Congress vs. the BCS. What’s next?

It’s another Fantastic Friday and once more the floor is open to you. No subject is off limits as long as it’s clean. Here are five reasonably interesting topics to get our conversation going:

1. Congress  vs. the BCS. What’s next? Bill Hancock, the BCS Executive Director, sent a letter yesterday responding to inquiries from senators Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Max Baucus (D-Montana) about the way the BCS determines its champion and distributes the money, which will be about $125 million per year in the next four-year cycle.

Hancock was polite and answered all questions. But basically he told the Senators that they had more important things to worry about: “While I appreciate your interest, I believe that decisions about college football should be made by university presidents, athletics directors, coaches and conference commissioners rather than by members of Congress.”

Zing.

Hatch, upset when undefeated Utah did not get a shot at the 2008 national championship (while No. 1 Oklahoma and No. 2 Florida did), fired back with a statement released from his office: “Today, the BCS simply confirmed what most fans of college football have known for some time, that the BCS system is biased, secretive, and harmful to schools and competitors.

“No one wants to see Congress get involved here, including me. But if this response is any indication, there may not be any other option.”

Another Zing.

Now remember what I told you earlier in the week. The more and more outside forces like Congress push, the more and more the big conferences may decide to give up on any kind of post-season structure after the next four-year cycle.

The smart people I know who are handicapping this thing tell me that if expansion comes, the odds are better that the conferences will go back to the traditional bowl structure (Big Ten, Pac-10 in the Rose, SEC in the Sugar, ACC in the Orange, etc.) than forming any kind of playoff.

It is going to be an interesting summer.

 

2. Lane Kiffin is making $4 million at USC. Seriously? Seriously. Nothing really surprises me anymore but when HBO and ESPN reported that Kiffin, who has won exactly seven games as a college head coach during a cup of coffee at Tennessee, would be making $4 million at USC that surprised me. A couple of things in play here: USC was obviously in no mood to fool around last January when Pete Carroll bolted for the Seattle Seahawks. AD Mike Garrett needed somebody who knew how the program works and would say yes if the number on the table was big enough. Also remember that agent Jimmy Sexton (see Nick Saban, Houston Nutt) is one of the best when it comes to convincing a school that his guy is the one they need and this is the number that it will take to get him. Sexton sold USC on the future. The guy is good.

 

3. Assistant coaches deserve every penny they get:  Remember back in the summer of 2008 when the SEC did its $3 billion TV deal with CBS and ESPN? I told you at the time that a lot of that new money would be spent to hire and retain the best coaches for this league. It is no coincidence that a bunch of coordinators in the SEC have now cashed in.

David Jones of Florida Today points out that a year ago only two SEC assistants were making more than $500,000. Since then Alabama DC Kirby Smart has had his pay doubled to $700,000. Georgia had to pony up and pay Todd Grantham $750,000 to get him away from the Dallas Cowboys. More than one school came after South Carolina DC Ellis Johnson and he got his salary doubled to $700,000. Auburn OC Gus Malzahn got bumped up to $500,000. Derek Dooley had to pay Justin Wilcox $600,000 to leave Boise State and become the new DC and Tennessee. And so it goes.

The money is there and the agents who represent these coaches know it. And what do you do if you’re an athletics director like South Carolina’s Eric Hyman? His business sense tells him he can’t pay $700,000 for an assistant football coach but if Steve Spurrier says he has to have Johnson running his defense (and he does), what are you going to do? You’re going to pay it.

 

4. You gotta give Boise State credit. They play people: The Broncos have 21 of 22 starters coming back from a 14-0 team. They will travel all the way across the country to open the season on Sept. 6 against Virginia Tech in Landover, Md. On Sept. 25 they will host Oregon State, which will be in a lot of preseason Top 25s. Next season Chris Peterson and his gang will open the season at Ole Miss. Boise State was told a while back that in order to get into the national championship discussion it would have to go on the road and beat people that are supposed to be better than them. Rather than complain about a perceived injustice as a program in a league without an automatic qualifier, Boise rolled up their sleeves and improved the schedule. Same goes for TCU, which went on the road and beat Virginia and Clemson last season.

