Big 10 Commish Jim Delany Says BCS Can Hold Its Own Against Federal Government


With the Department of Justice finally getting around to sending a letter (a weak letter in my opinion) to to the NCAA about why do you not have a college football playoff. To the surprise of no one, Big 10 commissioner JIm Delany has come out and said that the BCS can stand up to government pressure:

"You never should be overconfident on legal matters. Like anything else, once they're in a courtroom or in front of a jury, you can't predict outcomes," Delany told USA TODAY. "Having said that, we know what (the college football postseason once) was, and we know what is. And we know there was a thorough vetting of all antitrust issues at the beginning and during (the life of the BCS) because our presidents have always wanted to know the legal basis on which we operate."

"I know at the end of the day that we've operated in total good faith. I know that (the postseason) is better than it was. . . . And if it can't go forward, it can't go forward. But I also know that we can't be enjoined, we can't be directed or forced into something we don't think is the right thing for us to do."

The college football postseason is better since there is a No. 1 vs. No. 2 game at the end of the year and that is much better then when a top-two matchup was rare in the bowl season. However, the line that "we've operated in total good faith," does not sit well with me.

Multiple times they have been challenged in Congress to ease up in restrictions on how to qualify for a bowl game which included lowering the requirement from a top-six ranking for non-AQ schools to now where a school must be a conference champ and ranked 12th or higher, plus the addition of the fifth bowl game.

All of those came by pressure from some group or another.

I am no lawyer but from hearing what lawyers have said they believe that the BCS is quite vulnerable, so Delany and the BCS should take any and all legal action against the BCS serious, which I think they typically do.

Delany also mentions that no jury can four any type of bracketed playoff that a lot of fans are wanting. If a playoff is not the outcome of the DOJ getting involved and if the current BCS system is not going forward then the choice that has been discussed is going back to the old system.

These old timers are using this as a threat, and it is now time to take them up on this bluff. SI.com's Andy Staples says bring it on, because some leagues (ACC and Big East) will not find it so appealing:

So while the ACC and Big East enjoyed equal footing in the BCS, they would occupy their own caste in a reversion to the old system. They wouldn't be the Mountain West or Conference USA, but they wouldn't be the SEC, Big Ten or Big 12, either. Call it bowl purgatory. The real difference would be the money. Even if it the system equaled what the BCS brings in now, the lion's share would be split among four conferences instead of six.

The reason the ACC and Big East would fall behind is because they have been the two leagues who have not been able to perform on par with the other four current BCS leagues and their bowl games could go to the best matchup since it would be an open market.

I'll let Andy Staples go into the details of how the ACC and Big East could fall behind:

Since this is a truly open market, each bowl would be free to negotiate with each conference. To guarantee the huge payouts required to come close to the dollars a playoff would generate, the bowls would have to consider two factors. They would have to sell all their tickets, and they would have to guarantee a television partner a huge rating. Meanwhile, conferences would want to lock in deals with bowls so schools could reliably budget for the future.

Other than the Fiesta, the Orange Bowl is in the weakest position because the BCS has done it few favors of late. Its ratings stink because it has gotten horrible matchups. So the only way to generate a decent payout is to make a fantastic matchup. With the champs of the Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-10 and SEC gone and the runners-up from the SEC and Big 12 gone, the Orange would face stiff competition from the Fiesta, which also would want to lock up the best potential TV ratings.

At this point, the Big Ten runner-up is the best value left on the board. The Orange outbids the Fiesta and grabs that team, which in most years will come from this group: Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State, Iowa, Penn State, Nebraska, Wisconsin. Those are huge fan bases that make for great TV numbers. So what now? Does the Orange take the ACC champ or go for SEC No. 3? It's pretty much a toss-up.

The Fiesta, after missing out on Big Ten No. 2, takes Pac-10 No. 2 and matches it against Notre Dame. Every year. Because Notre Dame equals ratings and sellouts.

So, you can see the picture for those leagues.The money may be there for some leagues, but the ACC and Big East will have some troubles. The Big East currently does not even have an agreement with any BCS bowl, and recently the ACC has not been as strong.

Staples, also mentions if there is any type of voting then the Big 12, SEC, Pac-12 and Big 10 would be outnumbered. I doubt they would go back to the old system, so hope the BCS lawyers are good.

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