Well, I’ve discovered my new calling: fisking everything on the BCS blog. The first entry is from the chancellor of the University of Nebraska. Enjoy
By Harvey S. Perlman
The Bowl Championship Series (BCS) is the best thing that has happened to postseason college football since the invention of the bowl games themselves.
More than the relatively popular I-AA playoffs?
I know there are football fans and sports writers who criticize any arrangement short of some hypothetical playoff. Unfortunately, we must try to craft a system that reflects the restraints of the real world rather than the ideal world.
The country’s largest 120 football programs are the only teams, professional or amateur, constrained in this manner.
First, a system of play must recognize that the athletes who play football are also students. For the vast majority of them, their success in the classroom will have far more to do with their success as adult citizens than their performance on the football field. As presidents and chancellors, this reality must be our highest priority.
Which is why so many major in communications, family and consumer sciences, or sociology.
Second, not every school in Division I is equal in any field of endeavor, including football. Each university has a particular set of strengths on which it builds its reputation and on which it attracts students and faculty.
These strengths were created by conscious investments, hiring of great leaders, natural advantages, significant philanthropic donations, dumb luck, or a combination of these factors. Only in athletics is it argued that the benefits of these investments should be equitably shared with other institutions.
The rest of the time, we just pass the costs on to students via tuition hikes. Hope you fuckers don’t live in California!
All students, like student athletes, can make individual choices among the strengths of the various institutions in which they could enroll, and these choices may enhance or diminish their future opportunities. This is a reality that cannot be ignored nor is it one that can be easily changed.
Very true. And it has nothing to do with the NCAA implementing a football postseason.
Third, any system designed to determine a national champion in intercollegiate football can only come about through the agreement of those universities that consistently field highly ranked teams. A system that did not involve schools from the six automatic qualifying conferences and Notre Dame could not claim to be one that is likely to produce a national champion on a consistent basis. That is not true of the other conferences.
So, the problem is those guys are too greedy to implement a playoff system?
To secure the agreement of these essential conferences, the system must provide revenue in excess of the opportunities they could obtain on their own,
At least he admits greed motivates. Though the ratings for a college football playoff game would be higher than a meaningless Orange Bowl watched only by Cincinnati and Georgia Tech fans.
must be consistent with their academic values,
It’s not hard to schedule a playoff system in the weeks after finals. Ask your friends in I-AA how it’s done.
must take into account the effect on the fans who provide their schools with support,
Most of whom want a playoff system
must protect the bowl system for broad access by many institutions,
The UConn-Duke Continental Tire Bowl won’t mean shit regardless of how the championship is determined.
must preserve the excitement and relevance of the regular season,
Oregon had its at-large hopes dashed by a Week 1 loss. If a playoff system were in place, they would be missing the playoffs because they fell to Boise State. I say the regular season stays relevant with a playoff system.
and must honor the long-standing relationships they have had with the bowls and the communities those bowls support.
A dubious claim
The BCS satisfies these requirements. We have yet to see an alternative arrangement that does the same.
I’m not an economist, but I fail to see how allowing host cities to rotate hosting playoff games along with bowls for those who don’t make the playoffs wouldn’t have the same impact.
Some individuals have argued that the BCS agreement is in restraint of trade and thus violates antitrust laws. I am not an antitrust expert. However, if the current agreement is unlawful, then any agreement runs a risk of being unlawful. The only safe option would be to return to the traditional bowl system.
Actually, the restraint on trade argument is that the BCS creates an oligarchy freezing out smaller competitors, in which case it might be forced to establish a 16-team playoff system to avoid running afoul the law. Scrapping the system altogether would create a de facto return to a prior system representing a similar restraint on trade. Then again, you’re not an expert.
We appreciate the ideal that a national champion should be crowned on the basis of performance on the field. But even a playoff would offer no guarantee that the two best teams would play for the national championship. There would remain arguments about which teams were selected for the playoffs and how they were seeded. The BCS turns the regular season into the “playoff” and produces an opportunity for a game between the two highest-ranked teams.
But the more teams that are invited, the more dubious the claims the left out team could win the championship
So far, this is the best arrangement we have found that provides significant access and revenue to all of Division 1 football and preserves the traditional bowls, respects the academic calendar, and celebrates the success and commitments of student athletes throughout the country.
You know how else you could celebrate their success? Pay them.
At the beginning of the season, every bowl subdivision team starts out with an equal chance to become national champion. To be sure some schools are thought to have an advantage because of the schedules they play, their history of success, the size of their budgets and the support they receive from fans and donors.