 

5. Please say a prayer for the Beamer family: Cheryl Beamer, the wife of Virginia Tech head coach Frank Beamer, was seriously injured in a fall at their second home at Lake Oconee. According to media reports, Cheryl Beamer fell when she was carrying one of her grandchildren and tripped over a family pet and could not break her fall.  She was rushed to Athens Regional Hospital where she had pins inserted in both legs. She also suffered six broken ribs and a broken collarbone. Virginia Tech Sports Information Dave Smith told the Raleigh News & Observer that the child was not seriously injured.

Frank Beamer, set to enter his 23d season at Virginia Tech, suffered a fall two weeks ago getting off a plane in Roanoke. He’ll need surgery this summer to repair a torn tendon in his right bicep.

 

Have a great weekend.

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385 comments Add your comment

Miles

May 21st, 2010
10:49 am

Mike Garrett is an idiot…

Bravesfan79

May 21st, 2010
10:49 am

Boise State… the UNBEATEN Real National Champs of 2008! That game against OU is a all time classic.
Hey guess what fans, you have another.. very predictable..season ahead of you… the national champ game will be decided between Ohio State, Texas, OU, USC, or the SEC champ. All other schools…. might as well not even play the season because even if they go UNDEFEATED… they have NO shot at a national title! BORING If sports is about competition, they how does this sham qualify as a sport?

Bill

May 21st, 2010
10:53 am

BCS needs to be fair and balanced. If that means Congress needs to step in, so be it. We need a true play-off system. Its a joke the way it is now.

T

May 21st, 2010
10:56 am

I know it has already been said, but count me against Tony’s pro-BSU schedule statement. Can you really call it playing someone if all but one (maybe two on some years) of your games each year are garbage opponents? Can’t stand all the love BSU gets from ESPN. The one time they come east, UGA wiped the floor with them. The only thing BSU does well is game the system. They have zero incentive to ever change conferences or schedule more than one tough game a year. They may not win the BCS title, but they will still make the Fiesta by beating their high school competition in the WAC.

Dan

May 21st, 2010
11:11 am

Seems foolish to pay assistants that much money. They deserve a good salary because they work hard and have a good skill, but it seems to me that you could get a comparable coach for significantly less. And if you can’t, you’re probably not looking hard enough.

Alphare

May 21st, 2010
11:13 am

Yeah, why not congress?

Purdue helped break up Atlanta Gas & Light (something like that), and now I pay more for the natural gas service every month.

Jake

May 21st, 2010
11:14 am

Warren Hatch needs to get over it. Not sure the voters sent him to Washington to discuss College Football,, after all he’s not from Bama.

The wonderful government of B Hussein Obama

May 21st, 2010
11:19 am

Nothing better than good ole government football. FAIR FAIR FAIR!!!!!!

Ben

May 21st, 2010
11:20 am

The battle for a playoff system is becoming some sort of war of attrition. The conference heads and presidents will lose because in the end the current system is simply too fraught with inequality and inconsistencies. The dyed in the wool college football fan will never shut up until something is in place that is 100% fair. We can wait out this old guard.

The wonderful government of B Hussein Obama

May 21st, 2010
11:20 am

“Hatch, upset when undefeated Utah did not get a shot at the 2008 national championship (while No. 1 Oklahoma and No. 2 Florida did)”

Yeah, I don’t see Alabama’s governors and senators getting upset over Auburn 2004. Utah has a joke schedule. Try going undefeated in the SEC and THEN being left out.

6 SEC teams have gone undefeated in the last 30 years. 2 of those undefeated teams happen to be Auburn.

The wonderful government of B Hussein Obama

May 21st, 2010
11:22 am

“As a GT and UGA fan it made me sick that a few great UGA teams were left out of the national championship”

None of those UGA teams went undefeated. Only one of those UGA teams won the SEC.

WIN YOUR DIVISION. WIN YOUR CONFERENCE. GO UNDEFEATED. GET LEFT OUT OF THE NATIONAL TITLE GAME. THEN TALK ABOUT UNFAIR.

