When will college football have a tiebreaker?
The only question now that most soccer fans have in mind is: will there actually be a tiebreaker? Some of them may consider it a dream, especially the BCS opponents. Currently, the BCS has a television contract until 2013. And the BCS does not feel pressure to change before or after that date.
Today, large schools have no incentive to share the wealth they generate from large bowls. Conferences like the SEC treat their season as a tiebreaker as the national champion has come out of that conference for the past three years, and five times in the BCS’s eleven-year history. But most of the theoretical playoff formats include the champion from each BCS conference. So why would minor conferences like the Big East, Big Ten, and Pac 10 participate in a tiebreaker?
Although it seems that a tiebreaker would create more wealth to distribute among all, the presidents of the universities have very different ideas about how to distribute the money. Admittedly, a tiebreaker would likely produce more than the $ 17.5 million payment to the SEC and Big 12 on behalf of Florida and Oklahoma for the 2009 National Championship game. However, even if the pie would grow, there would be many more teams trying to grab a piece. A playoff would allow four, eight, or, according to some plans, sixteen teams to play for the national championship. That would create a lot more teams looking for a cut.
Teams like Utah, Boise State and other schools that have had undefeated records in recent years believe they should have had a chance to play for the national championship. Utah’s attorney general went so far to file an antitrust lawsuit against the BCS for refusing to allow the Utes a chance to play for the championship.
On the other hand, these great state schools in the SEC, Big 12, plus some others like USC and Ohio State, invest so much money in their sports and have created programs; They don’t think they should get hit by a new “BCS Buster” every year. Utah head coach Kyle Wittingham is the 80th highest paid coach in college football. That’s lower than all SEC schools, including lowly Vanderbilt and Kentucky. Teams like Florida and LSU pay their coaches the most and are also, perhaps coincidentally, at the top of the rankings every year. Its presidents believe that their commitment to producing a world-class soccer team should be rewarded.
It seems certain that the BCS will have to fulfill its television contract until 2013. After that, however, college presidents and the NCAA may no longer be held accountable for the future of their sport. Since President Obama announced that he was in favor of a tiebreaker, the issue has gained some traction in Congress. According to ESPN, Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff is expected to file his antitrust suit in June 2009. If the BCS is found guilty of antitrust violations, it would be forced to create a new “open and inclusive system” – a tiebreaker.