Stevens: All "not fair," in life, BCS
By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on January 5, 2011 1:47 PM
The word "fair" has slowly lost its meaning in our country and this new-found definition of the word has infiltrated its way into the American sports world.
A new school of thought has begun to gain momentum, in which no longer does strength of schedule, revenue generated or overall quality of play mean what it once does. Instead, a sense of entitlement and a Little League mentality where everyone gets their fair share has begun to weave its way into college football.
Since the creation of the Bowl Championship Series in 1998, the cries for inclusion from college football's non-automatic qualifying conferences have grown louder and louder.
The Boise States, TCUs and Utahs of the college football world have made a playoff system a hot topic. The argument that schools outside the six BCS conferences can compete with college football's "big boys" continues to gain traction.
Schools from these non-AQ conferences have pointed to the uneven distribution of money generated by BCS bowls. However, in January of 2010, the five non-AQ conferences were given the opportunity to split BCS revenue for the first time ever, as a result of two non-AQ schools playing in BCS games.
The harsh reality is the world we live in isn't fair.
People aren't born with equal amounts of intelligence, attractiveness or given the same resources based on the families to which they are born. Different professions in life come with different pay scales and spending longer working toward a higher education is generally rewarded with a job that earns a higher salary.
In 2010, the Big Ten and SEC conferences generated $242 million and $205 million, respectively, in television revenue. The ACC brought home $155 million. Conference USA signed a new television contract with CBS College Sports in July of 2010. The league's prior contract was worth between $7 and 8 million.
During the 2008-09 season, just five football programs of the 66 schools in BCS conferences failed to make a profit. During that same season, just 17 of the 51 non-AQ football programs generated a profit.
College football doesn't need socialism, and it doesn't need programs that can't keep their heads above water financially while playing weaker schedules competing on its biggest stages. Like in life, there's a reward in college football for programs that generate more money and face tougher competition.
Auburn's unbeaten and unrewarded season of 2004 is the only time in the history of the BCS that an undefeated team from a BCS conference hasn't played for the national championship.
This season, like it does more often than not, the BCS got it right. Auburn and Oregon, unquestionably the two best teams in the country, will collide Monday night for the national championship. There's something undeniably satisfying about watching a big game knowing the two best teams are battling for their sport's highest stakes.
The American sports fan is already over-saturated with an abundance of games. College football doesn't need a playoff system with more games to diminish the importance of the regular season.
The sport's two best teams shouldn't be rewarded with having to venture through playoffs just to reach a title game they already belong in.
Life isn't fair and neither are sports.
It's time the American people embraced that reality.