The wonderful government of B Hussein Obama

May 21st, 2010
11:24 am

“when is Bama going to MAN UP snd play a schedule that represents a national champion?”

I’m no Bama fan but that comment is stupid. Bama beat Florida, VT, Texas, LSU and you say they didn’t beat anyone?

N

May 21st, 2010
11:25 am

Definitely don’t buy the BCU comment either. They should have a good team this year, I agree. But. Their strength of schedule has been the lowest in the entire NCAA for the past number of seasons. It’s what they do. It’s how they get into the discussion. Maybe this trip to VT will help them improve it. Or maybe it won’t because VT teams always have the heart of a slab of granite. But so long as BSU’s strength of schedule is in the lowest half of all teams playing the game, I’m not going to credit arguments that “they’re good” just because they’re undefeated. That’s the problem. They have more changes to make than scheduling VT (esp. given VT’s rank when they were actually scheduled a while ago).

Reptiles Rule

May 21st, 2010
11:26 am

Alphare, ditto for the T.V.cable companies down here in Florida. The Florida Legislature a few years ago passed laws to “protect” the consumer…would you like to guess what happened with cable prices?? Yep, another example of your lobbyist dollars at work!

AJC sports writers are hacks

May 21st, 2010
11:26 am

“Same goes for TCU, which went on the road and beat Virginia and Clemson last season.”

LOLOL!!!!!!!!!!!! WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOW, ClemPson and Vagina!!!!!!!! TWO POWERHOUSE TEAMS!!!!!!!!!!!

Tim Tebow cries

May 21st, 2010
11:26 am

••••••tear•••••••••••

Ted

May 21st, 2010
11:27 am

Leroy,
You are an idiot! Bama played one of the hardest schedules in the country last year and will this year.
Ted

KR

May 21st, 2010
11:29 am

Dear Senator Hatch,

In the big scheme of things, the winner of the BCS trophy is pretty meaningless, don’t you think? After all, we have military actions in Afghanistan and Iraq; we have an attempt to take over the healthcare system; we have a well-documented immigration problem and we have widespread corruption in the banking industry that is wiping out the finances of thousands of Americans, just to name a few.

I believe the Electoral College process of deciding the Presidency of the United States is patently unfair and a throwback to conditions that no longer exist. Before you waste all the taxpayers’ money on your personal crusade for Utah, why don’t you tackle that one instead?

Seriously, if you have all this free time to poke around in the entertainment business of college football, maybe it’s time you resigned and let someone else have a shot at doing some good for the people of the United States. There are far more important things for Senators to address.

Your pal,

KR

Jake

May 21st, 2010
11:32 am

Yes, I will remember Frank Beamers wife. If she’s anything like Frank, then she’s a good lady. I’ve always admired his record, even though I’m not a VT supporter. He took a no-name college football team and put them on the map. Bobby did the same at FSU. Prayers do go out to his wife.

Avenge Auburn 2004

May 21st, 2010
11:32 am

Would Orin Hatch like to argue for Auburn in 2004?

NCAA Statistician

May 21st, 2010
11:39 am

The problem with the logic,that the BCS should be ran by, “university presidents, athletics directors, coaches and conference commissioners rather than by members of Congress” is that certain specific schools have created an oligopoly where a very few schools share the bulk of the funds. If a BCS schools can sell more seats, caps, jerseys, etc. Great for them! That is how that school should be enriched individually and reward them for having a large fan base. The BCS and the entire Bowl system should be predicated on who had good to great years and be equitable equally to all Division 1 football teams. But hey I have been told since my birth 6 decades ago that “nothing in life is fair” and College athletics with both the bowl system and officiating has proven that our time after time.

Sanford Sewage

May 21st, 2010
11:43 am

The BCS is a huge monopoly. Not allowing a 5th bowl to participate in the championship game and rotating it amongst the 4 big bowls is a freaking joke. No playoff is a freakin joke. As a DIV 1 season ticket holder, I hate that’s how the football season ends. The BCS should be investigated, they have screwed the pooch.

