Monday, June 7, 2010

Texas and Nebraska

As most of the world waits eagerly for Friday, when the World Cup begins, here in America we are watching the drama surrounding the college football national championship. Currently, this championship is determined using a mechanism that goes by the ungainly name of the Bowl Championship Series, a system which has been around since 1998 but really dates back more than 5 years farther, to the Bowl Coalition. The BCS has had plenty of critics, all the way up to and including President Obama, who announced in a 60 Minutes interview in November 2008 that he was going to "throw my weight around a little".

Nothing seemed to happen for a while after that; of course, the president was busy with the economy, foreign affairs, etc. But people definitely wondered about what he would do. Then, about 6 months ago, the administration actually did something, announcing that it would conduct antitrust reviews of the BCS contracts.

Over the last week, there has been lots of sudden activity, with various administrators of various conferences announcing, or leaking, lots of possible plans. Apparently, the whole thing boils down to Texas and Nebraska, with many scenarios showing the Big 12 collapsing, with half the teams, led by Texas, joining with the Pac-10, and the other half, led by Nebraska, heading for the Big-10.

If you're confused, and most of us are, about what's really going on here, all you really need to know is that college football in America is entertainment, and it's Big Money. How much money? Billions of dollars! The best person that I've seen for explaining this is Yahoo's Dan Wetzel: start here, and then read this for the more recent updates.

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