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

Joey

May 21st, 2010
8:59 am

$4M a year for a guy who has yet to have a winning season. Wow!

P-Man

May 21st, 2010
9:01 am

Lots of things to think about…

1) I’m of 2 minds. Part of me wants a playoff, part of me wishes things would go back to the old system.

2)I can’t believe Lane Kiffin, who has yet to prove himself, would get $4 million. And here, I just lost my job as a teacher because we are cutting budgets to schools…

3) I’m all for assistant coaches getting what they can, since they do most of the dirty work, and get little recognition. They’re like offensive linemen- nobody notices them unless they screw up!

4) Boise St has been one of the best programs for many years, but they are following in the footsteps of Fresno St- play anybody anywhere at anytime!

5) 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.

Joey

May 21st, 2010
9:05 am

Tony, Boise is following the blueprint Bobby Bowden laid out in the late 70s and 80s. Going on the road and beating (or even playing good against) big name schools will put your team on the map.

ron mexico

May 21st, 2010
9:06 am

Boise St has bumped up their schedule, but their whining about having to go on the road because no one wants to do a home and home is legendary. As for the Lane Train, UT fans can take solace that it took at least a few pennies to pryhim away.

m

May 21st, 2010
9:06 am

Congress should shut down the BSbcs.

The BSbcs is the dumbest system ever devised by mankind. History will look back at the BSbcs one day and will laugh at how stupid it is and how stupid people that supported it are.

We need a 16 team playoff. We need it NOW. Let the players and the teams decide it on the field and not by blowhards like Tony.

And, as always, Thank God and Greyhound that gomer Gailey is gone forever.

Bulldog59

May 21st, 2010
9:07 am

Change a few words here and, right back ‘atcha Senator:

“Again today, Congress simply confirmed what most fans of good and fair government have known for some time, that the Congress is biased, secretive, and harmful.”

Hatch a.k.a. Hack, you guys don’t know your own business (government), so stay out of sports!

m is a broken record

May 21st, 2010
9:11 am

m,

get some new material!

5IML

May 21st, 2010
9:12 am

Enter your comments here

DP

May 21st, 2010
9:14 am

The ACC’s record in BCS games is a pathetic 2-10, by far the worst of any conference. No wonder m hates the BCS.

http://blogs.ajc.com/jeff-schultz-blog/2010/01/07/acc-continues-to-struggle-in-bcs-bowl-games/

Colin

May 21st, 2010
9:19 am

I have consistently rooted against Virginia Tech for as long as I can remember, but I always thought Beamer was a good man. I pray that his family quickly recovers and I wish him the best.

Bo

May 21st, 2010
9:21 am

Tony, I have to disagree with your characterization of Boise State. They are no Fresno State. Last year, all Boise had to do was win their opener against Oregon (ranked 16) to be in the “BCS buster” discussion and finish #6. Even the game announcers were saying that Oregon was their only test for the year and Boise should roll to an undefeated season.

I will give them credit for scheduling GA in 2005 and VT this year, but they’ve only scheduled 4 “tough” opponents in the last 6 years (including Oregon in ‘08 & ‘09).

Fightin Gobbler

May 21st, 2010
9:24 am

Could there be any bigger egos that college presidents vs. congressman? I’m hard pressed to think of one.

As a Hokie, I was so sad to hear about Cheryl Beamer. She (and Frank) have always been such great people. I hope there are no further complications and that she is quickly on the mend but wow, what an awful accident.

Alphare

May 21st, 2010
9:24 am

Only $4mill? As someone points out earlier in another message board, people in Wall Street lose money and get paid even more.

As people in the “conservative” south like to point out to those who are not “conservative”: this is market economy at its best!

Brian

May 21st, 2010
9:26 am

1. Get congress out of my sports, they should not have the time to meddle there. Maybe if they spent more time on actual quality of life oversight we would be in better shape with regards to financial, health care, and immigration reform.

2. Hey USC remember the late 1990’s and the level of success you had then? You’re about to be reminded of it. (Mainly because they are going to get slapped with probation in 3, 2, 1…)

3. Well whether they deserve it or not they are going to get it. Just another reason to applaud GT in getting such an established DC in Al Groh for so cheap due to his unique situation. Could be in for a special few years on the flats.

4. They can play the national schedule, but it is unfortunately a moot point if USC, any SEC team, Texas, OK, OSU, or any combo of two name teams are also undefeated. Because the human polls do matter and they will always look down on Boise. A playoff can’t get here soon enough.