For example, if one were to start at the beginning of time, you would not predict that the University of Nebraska would have enjoyed the success we have. We come from one of the smallest population states in the country and must recruit athletes nationwide.
Yes, your state decided to invest its tax dollars into building a top-flight football team instead of in academics.
We don’t have mountains or seashores or large cities or a moderate climate capable of attracting student athletes. And we labored long in the obscurity of losing seasons. But we sustained a loyal fan base, and we hired and retained gifted coaches who were skilled at recruiting student athletes and getting them to play at the height of their abilities.
Maybe if you invested more in academics, you wouldn’t have to worry about brain drain from your state. Then again, that would be bad for the Huskers.
We built this success, as we have built our recent academic success by trying to work harder and be more creative than our competition. We believe these options remain open for all schools if their particular circumstances permit.
Tell that to UCLA students who have to pay twice as much for half as many classes
We do not believe that the BCS has made this process more difficult; on the contrary, by creating greater access and exposure for all schools than ever before and by providing them with more revenue than ever before, the BCS has created the opportunities for their success.
Ask TCU how much access they get. Or Boise State. Or Cincinnati. Or Utah. Or…
If you’re a Deadspin reader, the end of November means one thing: Sports Human of the Year nominations! This year I’m going Joe Lunardi on their asses and predicting the sixteen final nominees and their seeds. Here’s my first prediction
1. Sean Salisbury
2. Steve Phillips
3. Lenny Dykstra
4. Erin Andrews
5. Plaxico Burress (shot himself last year just after SHOTY voting started)
6. Karen Sypher
7. Alex Rodriguez
8. Chad Ochocinco
9. Josh Hamilton
10. Jay Mariotti
11. Michael Phelps
12. The Door
13. Artie Lange
14. Charles Barkley
15. Mark Mangino
16. Elizabeth Lambert
Did I miss anyone? Who’s ranked too high or too low?
And we’re back. Oh man, I can’t wait for Brad and Darrell’s fight. Wait a minute, I was supposed to do a Top Chef recap? OK, fine I’ll watch it at 11:00. Gotta be careful to tune in at 11:00 on the dot or those asshole Bravo programmers will ruin the ending for you.
Mama’s Boy is the protege of Richard Blais and was the best man at his wedding. Which is kind of odd because Mama’s Boy’s food reminds me nothing of Blais’s. Also, his head is too potato-shaped to support a fauxhawk.
Apparently they’re going to Napa for the Final Four. And their guest judge was the U.S. representative at the Chef Olympics. Bravo can make the Real Skankwhores of New Jersey, but they don’t show the Chef Olympics? Dios mio, man, why can’t you send a decent TV crew there?
The quickfire challenge is a protein inside a protein inside a protein. Walk of Shame jokes about doing turducken, but lets me down. What, a high class turducken wouldn’t win a challenge? That shit is a Big Wheel family tradition, along with yelling and lots of scotch.
Well, her seafood dish is a hit, and Padma winks and says “welcome back.” Glad to see she has her edge back; a four man Final Four would create an annoying girlpower dynamic for the next season. Regardless, Walk of Shame wins and her prize is an extra 30 minutes to cook her elimination dish.
The elimination challenge is a regal presentation, including a protein and two garnishes. Like when you go to Wendy’s, get a spicy chicken sandwich, fries AND chili. Decadent. The only limit is you must us lamb or salmon for the protein, and they expect highly refined sides. So, super-fries and super-chili. Like Ben’s Chili Bowl. I see where this is going.
Kevin thinks about doing sous-vide. FUCK. That’s what sank Hootie Hoo, doing a sous vide when her strength was delectable Southern cuisine. This is bad news. Foreboding. I’m terrified.
I checked the Chef Olympics out online (Bocuse d’Or, if you’re one of those fancypants who also insists on calling his carhold a garage) and the U.S. has never won. We’ve never even medaled. That shit is run by Scandanavians. It looks like a list of Olympic biathalon winners. We need to find a way to engineer another Soviet boycott.
Frere Mike says Redheaded Santa cooks food that he would cook on his day off. No, Redheaded Santa cooks food people want to eat. Go home and stick your dick in a black cod. Oh wait, you can’t because black cod is fucking mush.
The winner gets $30,000, which goes a long way toward owning a restaurant. Beats the fucking bottle of wine they got in the last episode. I gave my roommate a bottle of wine after I puked on the carpet. And my puke didn’t taste nearly as good as what the chefs cooked this season. Except for Jen Z.’s seitan.