Kiffin was worth 4 million to TN, atleast I got 4 million dollars worth of laughs from him (mostly at UGA expense)

Jethro

May 21st, 2010
11:44 am

Boise State’s schedule is a joke no matter how you look at it.

Boise plays Virginia Tech……Bama plays Penn State
Boise plays Oregon State…….Bama plays Arkansas
Boise plays New Mexico State…Bama plays Florida
Boise plays Toledo………….Bama plays South Carolina
Boise plays Hawaii………….Bama plays LSU
Boise plays Nevada………….Bama plays Auburn
Boise plays Utah State………SEC Championship Game??????????

Joey

May 21st, 2010
11:48 am

Don’t be silly, college football fans. This congress and president aren’t gonna take over the BCS and NCAA football. Jeez!

Dang, next you’ll be worring about them taking over the auto industry, or the health care industry or something . . .

Alphare

May 21st, 2010
11:52 am

Isn’t there an old saying: If you cannot beat them, join them.

Why don’t Boise or Utah joins a big conference since they think they are so good? PAC 10 can a good choice. Any year they beat SoCal and undefeated, nobody won’t say they don’t deserve the NC shot.

RxDawg

May 21st, 2010
11:53 am

“6 SEC teams have gone undefeated in the last 30 years. 2 of those undefeated teams happen to be Auburn.”

True, but there are a couple of little facts left out.

93 Auburn team (or w/e year it was) was disqualified from post season because of cheating.

04 Auburn team scheduled 2 Div 1-AA teams.

I have more pitty for the 04 team.

Snipes25

May 21st, 2010
11:53 am

“Derek Dooley had to pay Todd Wilcox $600,000 to leave Boise State and become the new DC and Tennessee”

His name is Justin Wilcox.

dawgfan

May 21st, 2010
11:55 am

Boise State and TCU are nice little teams but they would get their freaking doors blown off in the weekly grind of a BCS league. I’m not even going to go all SEC homer on you. I think they would even find life hard in the craptastic ACC. Too much talent and depth. These top mid majors are good for a few isolated upsets here and there but let’s see them follow it up the next week with another big game. That’s what all the media geeks hyping these mid majors don’t get. They just wouldn’t have the depth and talent to put up the kind of gaudy win-loss records that they do in their weak leagues. Oh whoopee TCU is going to beat Virginia. Are you kidding me Tony? You’re better than this.

HugoStiglitz

May 21st, 2010
11:57 am

Alphare, do you really think that Boise can just go join any conference they want, whenever they want? They would join the Pac 10 in a heart beat if invited. Whats done to teams like Boise St is borderline collusion. They cant join a major conference, hardly anybody will play them for fear of ruining their season, and then they get left out of the picture because they have a weak schedule. I bet the Butler Bulldogs are glad this doesnt happen in College Basketball.

RxDawg

May 21st, 2010
12:00 pm

Maybe it’s time to cut down the number Division 1 teams? Or the bowl championship division…or w/e they call it now.

I’m lazy this am and don’t feel like looking stuff up :mrgreen:

pat sulley

May 21st, 2010
12:01 pm

A prayer to a family? Although a nice gesture:
.
1. this assumes the creator of this entire universe is somehow unaware of the situation.
.
2 Assumes that the creator of this entire universe NEEDS to be instructed by us mere mortals what he should or should not do.
.
3. Assumes the creator of this entire Universe is some doting old fool sitting around undecided about how to employ his grand scheme and is waiting on a Christ hot line call (prayer) from us to make a decision.
.
Prayers are used to give thanks and to ASK HOW WE CAN DO HIS BIDDING not the other way around.

Gen Neyland

May 21st, 2010
12:07 pm

I’ve been told a person is worth whatever someone is willing to pay them. That being what it is, I can come up with a slew of people that ain’t worth what they’re gettin’ paid and my list wouldn’t begin with Kiffin but he’d be on it. I gotta wonder if Lil’ Lane’s 4 mil has any California tax payer dollars in it…Jimmy Sexton is an interesting fellow IMO. A friend of ours son dated Sexton’s nanny, believe it or not. As a sports agent he’s a shark and if I needed a guy to ever negotiate a sports contract for me, he’s it. I do believe Eric Berry went with Sexton. Small world Atop Rocky, huh..?