5. Wow hard times for the Beamers.

Bonus points to Tony for not mentioning anything related to conference expansion.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

May 21st, 2010
9:26 am

Its good to see Boise scheduling tougher opponents- the game vs VT should be great. This crap with the BCS and Congress will never work out. Too much $$ out there for these fat cats to grab.

Monticello Dawg

May 21st, 2010
9:27 am

I think Southern Miss under Jeff Bower had the slogan “Anyone, Any time, Anywhere”.

T3

May 21st, 2010
9:28 am

Get well soon Mrs. Beamer

T3

May 21st, 2010
9:29 am

The only reason Barnahrt makes it an issue
is because its not an “SEC” coach.

Joey

May 21st, 2010
9:30 am

Best wishes to Mrs. Beamer.

Frank Beamer is not always “classy”, however, P-Man. When he lost to Tech last season, he popped off about “chop blocks.” The story spread. He then called and apologized to PJ.

After UGA beat the Hokies in the Chick Fil A Bowl a few years back, and when Beamer got back to VA, he told a reporter that UGA had spied on his practices. That comment caused a stir also and he publicly apologized to Richt.

All coaches hate to lose. Most don’t fabricate excuses like Beamer.

leroy

May 21st, 2010
9:31 am

when is Bama going to MAN UP snd play a schedule that represents a national champion? Never that’s when…just because the sissies at the NCAA have given in to intimidation from the likes of Saban and others, doesn’t mean Bama cannot play above what is required. I’m sure if you ask the players they would want to play somebody in Div I besides Ga State. The Coaches want to play 12 Ga States and then strut around like they have really accomplished something. It sickens me to see them play some start up commuter school while UF played Charleston Southern. If anyone has ever seen CS’s facilities, they have something comparable to Junior High School. It is disgraceful.

Joey

May 21st, 2010
9:32 am

Congress should take m’s computer from him . . .

Matt

May 21st, 2010
9:33 am

There’ll never be a 16-team playoff. This is shaping up to be a pi$$ing match between a bunch of fat old white guys who should be golfing in Florida instead of making major decisions that affect normal people.

SOGADOG

May 21st, 2010
9:33 am

It is disgraceful that Senator Hatch wants to politicize college football. I hate that we have to talk about politics and college football at the same time, but here goes. Our Federal Government has grown in scope and power at an alarming rate during the last few years and especially during the last two years. Government control of our lives in areas such as health care, banking, business, education and soon energy use and production (ie cap and tax) has expanded tremendously recently. Now Congress wants to control college football. That is going too far and we must continue to vote these Senators and Representatives out of office in November so Congress and the White House will stop infringing on our freedoms. We the voters need to clean house in Washington, Senator Hatch included.

I fear a consequence of conference expansion some may not have contemplated yet. If the Big Ten and SEC expand to sixteen teams, and other conferences follow, this will bolster the government’s argument that college football is a monopoly and the Justice Dept. may take action under anti-trust laws to restructure and assert more control over college football. Conference leaders beware, the larger and more powerful you become, the bigger a target you make for the government.

renegade

May 21st, 2010
9:34 am

Sorry but Boise State also plays chicken. I read where Nebraska came calling and they had no desire to play them and I believe other teams have asked as well. They may play some better teams occasionally but there a selective in picking ones they thick they can win.

UGADAWGZ

May 21st, 2010
9:38 am

VT is going to do to Boise state what we did to them in 05

Dog Dawg

May 21st, 2010
9:39 am

The BCS is better than the old system, but I do agree with m. We need a 16 team playoff.

RxDawg

May 21st, 2010
9:39 am

Yay it’s Friday.

Let me sum this up, Rational Citizen- “leaglize it”
;)

1. Zing indeed. Just another case of Person A wanting the share or protfits from something that Person B built. A philosphy that is slowly taking over our nation. It’s that simple folks.

2. I really don’t know how Kiffin has promted hisself into this hot head coach persona, especially without ever really proving it on the field. But he did. Weather or not he is the real deal or not will soon become exposed. By the way, I saw on ESPN that the 4million/year sallary was grossly overstated.

3. “Assistant coaches deserve every penny they get” Sure they do. But who really deserves a little slice of the pie is the players. I wont get into the details and hurdles, because there are plenty, but it should be done.