Toby Young tries to make himself remotely likable by cutting a tap water PSA. It’s too late to put up a Patrick Bateman-esque, facade, douchebag. Also, Alyson Hannigan is doing Mastercard Christmas gift commercials. You know what I’d get her for Christmas? A flute.
Gail has a low cut dress! Oh, Redheaded Santa could lose and this episode would be saved. But he seems to nail his dish, even though Keller criticizes him for being too simple.
Frere Mike’s dish is Mediterranean flavors. Umm, the Mediterranean is fucking massive. That’s like saying you have Atlantic Ocean flavors. The judges seem to agree with me. I might consider Wendy’s fine dining, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have the foodies figured out.
Quaalude’s running a bit late, and there are a few mistakes on his platter. One of the judges actually ends up loving his presentation. But his lamb was undercooked, so he or his brother might not make the Final Four.
Mama’s Boy has some type of foam with his dish. What is it with foam being a big deal for foodies? I’ve eaten shaving cream; it leaves much to be dsired. But Mama’s Boy seems to mess up his lamb even worse than Quaalude. He looks a goner.
Walk of Shame uses truffles and caviar; no wonder she went over on her budget. Keller and some other snob complain about their pieces of salmon being undercooked, but she seems to escape. Her and Redheaded Santa seem the only ones who could win.
The winner gets to represent us in the Chef Olympics. I haven’t heard of any of the prior winners so I thought it was limited to culinary school types. Maybe this is like the U.S. ramming the Dream Team down the world’s throats.
Mama’s Boy says he’d be proud to lose to any of the other ‘testants. Translation: thank fucking God that Cancer Girl isn’t around any more, I could never live down losing to her.
Everyone goes to judges’ table at once. It’s a judgerfuck! Colicchio asks Frere Mike how caviar is Mediterranean, a good question since that shit is Russian. He should have sad it was Caspian instead. Redheaded Santa has one of the best ever judge smackdowns, noting that his dish wasn’t outwardly complex but it was subtly balanced and difficult. Bullethead wraps things up by praising everyone for the jobs they have done. No small feat, considering how often he berated the cast last season.
Redheaded Santa for the win! He gets 30K, and we’re sending him to beat the Swedes at the Chef Olympics. He’s Jim Fucking Thorpe!
And Mama’s Boy is sent packing. And for the first time in Top Chef history, all four number one seeds make the Final Four. Eli is magnanimous in defeat, realizing he lost to superior competition. Tune in on Thanksgiving for my next Top Chef recap. I just need to post it before we open the first bottle of Cutty Sark.
…I have been asked my thoughts on the Larry Johnson signing. He was released from the Chiefs for being an asshole generally, and specifically for calling someone a ‘fag’ via Twitter. The ‘fag’ thing will be fine; Cincinnati is generally not a favorable environment for gays, so that won’t offend anyone. On the other hand, Larry is black, and Cincinnati has had race riots as recently as 2001, so…yeah. In order for a black athlete to be accepted in Cincinnati, he needs to either never say a word to anyone ever, or talk and act like the crows in Dumbo. My advice to Larry: Keep your mouth shut and it’ll be okay.
Sage advice. Doubt he’ll follow it.
And we’re back. Only six burnertestants remain: Frere Mike, Human Quaalude, Redheaded Santa, Mama’s Boy, Walk of Shame and Cancer Girl. I’m so happy Laurine is gone, my nickname generator was powerless against her blandness.
Quaalude talks about how he misses his children in monotone. Somehow, he shows human emotion on the phone with his kids. He says this is security for his family, but he’s already been finalist for the fucking James Beard Award. I’m pretty sure you’d need to develop a crack problem if you want to be poor after that.
This has to be my favorite quickfire yet; serving food to Padma Lakshmi and Nigella Lawson in their bathrobes. Top Chef is normally one of Bravo’s more highbrow shows, but this is straight out of a Real Housewives episode. I’d try to make some sort of oysters breakfast, since they’re an aphrodisiac. There’d be only one layer of clothing between me and naked Padma; I’d have to go all in.
Mama’s Boy says he’s never up this early so he can’t cook breakfast very well. For those of you keeping score, he lives at home and doesn’t get up till 11. Ladies are probably trying to bust his (well his mother’s) door down. Nigella says it’s a good hangover breakfast, which makes me wish I could go out drinking with her.
Redhead Santa’s making a steak and egg. That was the specialty of the greasy spoon near my college. I have fond memories of that place, including:
- Me punching over glasses of soda as a waitress brought them to me. Amazingly, she kept bringing them. Probably for humor’s sake.
