Bill Hancock is executive director of the BCS. I asked him to write a short defense of the BCS.
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College football is flourishing. Eager fans are flocking to stadiums across the country. Folks are watching on television like never before.
The sport is decidedly healthy. There’s no reason to monkey with it.
Under the BCS arrangement, fans are enthralled as teams battle each week for bowl berths, including a spot in the prestigious national championship game. Bowl games provide a rewarding week in the spotlight, and create memories that athletes, others will cherish for the rest of their lives.
The regular season is the most exciting of any sport’s. In college football, the focus is broad; it shines on all teams and it grabs the nation’s attention from September through November. A fan cannot tune out—not even for one magnificent Saturday afternoon—because he or she would surely miss some shocking, surprising and meaningful event.
This magical three-month joy ride is followed by a unique, rewarding and captivating post-season. The BCS preserves and enhances the bowl games, which provide opportunities for thousands of students and other fans to enjoy post-season play.
The players like the BCS arrangement. When ESPN asked 135 college football student-athletes from all 11 FBS conferences whether they preferred three years in the current BCS-and-bowls system for their careers, or one shot at a playoff, some 70 percent chose the current plan.
Coaches like the BCS arrangement: in a survey by the American Football Coaches Association, 93 percent of FBS head coaches said they prefer the traditional bowl system to a playoff.
Why? Each person has his own reasons. It’s easy to identify a few. Coaches and players love the multi-day bowl experience. They also believe a 13 or 14 games are enough. They know that this model works best within the structure of higher education.
The BCS provides important annual support for every Division I football conference—both the Bowl Subdivision and its smaller cousin, the Championship Subdivision.
The BCS has created unprecedented access for all schools to the BCS bowl games. Teams outside the current automatic-qualifying conferences played in those four bowl games six times in the half-century years before the BCS; they have played in the games six times in the past six seasons.
The BCS is working extremely well. It enhances the spectacular regular season while maintaining the warm and cherished bowl arrangement. Why mess with success?