Tuesday, May 10, 2011

One More BCS Scenario

In my earlier piece, I forgot one other potential BCS/NCAA/DOJ scenario. The Department of Justice may seek a "consent decree," which is something like a settlement and an injunction rolled into one, from the college football powers-that-be. That consent decree might prohibit the NCAA from stopping teams from playing more than one postseason game and might also prohibit the BCS from automatically pairing the top two teams in the championship, instead giving those teams a choice of where to play. At that point, a wealthy benefactor (a television network? Mark Cuban?) could entice the teams to a playoff. The argument is laid out in an article by Andy Schwarz on ESPN posted today.

I wonder, however, whether that kind of negative consent decree would be enough to encourage a playoff, or would just leave teams to revert to the old system; I assume this is where the wealthy benefactor plays a role. If it doesn't result in a playoff, is that collusion between the teams? And who must be included in the development of such a playoff? Would NCAA teams keeping NAIA teams out be impermissible collusion (probably not)? How about FBS teams from keeping FCS teams out? Big Six conference teams keeping the Mountain West out? The Big Ten, Pac-1012, and SEC keeping everyone else out?

In any event, go ahead and read the piece.