Tony Barnhart

May 21st, 2010
12:11 pm

Thank you, Snipes. Obviously it is Justin Wilcox at Tennessee. Had Todd Grantham of Georgia on the brain. My mistake.

dawgfan

May 21st, 2010
12:13 pm

Hugostiglitz, please list the BCS teams that have turned down a chance to play Boise State. Can you name a single one?

Gen Neyland

May 21st, 2010
12:14 pm

Pat Sully : And you received your doctorate in theology from where..?

pat sulley

May 21st, 2010
12:15 pm

Gen Neyland…and I was wrong EXACTLY where…………..

PMC

May 21st, 2010
12:18 pm

My guess is that Orrin Hatch and Max Baucas will be voted out of office.

If they do anything of merit it would be stripping the NCAA of it’s Anti Trust agreements. They don’t deserve them anyway.

pat sulley

May 21st, 2010
12:18 pm

Neyland:
.
Are you saying he is not the creator of the universe?
.
Are you saying he needs our input?
.
Are you saying prayer was originally used to dictate to God what he should or should not do?
.
So are you saying we should not give thanks?
.
Are you saying its his job to do our biding?
.

What are you saying?

pat sulley

May 21st, 2010
12:21 pm

AGAIN…….prayer is not the vehicle with which to dictate to the ALL MIGHTY. Its for giving thanks and asking for instruction and strength to do His bidding. Its the whole “grand scheme” thingy.

PMC

May 21st, 2010
12:21 pm

Traditional bowl matchups are crap. I guess ending the tradition of watching football with my family on New Years is truely dead. It’s not fun anymore, the matchups are garbage from conference tie ins and they drag it out into the middle of january for add revenue…so that bill lumbergs stock will go up another 1/4 of a percent…

It’s pretty much dead at this point.

blah blah

May 21st, 2010
12:23 pm

bamaguy

May 21st, 2010
12:24 pm

The BCS will, basically never change. They might pull off a four team playoff, but that would be it. But that would be even more controversial (can you imagine two unbeaten and six or so 10-1 teams, the heck that would break out over which two 10-1 teams got in). Reason it will never change: $

Reason USC is paying Kiffin so much: So he won’t bolt when the sanctions come like Coach Fran did from Alabama. Who would match that salary.

God be with the Beamers. Sometimes we need to be reminded of how relatively unimportant sports really are.

Tom

May 21st, 2010
12:24 pm

Its funny how Lane Kiffin isn’t even in the South anymore and there’s still talk about him. It makes him more arrogant! Quit talking about Kiffin!!!

Assistants getting paid big $$$. OLD NEWS

pat sulley

May 21st, 2010
12:25 pm

The church started encouraging prayer for personal gain as a way to entice desperate folks to come in asking Him for help with a “little donation” to help his answer move along faster. That form of “prayer” originated to help fill the church coffers by feeding off of desperate people looking for any miracle to cure them or a family It was the easiest way to drain them of their money.

HugoStiglitz

May 21st, 2010
12:27 pm

Dawg Man

May 21st, 2010
12:27 pm

Congress and the BCS have at least 2 things in common: Neither of them make any sense, and neither have a clue what the hell they’re doing.

[...] Four Gators made Steele’s preseason All-American squad.11.  Tony Barnhart of The AJC says “assistant coaches deserve every penny they get.”12.  Georgia has just as many players on Steele’s first-team All-SEC list as Alabama.13.  [...]

HanDAWG

May 21st, 2010
12:37 pm

Boise at UGA was a blowout

HanDAWG

May 21st, 2010
12:38 pm

Kiffin was 7-6 and his recruits robbed a convenience store. Lil Dooley has a losing record as head coach, by the way. (www.bighairyblawg.com)

how2fish

May 21st, 2010
12:41 pm

My prayers are with the Beamer family. I’ve been an admirer of Frank Beamer for many years, as he is truly a class act I hope he and his wife a speedy recovery.