jeremy's Reviews > Death to the BCS: The Definitive Case Against the Bowl Championship Series: Totally Revised and Updated 2011 Edition

Death to the BCS by Dan Wetzel
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's review
Dec 20, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: gen-nonfiction
Read in December, 2011

the bowl championship series is an utter debacle. while a majority of college football fans, even the most lackadaisical, must know this well, the extent of its inadequacy and iniquity may come as a surprise to even the most ardent gridiron enthusiast. death to the bcs: the definitive case against the bowl championship series offers a number of well-researched and well-reasoned arguments for abandoning the farcical, nonsensical system of crowning a national champion that is the bcs.

while nearly every other american collegiate sport features a playoff to determine the year's champion, division 1-a football has been saddled with the burden of the bowl championship series since 1998 (and the equally disastrous bowl alliance and bowl coalition before that). death to the bcs exposes the greed, hypocrisy, and absurdity that has characterized the bcs since its inception, exhibiting a system as corrupt as it is convoluted. the book's three authors make an articulate and logical case for abandoning the bcs in favor of a 16-team playoff. rather than algorithms, graft, and greed, they propose a postseason based on equity and coherence.

wetzel, peter, and passan debunk the many specious arguments oft-repeated by bcs officials and apologists in favor of maintaining the status quo. with exorbitant sums of money at stake each bowl season, the temptation to impropriety is one too often indulged. as fans, players, and coaches alike await the arrival of a much-coveted playoff system, we all must endure the catastrophic failure that is the bcs a little longer. this infuriating book, death to the bcs, may well be the closest thing there is to a must-read for the college football fan.

without ncaa oversight and no impartial official looking out for the universities' welfare, the bcs honchos act like the worst of our politicians- more concerned with spending riders, petty pork projects, and special-interest groups than what's best for the nation. among the cartel there is a lack of comity and commonality, a stark contrast to its sport, which every saturday beams with millions of people at historic on-campus stadiums sharing passion and memories and beer and the dream of a playoff.
too many times in our lives, the american ideal doesn't occur. there are no level playing fields in business, little fairness in government. we're desperate for it in sports because it's still possible, this place where everyone is allowed the opportunity to win fair and square. the cartel neuters what should be a crazed november, an even more important round of conference title games, and a brilliant december- and january-worth of meaningful postseason football. any sport without a playoff to determine its champion is hardly a sport at all.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Don (new)

Don I'm tentatively pro-BCS because I like how arbitrary it is and because the popular hatred of the BCS gives the end of the college football season an extra element of excitement.

jeremy i think it tends to be more unfair than it is arbitrary. the bcs is set up to favor the big conferences and the marquee programs by design. how an 11-1 boise state team gets snubbed (for the second straight year) in favor of a team with three loses is beyond all notions of fairness and reason. if an extra element of excitement is what you're after, playoffs are the way to go. the book is well worth checking out if you get the chance.

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