4. “You gotta give Boise State credit. They play people” Yes, but it’s the # of high profile games compared to a BCS conference team that indefinitely does them in. They have a pretty record at the end of every season but in reality, a 13-1 Boise St team is about on par with a 8-4 SEC team. We were absolutely robbed last year when they put TCU and Boise St against each other in the Fiesta. They are not in a BCS conference, thus they do not deserve to play in the BCS championship game. All this media propaganda that’s going to come out for them is going to make me sick. Well, until they drop to Va Tech or Or St (hopefully).

5. Will do. I wonder how many people get hurt tripping over their dogs?

Mike

May 21st, 2010
9:40 am

I think Congress has every right to get involved in this BCS nonsense and introduce some fairness. The American taxpayers are effectively subsidizing this entire sham because of the fact that many of the school are state schools and ALL of them are tax exempt organizations.

sidewalk74

May 21st, 2010
9:41 am

Hey Tony,
Kiffin won 7 games at Tennessee not 6.

Conservative Guy

May 21st, 2010
9:41 am

Actually, Alphare, we are everywhere, not just in the south. We’re usually kinda low-key, but we will be heard loud and clear in November.

SaintsLSU

May 21st, 2010
9:45 am

My thoughts…

Congress needs to stay the heck away from the BCS. I know its not perfect, but its what we have now.

Lame Kitten is a D-Bag

I hope VT crushes Boise. I do not want them in the NC.

And last by certainly not least, my prayers are with the Beamer family. A classy coach like him deserves our prayers.

Tony Barnhart

May 21st, 2010
9:48 am

You are correct, sidewalk74, Lane Kiffin was 7-6 in his one season at Tennessee. My humble apologies to coach Kiffin and his fans.

TommyJack

May 21st, 2010
9:49 am

Term limits.

Alphare

May 21st, 2010
9:51 am

Conservative Guy,

As long as you don’t select another Bush Jr, Kiffin Jr, or Shula Jr, I am OK with it.

Liberals are everywhere too, Conservative Guy. And they do a better job too. Look at California and the Northeast, almost all our modern inventions and ideas are from there. What’s the last time the “conservative” south invented much of anything or had a Nobel prize winner? The entire south never had a Nobel prize winner as I know of (whereas some 3rd world countries had a few).

SOLUTION

May 21st, 2010
9:53 am

you all want a Div. 1 playoff system? All that needs to happen is Notre Dame going undefeated but finishing 3rd in the polls. Then like a miracle of God, the red sea will part and lo and behold a playoff system will be put in place immediately. You will not even have to wait until the following season. Right now, they expanded the bowl games so when Notre Dame has a losing season they can play but again should ND ever be ranked 3rd and undefeated, your prayers will be answered.

Tech Fan Since 1950

May 21st, 2010
9:54 am

Tony, athletic funding from TV and other sources is only a small drop in the bucket compared to what Congress provides in the way of federal funding and research dollars to these same institutions of higher learning for non athletic activities. There is a public and sports writers assumption that athletics is the tail that wags the dog for some of these schools, and it may be partially true. However, if these athletic directors don’t tread lightly, they may find themselves in the dog house with both their presidents and their congress persons. They are not as powerful and independent as they think they are. Thank goodness their BCS joke and “Zings” are not playing well to all in Washington.

rocksteadyfreddie

May 21st, 2010
10:03 am

TB,
I would have no problem going back to the traditional tie ins. Do that, and play one more game. final AP 1 vs AP 2 rotate it between Rose, Fiesta, Sugar, and Orange. regular season still important. bowl people happy. 2 best teams play at end of year. fans happy.

Andrew

May 21st, 2010
10:06 am

Dang that’s a lot of broken bones. That’s something you’d see from a motorcycle or skateboard accident. No word on the grandchild?

RxDawg

May 21st, 2010
10:07 am

rocksteady..

Isn’t that pretty much what we do now?

the real problem

May 21st, 2010
10:13 am

as i have said before, this is a generational issue, lead by the baby boomers and their “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it…but let me see how much money i can get out of it…” mentaility.

Naturally, they decided that the best solution instead of a playoff is to just cocooning themselves off in super conferences where they can all sit around and count money and pat themselves on the back. Great.

