Why we wrote Death to the BCS

Welcome to entry No. 1 of what will be many on this blog. Dan and I will post throughout the season, especially once the Bowl Championship Series standings come out after next week’s games. We hope this will become the meeting place for those aggrieved by the BCS. Lord knows there are plenty of you — and, the way this season is going, there will be plenty more.

Since we have no standings to pick apart, we’d like to introduce you a little more to the book, and particularly its intentions. From the seedling of an idea to the pulp that comes out Oct. 14, we’ve had one goal for Death to the BCS: empower the public by educating it. As we say in the chapter excerpted here: “Facts have power. The truth has might.”

By offering both, we expect to change the debate about the BCS. The people in charge of the BCS — we call them the Cartel, a name we’ll use often here — have monopolized discussion about the BCS through propaganda, deceptive statements and outright lies. If they’re willing to confuse Congress, as the Alamo Bowl’s Derrick Fox did, imagine how they treat the general public.

Every good question raised by fans comes with an insulting answer, and chapter by chapter, we took these excuses, unraveled them and left the emperors in their birthday suits. For example:

Fan: Why don’t we have a playoff?

BCS: Because the cheerleaders have to go home for winter break.

Really, that’s an excuse a BCS spokesman has used. More than once.

OK, let’s try again.

Fan: Why don’t we have a playoff?

BCS: Because it would compromise the regular season and kill off bowls.

Both are blatantly false, of course. We explain how a playoff system actually enhances the regular season and will keep bowl games alive in the face of coming scrutiny from a Division I-A athletic system that sees more than 88 percent of programs lose money.

It’s facts like that, and like the hundreds of millions of playoff dollars the Cartel leaves on the table, that causes just about everyone you know to hate the BCS. Your friends. Your enemies. Your dad. Your mom. Even your dog. It’s a visceral opinion.

With Death to the BCS, we wanted to provide the factual wallops to complement the emotional disgust. Without a deep understanding of the system — one we fully understood only after two years of investigating it — all debates about how to structure a playoff or a plus-one don’t work. While reporting the book, some college football power brokers asked us questions about what we knew — who made the most money off the BCS racket, or why university presidents didn’t unilaterally overhaul the system. Not even they understood why a universally loathed and financially underperforming system remained in place.

There is so much mayhem, so much subterfuge, so much nonsense that muddles the discussion. So let’s fix that. When the BCS standings come out Oct. 17 and three teams out of the Ohio State-Oregon-Boise State-TCU quartet are furious, read through Death to the BCS, understand why it’s all so unnecessary and come armed with all the answers.

Then let the debate begin.


I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention some of the other things going on at DeathToTheBCS.com. We’ve got a handful of signings scheduled, and we anticipate plenty more in the coming months. For anyone interested in setting one up, or in dropping a line to use for a future blog entry, hit our Contact page.

If you’d like to digest Death to the BCS in 140-character form, follow us on Twitter. And to fulfill our never-ending quest for popularity, give us a Like at Facebook.

Our sincere thanks for the early support.

Posted in About the Book, Death to the BCS, Inconvenienced cheerleaders, Your dog hates the BCS | 5 Comments