The Seperate but Equal Bowl

Posted on 8 December 2009 | No responses

BCS Football Math

the Texas Longhorns?

Only the BCS could be dumb enough to open their annual bowl selection show by displaying advanced mathematical equations on a chalk board.  We get it, your solution has nothing to do with a football field, but rather uses a bunch of crazy algorithms averaged with human pollsters to determine the best team in the land.  Ari Fleischer, what ever the BCS is paying you, keep up the good work on the WMD like propaganda – dare I say “a playoff system will never work in college football”!

Back in early November I suggested that the nightmare scenario might hit the BCS if TCU and BSU were to run the table and complete undefeated seasons.  Little did I know the perfect storm would actually be averted by Texas winning the Big XII Championship thanks to 1 second being added back to an expired clock after an officials review (after a very bone headed and lackadaisical decision to run one last play by Brown/McCoy, et al.).  None the less, my two predictions have come true.  The BCS in all their arrogance believe they have the best two teams playing in the championship game, and maybe they do, but tell that to the other three undefeated teams that don’t get a chance to prove it on the field.  Secondly, the BCS has elected to match BSU and TCU up in the Fiesta Bowl (dubbed the separate but equal bowl), robbing these teams and the fans  a chance to measure up against the BCS’s chosen ones.

This was an interesting decision by the BCS, they could have pitted TCU and BSU against the so called powerhouse conferences to show the world how undeserving they are.  But, given the performance of non-AQ conferences in the past, the BCS has learned their lesson and they don’t want to risk both TCU and BSU going undefeated on the year.  So the safe move was to ensure only one other undefeated team, assuming Cincinatti were to lose to Florida, and rest on the fact that since they beat another non-AQ team, the winner of the Texas/Alabama game will be the national champion in everyones eyes.  This is the most chicken sh!t move I’ve seen to date from the BCS.

A good article (and hopefully book to follow) was presented by Dan Wetzel of Yahoo Sports debunking the absolute crap that the BCS spews out via their propaganda machine regarding the inability of a playoff system to work.  I agree with him that someday this problem will be fixed, because greed and nonsense usually lose out.  I suspect that one of the best bowl games of the year will be BSU and TCU in the Fiesta Bowl.  I also suspect that the BCS will face this very issue again next year when BSU (who lose 1 starter to graduation) and TCU (who lose 6 starters to graduation) return to the field to once again be treated as second class citizens to the BCS conferences – but this time they will not have to climb from #18 and #20 respectively in the pre-season polls to get their just dues.

November will bring Controversy for BCS and College Football

Posted on 1 November 2009 | 1 response

Well, it’s about that time of year again, and one month from now I can guarantee these two things will happen.

  1. Fans of NCAA college football will feel cheated by the BCS’s cartel like assignment of the teams worthy of playing in “their” bowl games.
  2. The BCS will once again claim victory and success in getting the two best teams into the National Championship game.

History will repeat itself, guaranteed, like it has year after year.  The odds say it will repeat this year, but if not then next.  Rarely has there been a year that the stars aligned for the BCS and they have had a real argument that their system really worked.  And usually that argument is after the fact when undefeated teams that don’t get a chance to play for the championship lose their bowl game.  The BCS should be concerned with getting it right after the games are done in November, not January.

The BCS (Bowl Championship Series) is a coalition, self-appointed coalition mind you, that states the purpose of:

“match[ing] the two top-rated teams in a national championship game and to create exciting and competitive matchups between eight other highly regarded teams in four other games.” – BCSfootball.org

If I read that mission statement without knowing anything about the BCS I would think, ahh, the BCS runs the March Madness equivalent of college football.  Hardly, you must pay closer attention to what the BCS is, note the “highly regarded teams”.  It’s all about money, the haves and have-nots, and by controlling the money in college football keeping it in the desired conferences, you can also control the lack of parity.  One of the keys to college football is recruiting, and don’t think for a second that money (facilities, equipment, staff, tutors, etc.) doesn’t play a huge role.  The problem for the BCS is there have been two flies in their ointment, the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) and the Mountain West Conference (MWC) placing undefeated teams into BCS games (not the national championship) in four of the past five years (winning three of the four games played) and with a month of football left to play they each have undefeated teams that could once again join the party.  The nightmare scenario for the BCS this year is if both TCU and Boise State end the year undefeated and both likely ranked in the top 8 in the BCS polls, we shall see how things unfold.