- A huge fraternity fight in the parking lot, which included my friend roundhouse kicking two Deltas.
- Another friend getting so baked before going there that he started freaking out about the place closing in on him and went home before finishing his pancakes.
- Finally, we saw some high school kids there and struck up conversation. One of them was a guy named Vince who had gotten wasted for the first time in his life. He was catatonic and mumbling. My friends and I started taunting him, trying to get him to say something. “Viiiiince!” “Hey, Vince,” etc. Finally, he lifted his head up, and threw up all over himself.
So, thanks for the memories, Santa.
Walk of Shame pisses off the Bravo censors by making shit on a shingle. I’m a little worried for her; creamed chipped beef is gross no matter which time of day it is. Even the name sounds terrible. “Shit on a shingle” is actually an improvement.
Eli wins, no immunity but ends up in the cookbook. Way to go cheapskates, other winners would get a nice fat gambling chip that they could double by betting against the Rams.
The chefs have to make dishes inspired by different casinos. All of the chefs inevitably praise the casinos they draw, so Excalibur (Walk of Shame), Mandalay Bay (Human Quaalude), Bellagio (Cancer Girl), New York New York, Mirage (Redheaded Santa) and Circus Circus (Mama’s Boy) get some free pub. Even though Eli looks less than pleased to be stuck at the biggest dump of the six sponsors.
Frere Mike wants to give a tribute to the firefighters. Eh, of all the stuff in New York City, you might as well do that. Beats the urine stench, the Triboro Bridge, or the tranny hookers.
Cancer Girl says she thinks of herself as an artist first and foremost. Like a Subway sandwich artist! She chooses the art at the Bellagio to inspire her. I would have gone the easy way out and done Northern Italian cuisine, but I must be too left-brained.
Redheaded Santa thinks people see him as a redneck. Hey man, the only problem I have with Atlanta or Atlantans is your Fifth Ring of Hell airport. Every guy I’ve met from Atlanta has been a chill dude who likes to drink beer and talk baseball. And they usually have hot lady friends.
So, Frere Mike decides New York firefighters = deconstructed buffalo wings. Someone needs to tell him that Buffalo is like 7 hours away from the city. That’s like trying to make authentic Miami cuisine and doing shrimp and grits.
Toby says Eli “gambled and lost” on his circus peanut soup. Someone tell him that in America that means you pooed your pants. Of course, the judges reactions evince that there is a poo-type quality to the soup. And even though he doesn’t use circus peanuts, the thought of them alone makes me wretch.
Quaalude, Frere Mike and Redheaded Santa are on top. Tom likes the Buffalo wings concept. Hey Tom, next time you’re at Craft, try making it to Buffalo by car. Experience the lovely New York Thruway in its entirety. Frere Mike wins, and Nigella gives him a bottle of wine and I thought “wow, they must have blown through their budget early,” but she tacks on a trip to Napa.
Jennifer Zavala is a contestant for fan favorite, even though she was only on one episode. She better hope there are a lot of people who LURVE chest tattoos.
Walk of Shame admits she’s ready to go. As much as we all want to see Cancer Girl go, Walk of Shame is miserable. Of course, the second I start rooting for Cancer Girl not to get eliminated, she gets the boot. Apparently a pro shouldn’t be screwing up panna cotta. Hopefully Walk of Shame breaks out of her funk somehow, but to say she’s pouty right now is an understatement. Though if Mama’s Boy sneaks into the final four, maybe he can finally get a place of his own.
Of the 39 Democrats to vote against the bill, 37 are from districts won by George W. Bush in 2004. Of the remaining two one, Artur Davis, is moving to the right to run for governor of Alabama. The other is Dennis Kucinich. Which further proves my theory that Dennis Kucinich is a fucking moron.
And if you didn’t pass, that’s okay. Neither did JFK Jr.
(That might be an urban legend, or just an outright lie, but I’m too busy to check.)
Not only did he fail, but Letterman did a Top Ten Reasons JFK Jr. Failed the Bar. My favorite: “Took Uncle Teddy’s advice, guy next to me wasn’t smart.”
It was a queer, sultry summer, the summer they electrocuted the Rosenbergs, and I didn’t know what I was doing in New York.
In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since. “Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone,” he told me, “just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.”
Jack Torrence thought: Officious little prick.
I can see by my watch, without taking my hand from the left grip of the cycle, that it is eight-thirty in the morning.