Joined: Nov 2003
I Root For: *E*C*U*
Location: Leland, NC
Now with baseball getting hot. suddenly there is whining about "not being fair". How can anyone in a BCS league say that. How hypocritical!! see below++++++++
Big Ten baseball getting taste of BCS medicine
By Dennis Dodd
SportsLine.com Senior Writer
"We need some competitive equity in a sport that has none." Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany, June 22, Minneapolis Star Tribune
OMAHA, Neb. -- Smelling salts are available upon request after reading that quote. Or just pull yourself up off the floor after fainting. The shock will wear off eventually.
For the past six years, that statement could have been attributed to any president or athletic director from a disenfranchised non-BCS school. The Tulanes, the Marshalls, the BYUs etc. In the summer of 2004, it is uttered by a BCS power broker -- about baseball.
Why? Because suddenly baseball is hot. Hot in terms of financials (some programs produce seven figures in annual revenue). Hot in terms of exposure (every pitch of the College World Series is televised by ESPN). Hot in terms of reputation. For 11 days each June, Omaha becomes a canvas Rockwell wishes he would have painted.
"The reason is the kids have always done a pretty fair job off the field," said LSU athletic director Skip Bertman, who won five national championships as a coach. "They do a pretty fair job in the classroom, pretty fair job as corporate citizens. There's not much cheating."
A savvy sports marketer looking to make a buy could do worse than college baseball. It has a vast demographic of all ages and races. You should see the sponsors lined up here with interactive displays aimed at young spenders -- Rawlings, CBS, Pontiac, Coca Cola.
College baseball is pure and it is growing. Look at the numbers. The bracket is up to 64, just like basketball. Last year a best-of-3 championship series was added because, well, the demand was there.
There are now two layers of playoffs before teams even get to Omaha. Those regionals and super regionals are awarded by the NCAA largely on how much revenue schools can promise.
So now the Big Ten -- and pretty much every school outside the Sun Belt -- wants to change this quaint family picnic. Those schools are proposing a common starting date (March 1) for all teams and moving the completion of the CWS into July. If not, those schools are threatening to break away and play their own national championship tournament.
The NCAA baseball committee met Monday on the issue and came out non-committal. That's a good thing. At least, they weren't cow towing to the Big Ten's might. Talk of moving the season has been around for at least 20 years. No one seemed to mind until the smell of more cha-ching began wafting around the nation.
That's the danger in turning the picnic into a strip-mall food court. College baseball in July? Never mind major-league teams that would be bent about having to wait for their draft choices, what about the sanctity of a kid's summer vacation?
Eleven days of CWS is about all anyone can stand or afford as it is. If the measure is adopted, they would be knocking baseballs around Rosenblatt Stadium 1½ months after school ended.
It has got to stop somewhere. BCS presidents just got done talking out of both sides of their mouths in allowing the BCS title game to be played into the second of week January beginning in 2006.
CBS SPORTSLINE: Big Ten baseball gets taste of BCS
|06-26-2004 12:07 PM