For the sixth time in the past seven seasons, an undefeated college football team, TCU (13-0), failed to win a national championship — or even get a chance to play for one.
Despite the obvious flaws in the current Bowl Championship Series system, every year about this time the hypocrisy machine goes into hyperdrive in defending the status quo. The latest salvo comes from BCS executive director Bill Hancock, who said he has sensed “little support for a seismic change in the postseason structure. This is a group of schools doing what’s best for their students.”
How is waiting 37 days between the conference championships and the BCS title game good for anybody? Oh sure, the major bowl games reap huge profits, but less attractive bowl games not only often cost universities money to participate, they undermine efforts to make the close of the college football season as exciting as the NCAA Tournament or NFL playoffs.
In fact, just a few years ago Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany told Congress that an NFL-style 12-16 team playoff would generate three times more money than the BCS, distributing up to $800 million to major conferences. Let’s see. More money for cash-strapped schools, real drama played out on the field rather than in computer rankings, and the chance for a team with a perfect record to raise a championship flag rather than a big stink about being left out of the party. Nah. that’s too seismic a change for the cronies of the BCS.
Feeling left out in the race to the Super Bowl? Playoff-starved Bay Area football fans may want to adopt the Seattle Seahawks. Not only does Marin native Pete Carroll have four former 49ers coaches or players on his staff — Ken Norton Jr., Jeff Ulbrich, Dan Quinn and Pat McPherson — the Seahawks also have 11 players with Bay Area connections. Former Cal players include Marshawn Lynch, Justin Forsett, Cameron Morrah, Mike Gibson and Brandon Mebane. Stanford’s Amon Gordon, former 49ers Kentwan Balmer and Michael Robinson plus one-time Raiders Chris Clemons, Mike Williams and Jay Richardson round out the crew.
Sunday in Chicago, the Seahawks take on the Bears, who have former San Jose State stars Rashied Davis and Jarron Gilbert.
Saturday’s Packers-Falcons game also has a bunch of players with local ties. Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy is a former 49ers assistant who has former Cal stars Aaron Rodgers and Desmond Bishop, plus San Jose State’s James Jones.
Atlanta features ex-Cal Bears Tony Gonzalez and Thomas DeCoud, along with former Stanford men Coy Wire and Will Svitek, plus one-time San Jose State star Chris Owens.
Sunday’s Patriots-Jets game features N.Y.’s Dwight Lowery, from San Jose State and former Cal Bear Tully Banta-Cain of the Patriots who, of course, are led by former Serra High School star Tom Brady. The next best thing to a 49ers-Raiders Super Bowl? How about Brady’s Pats against Rodgers’ Packers? You could call it the Battle of the Bay’s top guns.
KGO (810 AM) Sports Director Rich Walcoff can be heard weekdays from 5 to 9 a.m. on the KGO morning news. He can be reached at RichWalcoff@gmail.com.