Money, Money, Money

The BCS is a mess, and as long as The Associated Press football poll is part of the problem, the Observer has cast its last vote.

Truth be told, I’m not all that happy with the BCS either. But while it’s easy to come up with a playoff system that determines the national champion, it’s hard to come up with a system that does that while making money.

Repeat after me: the college bowl system is all about money. If you want to change the system, then you need to find the money. Here are your constraints:

  1. If you extend the playoffs into January, then you’ll go head to head with the NFL playoffs. From a network perspective; if there are no net new eyeballs, then there are no net new dollars.
  2. If you move the playoffs forward into December, then you’ll overlap with Christmas. How many fans will want to travel that week and how many will be able to find affordable airline tickets?
  3. If the playoffs overlap with any bowl games, then how many people will pay attention to those bowl games and how will you replace the lost revenue from those games.
  4. College fans will travel to one post season game. In the current bowl system; the fans take their winter holiday, take several days off, and do serious partying. While a true fan may attend multiple games, they’ll budget their money more carefully and their net outlay will probably not increase.