (the non-BCS bowls) that a playoff system would be their salvation rather than their demise.


·   12-21-1999         College football faces big changes

Money probably means playoffs, restructuring in the 21st century.  College football has reached maturity, yet the caretakers are trying to keep it in diapers.  It’s only a matter of time before you are overwhelmed by public passion for a playoff.  A playoff tournament will happen in the 21st century, probably sooner then later.  But that’s not the biggest development to come in the next millennium …  the eventual move to a playoff will create a financial windfall for college athletics and it’s popularity, climbing now, will push it past the NFL.  The cries of a playoff will grow and grow.  Then watch the money come in.  Fat checks from the networks who should be as bored with the NFL and NBA as the rest of us are.  There’s too much public passion out there for a college playoff.  It will be easy to get the SEC and Big 12 to eliminate their championship games.  Just wave big bucks and get on with it.

·         05-04-2000                 Somebody, stop the insanity of bowl system

When you look at the 2000 college football postseason lineup and see more .com bowls than BCS bowls, somebody must step up and put an end to this insane overcrowding.  There’s got to be a limit on rewarding mediocrity.  Cal-Berkeley athletic director John Kasser, said:  “We’ve reviewed the 1999-00 bowl operations and we’re confident the current bowl system structure will work well for years to come.”  Under what rock has this bonehead been hiding?  Administrative beancounters are too enamored with satisfying schools that believe a 6-5 season merits a $1 million payout for pathetically average football teams.  In 1978, the first year that the NCAA divided schools between Division I-A And I-AA, there were 141 schools in I-A and 13 bowl games.  Now, I-A membership is down to 114, but the number of bowl games has essentially doubled.  The only thing this monument to excess has accomplished is to dilute college football’s postseason and make it a less attractive product.  And it’s only going to get worse.  What happens in 2002 when the NCAA goes to a 12-game schedule and with a possible 28 bowls, there may not be enough qualified schools to fill them all.  Last year, 57 schools finished the regular season with winning records, but 10 of those schools were 6-5, meaning that some of them would likely finish .500 in a 12 game schedule and be ineligible for a bowl.  Imagine having a bowl game and no teams eligible to participate.  That’s exactly where this is headed unless somebody with an ounce of common sense has the guts. 


·         2000 Street &Smith’s College Football Magazine (accompanied by NCAA  logo)  National Preview

This game born in the 19th century certainly has its issues going in the 21st.  Everyone not named Roy Kramer seems to despise the Bowl Championship Series.


·  11-01-1999  Genuine playoff system in college football still a  myth

As far as I’m concerned, the BCS has no standing.  No NCAA championship, that is.  This is strange when you consider the NCAA conducts championships in everything but javelin catching.  It even conducts football championships in every division but The Big One.  Sorry, BCS.  This is one case where the devil is NOT in the details.  The real devil here is in the principle, namely that there isn’t a NCAA football championship in Division I and there ought to be.  It’s as simple as that.


·         Sarasota(Florida) Herald-Tribune                 Football Playoffs

College football’s conference commissioners should lock themselves in a room, deliberate and announce a tournament field.


·         The NCAA News   05-22-2000                       Peeling labels

“On the one hand, the way the NCAA structures the I-AA postseason is good because we have a playoff and can crown a national champion,” said Southern Conf. Commissioner Alfred B. White …

“But on the other hand, our participating institutions are finding themselves in a negative experience financially.  We need to come up with a way where it’s win-win.  “The easiest answer would be to increase traveling squads and per diem and to allow enough reimbursement to where schools wouldn’t lose money,”  said Dennis Poppe, NCAA director of championships.


·         ESPN - College Football   08-15-2000   Coaches divided on whether BCS works

Kansas State coach Bill Snyder isn’t pleased with the BCS.  “It really is a mystery to me,” he says.  “I don’t understand it and I haven’t taken time to understand it, and those people who have made an effort to understand it tell me they don’t understand it either.”

·         The Cincinnati Post   12-08-1998           College football follies

College football’s caretakers ought to be ashamed.  More appropriately they ought to be replaced – immediately.  And they ought to take that Bowl Championship Series monstrosity with them.  Once again college football’s cronies have shown that backroom politics and big money mean more than fairness and integrity.  The Bowl Championship Series was reputedly concocted this season to create a true national championship game.  Just like previous years, several teams could have legitimate claims on the national title.  Why, for example, is Florida State playing for the title instead of 10-1 Ohio State?  Or 11-1 UCLA?  Then there’s Miami of Ohio, which recorded a stellar 10-1 record this year.  It got no bowl bids.  But guess who will be playing in the Micron Bowl?  North Carolina, a 6-5 team that Miami of Ohio beat, 13-10, at Chapel Hill during the regular season!  But the biggest travesty of the 1998 Bowl Championship Series is Kansas State, which narrowly missed out on an undefeated season after losing in double-overtime Saturday to Texas A&M.  Kansas State is ranked No. 3 in the final Bowl Championship Series rankings, but was passed over by the Sugar Bowl and Orange Bowl.  Something is wrong here.  The best solution:  establish a playoff system like the ones in every other NCAA sport.



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