BCS representatives a waste of money

Sitting between a Fiesta Bowl representative and an Orange Bowl representative in the press box of last weekend’s Utah-Colorado State game, I was awestruck.

Not by the presence of greatness, but more by the lack of knowledge of the people who were there to help make important decisions about the nation’s most important bowl games.

The reps were clearly unimpressed with our inability to completely fill the stands, and were even more unimpressed with the Utes’ kicking game. I was unimpressed with them, so I decided to badger them with questions about the Bowl Championship Series selection criteria.

The elderly lady representing the Orange Bowl appeared willing to listen, so I directed my questions to her. I found her demeanor charming, but she clearly lacked the requisite knowledge to be an effective representative of the BCS.

She told me that any team that finishes in the top six in the final BCS standings would be guaranteed of a BCS bowl berth. (I found out later that this is not true, as only a team from a non-BCS conference is guaranteed a spot in a BCS bowl game if it finishes in the top six.)

When I asked her what would happen if three teams from the same conference finished in the top six, she said that would be the one exception to the rule, and that the third team would not be invited. (Upon further research I discovered that this is completely untrue, as three teams from a conference can potentially all participate in a BCS bowl game in the same year.)

When I asked what would happen if three teams from BCS conferences failed to finish in the top six (leaving only five remaining positions because BCS conference champs are all guaranteed a spot in a BCS bowl) she made me repeat myself, and then, without answering, turned away.

Later she said that she was simply here to “build a relationship with the school” (instead of answering annoying questions from a reporter for a school paper), but it looked more like a desperate attempt on the part of the BCS to spend as much money as possible. It looked to me like it would be willing to take any random person off the street to be a representative, as long as he or she looked good in an official BCS jacket.

The BCS has more money than it knows what to do with, and when the affable elderly lady told me that she was but one of 18 representatives for the Orange Bowl, I nearly spilled my coffee-on her.

Why does the Orange Bowl need 18 representatives? I understand that it will play host to this year’s national championship game, but the participants will be predetermined by the convoluted BCS formula regardless of the kind of impression that a school makes on a representative.

Why spend money “building a relationship” with a school when you host the single-most sought-after bowl game in the universe? Are they concerned that the U might turn down an invitation to the national championship game? Has their excessive access to ungodly amounts of money made them completely insane?

I came to the realization, after pondering it all, that the Utes’ best bet for receiving money from the BCS was not to qualify for a bowl game by receiving a ranking in the top six, but instead it was to get the team hired as representatives.

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