This constant posturing but never doing anything is pretty much the standard MO of the generation that has never won a war against an enemy that could put up a fight, given us the hula hoop, talk radio, three stock market crashes, woodstock, the mortgage crisis, recreational drugs, bill clinton, rush limbaugh, george w. bush, and most of these idiots in congress.

just wait 10-15 years, folks…..after they have finished bankrupting the country and laying waste to everything else in the name of greed and narcissism, we can begin to see some real progress.

rocksteadyfreddie

May 21st, 2010
10:16 am

RX,
nope. to get a birth in the final game you have to have won your Bowl game. Remember 94 when Penn State went undefeated as did Nebraska after both won their bowl games? If Rocksteadyfreddie was in charge Penn State and Nebraska would have played a week later. it is essentially a plus one with out the BCS. play your 3 bowl games, and then the top 2 teams in the final poll play for it all.

Mike

May 21st, 2010
10:16 am

About Kiffin, keep in mind that USC had already been rebuffed by the first three or four people they approached due to the timing and the impending probation(Riley, Del Rio, Bellotti, Erickson) and were desperate to land a coach that close to signing day. They had no choice but to overpay. The $4m is a sign of the desperation of their situation more than Kiffin’s coaching ability.

DP

May 21st, 2010
10:18 am

Boise State plays people? Here are their out of conference opponents from last season along with their records: Tulsa 5-7, UC Davis 6-5, Oregon 10-3, Miami-Ohio 7-6, Bowling Green 1-11. The 2nd place team in the WAC, Nevada, went 7-1 in the conference, losing only to Boise State. Outside the WAC, Nevada went 1-3, losing 35-0 at Notre Dame, losing 35-20 at Colorado State, losing at home 31-21 to Missouri and beating UNLV 63-28 at home.

The WAC other than Boise State had an out of conference record in 2009 of 15-22.

Boise State basically played a one game season to go to a BCS bowl last year. This year they have a 2 game schedule.

rocksteadyfreddie

May 21st, 2010
10:18 am

i ment to say 4 Bowl games (Rose, Sugar, Fiesta, Orange)

HugoStiglitz

May 21st, 2010
10:21 am

Do you guys really think Boise St has the power to schedule anyone they want anytime they want? Its not easy convincing good teams to play you because good teams have nothing to gain by playing Boise St. If they come out and beat Virginia Tech this year then its going to get even worse.

tony's a homer

May 21st, 2010
10:38 am

Boise State will play anyone, anywhere UNLESS it’s LSU. Like the time they backed out of a scheduled game and forced LSU to pick up whatever scrub team they could find.

Let college football go back to the old bowl system so the non-BCS conferences can see how much money they are really worth.

Bravesfan79

May 21st, 2010
10:40 am

Congress has every right to force changes and tear apart the greedy BCS! As a GT and UGA fan it made me sick that a few great UGA teams were left out of the national championship when they were obviously better than one of the teams. And as a GT fan, knowing that any team in the ACC (not named Miami or FSU) has NO chance at a national championship game regardless of record, makes me wonder why anyone buys tickets to meaningless bowl games knowing there only hurting their own favorite sport by supporting a broken system.
And as a fan of the underdogs like Boise and Utah, knowing before the season starts that they have NO shot at a title just makes the whole system look like a joke!
BCS sucks, thank God i live in a city with REAL sports! Go Falcons, Go Braves!

help, I live in Ga

May 21st, 2010
10:42 am

Tony, on #1, wouldn’t it make sense if we had 4 super conferences that all had a championship game. then we have a 4 team, 2 game playoff for the NC. Or even an 8 game, with 4 automatice bids. This makes sense so I’m sure it won’t happen.

2 & 3: Yes Kiffen is overpayed but he broke the ceiling on assistant coaches pay when Monte got $2 million. I think coordinator pay will continue to rise. Why shouldn’t it? You can’t pay the players and you have all this TV money.
4. I’ll give Boise State credit when they join a real conference and play tough teams that beat you up week in and week out. And then when they win a conference championship while having a bunch of banged up players–I’ll give them credit. Till then their just Boise State winning a bunch of games that don’t really matter.

5. Our prayers go out to the Beamers. what a terrible run of bad luck on such a good man and his family.

Reptiles Rule

May 21st, 2010
10:44 am

I’m no T-Bagger but I am of the mindset that Congress needs to stay out of these type of things and concentrate on the half million other problems this country faces right now. Also Lane Kiffin?? Another classic example of “only in America”.

GT Fan

May 21st, 2010
10:46 am

Sounds like the Stupid Contract GT’s X- AD Baines (sp.) gave PAUL HEWITT, with a 7 million pay-off when they fire him. Thats the only reason he’s still here. They could pay off Chan in football but BB is not as important to GT and Rads.
Oh, what a wonderful day it will be when his @@@ is gone.