About the book
About five months after the October 2010 release of the first edition of this book came another tome that perfectly illustrated why college football is stuck with the Bowl Championship Series. A retired Arizona Supreme Court Justice, two former FBI agents, and a host of others put together the “Final Report” of the Fiesta Bowl’s internal investigation into its corrupt spending habits. Despite dealing with just a single bowl game, it ran nearly 100 pages longer than Death to the BCS.
Nothing validated our book so much as that report, which pulled the veil off Fiesta Bowl CEO John Junker’s payola scheme that lavished his cronies with cash and graft and golf. After reading the report and stumbling upon revelation after revelation, each more stunning than the previous, it became obvious to us: We needed to rewrite this book.
So two extra chapters and 15,000 new words later, here is Death to the BCS: Totally Revised and Updated, which not only gives a blow-by-blow inside the Fiesta Bowl scandal but chronicles the 2010 season, offers what-should-have-been playoff brackets for the last five years, and tries to answer so many of the questions we received from around the country.
Like from Steve Johnson in Wisconsin, who wrote: “What can the average fan do?” And Connie Long in Pennsylvania: “Where do I begin with my letter-writing campaign to overturn the BCS?” And Kevin Mallory in Florida: “I would like to help spread the word.”
It’s simple: tell a friend. Explain just one thing. Maybe it’s the exorbitant salaries for bowl game CEOs. Or how universities can lose millions of dollars attending games with the highest payouts. Perhaps it’s that players actually want a playoff. Could be the silly polls and mathematically bankrupt computer systems. The easiest thing would be to talk about the Fiesta Bowl and how it stands for everything college football shouldn’t.
Over the past year, we found a nation of college football players, coaches, fans, and, yes, many, many administrators who sought the same thing: the truth. The response, not just in the issuing of multiple printings of the original book or endless media appearances, was amazing.
The press changed the way it covered bowl games and began asking more pointed questions of decision makers. Athletic directors called thanking us, acknowledging they hadn’t fully understood the entire system. Many swore change was coming, especially when a new generation of leadership assumes control.
University presidents digested information their conference commissioner wouldn’t dare tell them. A governor’s annual Christmas reading list included Death to the BCS. The book inspired Mark Cuban, owner of the NBA champion Dallas Mavericks, to form a company in hopes of staging his own college football playoff.
More important, we heard from people across the country. One man made a music video. Another named Bob Watson in California said he was boycotting all products from Frito-Lay, the title sponsor of the Fiesta Bowl. “This is not easy,” he wrote. “I love Fritos and Cheetos.”
After the Fiesta Bowl report, Junker was fired, of course. All the people who took his gifts are still around. The only thing they have to fear is the public knowing the truth about the system they continue to defend. It keeps coming and coming and coming.
Here’s our latest shot at exposing it.
Dan Wetzel, Josh Peter, and Jeff Passan