Interesting piece on Stewart Mandel’s blog over at SI.com.

Apparently, Pac-10 commissioner Thomas Hansen would rather pull out of the BCS rather than lose whatever is left of the sanctity of the Rose Bowl, if the BCS chooses to go with a “plus-one” model to decide the national champ.

bq. “Our presidents have no interest whatsoever in a plus-one model — none. It’s a little annoying that my colleagues continue to float this idea as though it has merit. If they continue to push it, and try to push us into a corner …” What? The Pac-10 would leave the BCS? “Yes,” he said. “No question.”

Mandel hits all the points right on his blog.

* Would the presidents and chancellors of some of the biggest, most storied programs in college football really go along with being left out of the national championship?

* The whole “keeping the Rose Bowl the Rose Bowl” is long gone. The “traditional” Big Ten/Pac-10 matchup has given way, in recent years, to Texas, Oklahoma and Nebraska playing in it (all Big 12 schools) and Miami (a Big East team at the time, but now in the ACC).

* And of course, most of the fans and alumni of the various institutions will be pissed if their schools miss out on a chance at the national title.

Something Mandel doesn’t mention, the Pac-10 would probably lose a lot of money if it leaves the BCS. The BCS is (or can be) a money-making juggernaut. Why would the biggest conference on the west coast want to be left out of it? Just to keep a silly little bowl game?

This may all be a minute matter because we have to wait for the BCS contract with FOX to end and we have to wait for the Rose Bowl’s contract with ABC to finish before we can really start thinking about revamping the BCS … again.

Pac-10 Commish Not Dealing in Reality [SI.com]


Enough with all the preseason magazine powder-puff polls that don’t mean anything.

It’s time for the real polls to come out. And since the coaches’ poll is one-third of the equation that gives us the BCS, it’s probably a tad more important than the AP poll.

For the second straight year, Cal is ranked No. 12 in the first coaches’ poll of the year.

And again, the Bears will head into their season-opener ranked higher than Tennessee, which garnered enough votes to earn them No. 15. But by no means is Cal the favorite to beat the Vols on Sept. 1.

And hey, it looks like Athlon Sports got the Bears’ ranking sort of right. Athlon ranked Cal No. 11 in its preseason poll.

Of course USC was ranked No. 1, but the Trojans were not a consensus pick. USC only received 45 of the 60 first-place votes. No. 2 LSU received four first-place votes, No. 3 Florida got nine first-place votes and No. 5 Michigan was able to muster two first-place votes.

And yes, EA Sports was almost right  with UCLA’s No. 19 ranking in NCAA Football ’08. The Bruins—on the laurels of their desperate win over USC last year—are ranked No. 17 by the coaches.

Image Source: Ben Gallup, Daily Cal
Cal Begins Season Ranked No. 12 According to ESPN/USA Today Preseason Coaches’ Poll [Cal Bears]
2007 NCAA Football Rankings – Preseason [ESPN]


If there were any a time to scrap the BCS or change it, it would have been now, with the defending champion’s president pushing the charge for a playoff. It would also have to come from the SEC, arguably the most popular and the best (we’re not sold on that yet) conference in college football.

But we have to shed a tear. After Thursday and Friday’s SEC meetings, Florida President Bernie Machen is backing off his playoff push.

bq. They are persuaded, and I am now persuaded, that the best way to proceed is to try to work within the BCS structure, to make some changes to make it better. That seems to me to be a very good way to go.

Fucking great. The BCS will never go away.

Earlier: BCS on Death Row? Defending Champ’s President to Unveil New Plan
Work within the system [SI.com]


Everyone agrees that the BCS is a stupid system. Everyone has suggestions, but no one ever really acts on them. Until now.

The Tampa Tribune is reporting that Florida President Bernie Machen will unveil his new plan for determining a national champion this Thursday at the SEC spring meeting. Finally, someone is actually taking action in taking down the monster that is the BCS.

Now note this: Machen is the president of the university that just won the BCS national championship. He just won that bad boy in January, and now he wants to scrap it and have a playoff. Awesome!

Machen’s plan? Well, it’s going to be a playoff-type system (YES!), which he says will be determined by the market. He envisions all different playoff scenarios from the “Plus-one” format to the “eight-team” or even “sixteen-team” playoff. Whichever fans and sponsors want, they’ll get.

Second, he believes this thing’s going to make a shitload of money. He notes how much FOX Sports is paying the BCS for its television rights and compares it to how much CBS pays for the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. FOX pays $83 millions a year. CBS, about six times that figure. Great. Money is awesome.

Even better, he wants to distribute the money to ALL 119 Division I-A schools. ALL OF THEM will get money from this system. Who doesn’t want that?

But of course, the traditionalists want their bowls. More specifically, Big Ten commish Jim Delaney wants to keep the traditional Big Ten versus Pac-10 matchup in the Rose Bowl.

We’d love that too. But if a playoff system ensures that a team like our Cal football team doesn’t get screwed (like it did in 2004), then we’re all for it.

It’s time for Division I-A college football to embrace the knockout stages and approve a playoff system. It’s needed. It’s time. Please save us from another lopsided BCS title game! Please!

UF President Will Unveil Playoff Proposal [Tampa Tribune]


The worst invention in the history of sports has unveiled its ugliness once again. The BCS (BS for short) poll’s first round of results are in. And after Cal’s win over Wazzu on Saturday afternoon, the Bears aren’t the ones getting screwed this time around (well at least in this first poll).

We’re sure everyone remembers the major screw job the Cal football team faced back in 2004 when Mack-I’m-a-little-whiner-Brown’s Texas team jumped the Bears in the final BCS poll and into the Rose Bowl, exiling Cal to play in the Holiday Bowl.

This time, the Bears are the one’s befitting from a ridiculous computer formula, edging Tennessee (yes, the same Vols team who gave Cal a nice little kick of Southern hospitality in the season-opener) in the first poll.

What helps the Bears is that the average computer score ranks them as the sixth best team in the nation, when both human polls have them at 11.

Though it pains us that the BCS does matter in the world of college football, it will just be an afterthought for Cal – that’s if it can get past ’SC in a few weeks.