BCS-SEC-Big Ten Conspiracy
by Doug Johnson
(Parker, UT, USA)
I appreciate everything I've read. . and yes. . the PAC 10 has been highly disrespected. BIG 10 and SEC people talk as if no other conferences exist. .and yet. . this year they are WEAK.
Meanwhile, the fire has been fueled. . .the SEC has lost 5 bowl games. . and the bloodshed will continue with Auburn. . . only when the other conferences are given due respect. . will the SEC bloodbath end.
THE COLLEGE BOWL DEBACLE—2010
(And Why It’s Getting Worse)
By Douglas daBoone Johnson
Doug Johnson is a screenwriter and author. He welcomes feedback to this article, and hopes that people will pass it on: doug @ snowshoepublishing.com
(Thanks to key sport writers, who chose to remain unmentioned, for helping me write this article.)
Sports Illustrated magazine recently explored the benefits of a college football play-off system, and good points were made. They implied that the issue is about money, however, and I disagree. The general football public needs to understand that the BCS system, and the ranking and bowl games they dictate, are tools for established college football powers. In my opinion, the general college football public needs to grasp this harsh reality, and challenge these saboteurs of the game. Until they do, we will all suffer with the kinds of bowls they’ve given us this year.
College football is played by teams established as prominent powers, and those who are not. Unfortunately, the established teams and conferences in power have learned how to manipulate the system to keep the uneducated college football nations from gaining notoriety or prestige. Worse yet, they play a chess game that has them three-steps ahead of the field, and that leads to disastrous bowl match-ups.
It is hard to fathom the depth of money and power influencing college football. In cities like Eugene, Boise, and Salt Lake, we just don’t have the history of national strength that an Ann Arbor or South Bend regime has. When established college football powers play, entire towns shut down. One of my SEC friends likes to razz me about a high school football game he drove by in Montana.
“There were more people on the field,” he scoffs, “than there were in the stands.”
His point was clear, “We (Western schools) don’t take our football seriously enough to garner respect.”
Ultimate power corrupts and the bastions of college football have had it for a long time. Your average Western football fan needs to understand what they are up against as we fail to understand that alums from major established college football powers will go to any length not just to put their programs in the spotlight, but to manipulate the system to support teams from their conference, their state, and ultimately, established powers from their region.
Meanwhile, college football is a game of passion and energy. Add a purpose to that, (like getting even for being deemed inferior by pompous teams), and you motivate teams like Utah and Boise State enough to topple college football icons like Oklahoma and Alabama.
A protocol from such losses, however, has apparently been set. As I’ve been told, it’s assumed that SEC teams have nothing to gain when playing po-dunk schools, out of conference. If the SEC or other prominent power wins, they were supposed to, but if they lose, it becomes a big deal. The latest method for dealing with threatening upstart teams, is clearly, to make them play each other.
I gained my insight into the passionate SEC nation first hand. Had I moved to SEC country in 1990, stepped off the plane, and was ordered to pick a side: Seminoles or Gators. From there I became privy to incalculable college football fever as devotees plotted the teams that should be allowed to play, and upstart schools who were to be ignored.
In short, I learned that there’s a reason that Utah leap-frogged to number 5 in the BCS polls this year, while SEC teams like LSU and established darlings like Oklahoma leap-frogged to number 1. If one studies them over time they will clearly see that the BCS rankings are a tool used by established powers to put their teams in the most favorable position. Utah went to number 5 because they were being aligned to play red hot Western teams like Boise State or Stanford.
If the established and united guard were to stop their manipulation at the BCS Bowls, I wouldn’t be terribly concerned. What they do however, is manipulate every single bowl so that their supported and established college powers don’t have to play upstarts, and the result is a series of bowl match-ups that are lame beyond belief, as brothers in the effort to earn respect for their up-and-coming teams are pitted against one another until the public gets the least interesting college bowls imaginable.
Every year a few acceptable match-ups actually happen. They are mathematically unavoidable and this year, due to the uncharacteristic weakness of the SEC and of Eastern powerhouse teams in general, we succeeded in getting one, that’s right, one interesting game: Oregon versus Auburn.
There was no denying this game after so many SEC teams leap-frogged to the top, and as the irritated college football community dictated, they continued to lose. Had Alabama not lost twice, however, I can assure you that they would be in the National Championship against Auburn, and complain as they might, Duck nation would be playing in a lesser bowl.
The other bowl match-ups have, in a sense, already happened. Boise State already played and beat Virginia Tech in front of a raucous hometown crowd in weather that was humid enough to cook the rawhide off a horse. And so, because The Hokies were already soiled by a Western upstart wannabe, they have a fire in their belly from a year of razzing from the established powers, so they are a natural to throw at Stanford. Also, Virginia Tech is on a red hot 9-game run, so the timing’s good to correct the score against a relative newbie to the scene.
A similar situation exists with Wisconsin. While they’ve been renting condos in South Florida for recruiting and building their program for decades, Wisconsin still has little respect on the national scene. So tweak the BCS rankings and throw them into an eternal pit of obscurity by matching them up against fellow upstart TCU in a game that nobody will remember.
Again, the public believes that these bowls are random, but they fail to consider that in every case, bowl match-up’s are in part, a result of the BCS rankings, which are a chess game being played by established football powers to keep the established regimes on top, and to keep upstarts away from their established college football darlings.
A final note to the old guard of football: It’s convenient to make claims of greatness for your teams and conferences, and keep the computer on your side, when you won’t pursue bowl bids against allegedly inferior teams come bowl time. The obvious result is that nothing gets proven or disproven, and the college football hungry public doesn’t get to see the games they are dying to see. That said, old guard, during the 2011 season, be a sport, please? And if you continue in the fashion you have, I can assure you, your tools will be taken away.