Airwaves: BCS system works for college football

’Tis the season to be jolly, yeah, yeah, for the BCS. At this time of every year, the debate begins about the value and the reason for the bowls and the BCS championship. Every year, this person defends it, so here we go again.

A long time ago (not really),when I was a studio analyst at Fox, we used to get into heated discussions on the BCS versus a playoff system. Duh, those conversations never went very far in the realm of rational and objective thinking. Those of you folks who think we need a playoff system in college football, think again. Here are the very direct reasons a playoff system will not work and will not happen.

Remember, college football still begins with the word college, which certainly implies education and

1. No one will ever be satisfied with the selection process. If you want to select eight teams, teams nine and 10 will complain they were not included.

2. We already have a playoff. What the heck was last week and weekend? Oregon and Oregon State for the Rose Bowl, Cincinnati and Pitt for the Sugar Bowl, Texas for the BCS Championship Game and Nebraska for a BCS bowl bid, and Florida and ’Bama for a bid to the BCS Championship Game. If that was not a great playoff weekend, I am Frank Sinatra!

3. Fans would have to travel maybe 3-4 weeks in a row if they did not have home-field advantage. That’s too much to ask families in this tough economy.

4. The Southeastern, Big 12 and the Atlantic Coast conferences all have a conference championship game. The Big East, Pac-10 and Big Ten need to get off their rear ends and do the same thing. The money is huge for the conference, as well as the exposure.

5. Right now, there are 34 bowls (including the BCS title game). That means 68 teams go to bowls; 68 coaches are happy; 68 groups of alumni are proud of the fact that their school is on national TV, which in the end helps fundraising and overall school pride and morale. The school presidents love this.

6. The $$$ the networks pay for the BCS games is ungodly.

7. This time of year, the BCS vs. playoffs discussion keeps college football in the forefront of the media. (Except for when Tiger screws up.)

8. The last few years, the BCS system has worked. This year, Texas vs. Alabama is the perfect matchup.


Gammons’ move a big loss for ESPN

ESPN suffered a tough loss this week when the legendary and very insightful Peter Gammons decided to switch teams and leave the Bristol, Conn., monster for the rival MLB Network. Gammons, 64, is an institution at ESPN. If there was a baseball event, he was there and chiming in with his educated opinion. Health issues and less travel played into the decision. Good luck, Peter, you are good and well-versed.

– Another legend changed jobs this past week. Dick Enberg, who I personally have a relationship with, decided to leave CBS and become the voice of the San Diego Padres. Padres CEO Jeff Moorad made the announcement this week and is obviously delighted he was able to finalize the deal. Enberg, 74, is one of the nicest human beings in all of sports. This change allows him to spend more time at home in San Diego. He will “fill in” for CBS at times and continue his tennis work at the U.S. Open and Wimbledon. He is a treasure and will be missed at CBS on a full-time basis.

– Best wishes to Bryant Gumbel. Two months ago, he had cancer surgery and is now in recovery. Gumbel is a great host, who is very versatile, whether it be sports or a morning talk show. Recently, he disclosed his recent operation while co-hosting for Regis Philbin on the “Regis and Kelly” talk show. Bryant is an easy listen who gets the point across without being silly and over demonstrative.</p>

– I really wonder who will land the first Tiger Woods interview. Eventually, he will have to sit down with someone and fess up, sorta like Michael Vick did. My guess is it will be with CBS, because of its golf coverage. Also, do not be shocked if Jim Nantz is the one who interviews him.


Off target

It just drives me nuts when I am watching college football on Saturdays and ESPN goes to its midday studio show with Lou Holtz and Mark May. These two are completely clueless. They think they are funny but they aren’t. Holtz, once a great coach, has turned into a clown. May, once a great offensive lineman, makes stupid statements all the time in an effort to make himself look good. ESPN can and should do a whole lot better than these jerks. They can’t hold Lee Corso’s and Kirk Herbstreit’s jockstraps.


Who said it

Tim Donaghy
“The mob threatened me and my family to provide inside information on betting on games,” the disgraced NBA official said on “60 Minutes” this week. Gee, is this “The Sopranos” or the NBA? Donaghy paid the price and is now trying to sell his book recalling his gambling issues and the inner workings of the NBA. I do not know if I like or hate this guy.

Don Nelson
“When I am healthy, I will be back” the very weary-looking Warriors coach said. Nelson, who is battling many ailments including pneumonia, looks awful. Nellie didn’t travel with the team on its current road trip. He has no energy and just looks pale and sickly. It might be time for the big boy to go back to Hawaii and let assistant Keith Smart take over the young roster.


One to watch

Both of the NFL’s unbeaten teams will put those streaks on the line in early NFL action today. The Saints (12-0), led by the prolific Drew Brees, will travel to Atlanta to take on the Falcons at 10 a.m. on Fox. Atlanta played without starting QB Matt Ryan and starting running back Michael Turner last week and both are questionable for today. In the AFC, the Colts (12-0) host the Broncos.


By the numbers

100,000 Workers for comcast, which is purchasing nbc universal

$45 billion Market value of comcast

$6.73 billion 2008 operating budget of comcast

Artie Gigantino spent 25 years as a coach at the major-college and NFL levels, was lead college football analyst for Fox Sports Net for seven years, was with CBS for one year and was an executive with the Raiders for three years. E-mail him at

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