ESPN's Bottom Line - Version 2.0

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

BCS Math: When it Pays to Lose


You might have already heard this but last weekend #3 Boise St. lost an inter-conference game to #19 Nevada.  Which seems like it would be a pretty good thing for Nevada, right?  Well maybe not.  By moving Boise St. out of the BCS games, Nevada could stand to lose millions of dollars.  You're probably sitting in your chair reading this and saying, "WHA!?"

Well that is some BCS math for you.  If Boise St. had won that game they would almost definitely be playing in a BCS bowl game either the championship or Rose Bowl game.  Which means that they would have earned $18 million.  Now they will most likely play in the Humanitarian Bowl or Fight Hunger Bowl.  Which would earn them around $750,000.  Unfortunately for Nevada, according to BCS math all of the earnings from bowl teams go to their respective conference to be divided up among that conference's schools.  Ouch.  That is a loss of about a $1.9 million for each school in the WAC.

Would it make sense for Nevada to throw the game for the cash?  Probably not because that win gave them more publicity and attention than any $1.9 million could.  However, I'm sure there is an accountant in the Nevada athletic department who would beg to differ.  Teams shouldn't have to face the possibility that they would lose such a huge sum of money for WINNING a football game.

You know what would help this?  A 16 team playoff that values good football rather than bloated records.  But that would never happen because we wouldn't want to have an open, honest, and rewarding post-season for the most exciting sport in America, would we?  We'd rather stick with antiquated traditions that funnel money to undeserving bowl representatives rather than schools with athletic depts running deficits and facing cuts.  GO BCS!!!

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