Argument: BCS makes much more money than playoffs could

Issue Report: College football playoffs


Mark Purdy: “College football playoff sounds great but is a bad idea.” Mercury News. January 8th, 2010: “The real deciders here, when it comes to the BCS’s future, are the university presidents. They’re the ones who have to balance the budgets at their schools. And they have noticed how the current system works well.

A whole bunch of dough comes their way, every year — including the money from the middle-echelon and lower-echelon bowls. Those presidents are very risk-averse. They think that a playoff system would damage the BCS bowls and kill those other bowls entirely.
Basically, here’s what I have discovered: The people who cry loudest and longest for a college football playoff system are the people who would not have to pay a dime out of their pockets to watch it. They want playoffs because they think it would be a gas to watch on their family room couches.

They’re correct. A playoff would be a terrific television show. But someone has to pay for it. And it would be hard to ask the average Boise State (or Ohio State or Oregon) fan to travel hither and yon and drain his pockets just so the rest of us can have our remote-control fun.

The television networks might ante up millions more for a playoff — but to ease those risk fears of college administrators, we’re talking many, many millions more. Maybe a billion more.
Keep in mind, the networks are hardly hurting under the current format. The ratings for the BCS bowls are excellent. In this economic climate, would the networks really want to take a chance on laying a billion dollars with no guarantee that sponsors would be there to cover that billion?

All of this is a moot issue, anyway, at least through 2013. The BCS schools’ contract with the “big four” bowl games and ESPN (which will broadcast the BCS games starting next season) is set for the next four years.

Between now and then, Boise State fans ought to just sit and enjoy their chicken wings. Those fans can proudly brag about their undefeated team and say it was as good as anybody in the country. But if they are demanding a playoff tournament … well, then they need to raise a billion dollars and convince those university presidents. That’s the bottom line.
Seems to me that chicken wings and bragging are a lot cheaper.”