The BCS has self promoted propaganda that is laughable at best, one argument is that the entire season is a playoff to the National Championship (BCS Doesn’t Need Intervention).  In the past 5 years there have been 4 teams that finished the year undefeated and didn’t get the chance to play for the national championship – don’t tell me the system works.

Excuses can be made why any system doesn’t work, but I find it ironic that NCAA DII and DIII have a very successful playoff system in choosing a national champion.   And yes there is history and tradition of the bowls themselves, but make them part of the solution and let them host the playoffs.  The money isn’t going to dry up and go away if the NCAA moves to a playoff system, the problem is that the cartel would lose control of where that money goes.

It’s time to break the ties between conferences and bowl games, it’s time to end the OPEC like control of college football, it’s time to institute a college football playoff system that allows the argument to be settled on the field.  Greed will eventually kill the BCS, but probably not until after many more years of failure.  The BCS could do what’s right and adopt a system that gives every team the chance to win the National Championship and divide the money fairly.  That’s right, give the George Mason’s of the world the chance to have a dream run to the final four – because in today’s arrangement Cinderella doesn’t even get an invite to the ball.

I am Enron

Posted on 13 October 2009 | 3 responses

The man that once stated “I am Enron” is back in the news.  The US Supreme Court today announced that they have decided to hear Jeffrey Skilling’s appeal based on two things, “honest services” and area of venue.  Jeffrey Skilling is currently serving a 24 year prison term for his 2006 fraud conviction.  I am eager to hear why our supreme court has picked this one case to review when there are so many issues out there that they could look at.  I for one am not overly excited to hear that my tax money is going to be spent once again on a guy that ruined tens of thousands of employee’s lives, duked investors out of billions, and already has had considerable tax money spent on him.  My hope is that the $23 million lifetime retainer that Skilling paid his lawyers, money that should have probably been returned to employees and shareholders, was not influential in getting it to this point but it has no doubt helped.

For being Enron, Skilling certainly developed one hell of a case of amnesia in August of 2001 when he seemingly “forgot” everything and anything that might be taking place in the company he helped build – and suddenly stepped away from.  Skilling had joked that the difference between the Titanic and California is that one of them sunk with the lights on.  Jeffrey Skilling captained the ship (the self proclaimed “world’s leading company”) that went from billions in assets to zero in less than a month, but in his case he was the rat that tried to bail early.

If you have an hour and a half to kill someday, and you haven’t seen the documentary “Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room” I would highly suggest the history lesson.  There are a couple other great documentaries out there as well, but this one does a very good job of covering the “culture of Enron”.  One of my favorite parts is when Skilling participates in an Enron internal video mocking the mark-to-market accounting technique that he demanded Enron use.  What a sad chapter in America’s history these clowns provided…

The Rise and Fall

The Rise and Fall

What is Your Pain?

Posted on 4 October 2009 | 1 response

What is Your Pain

What is Your Pain

Being an entrepreneur we sometimes get wrapped up in solving what we perceive to be problems that others have.  Sometimes this works, however many times entrepreneurs either don’t fully understand the problem, don’t have the domain knowledge to effectively solve the problem, or they have incorrectly identified  something as an issue that really was not.

I have talked before about the goal of an entrepreneur is getting someone to open their wallet and take out a hard earned dollar bill in exchange for a product or service.  Obviously, most people will not hand over a dollar bill unless you can provide something of value to them.  Paraphrasing a great B-School lecturer that I greatly respect:

You have to first identify someone’s pain, you then have to validate that others have the same pain, finally you go about fixing the pain in exchange for that proverbial dollar bill. – John Doggett

Adam McFarland writes one of the better blogs I’ve seen covering many practical entrepreneurial subjects, sharing real life issues and examples that he deals with in his company.  He recently wrote a great post about being your own target market.  I couldn’t agree more with this approach for an entrepreneur.  Ask yourself what some of your daily pains are, and focus on the business of fixing them.  In addition to what Adam covers, below are a few of my thoughts on the many benefits of this approach:

  • Most importantly, you have first hand knowledge about the issue,
  • If you are a “common Joe”, there is a very good chance that the other common Joe’s around the world have the same issue,
  • Because you understand the problem so well, you know what a good solution looks like
  • You know the common characteristics or interests of the other common Joe’s with the same pain, and how to reach them,
    • This is beneficial in that you can discuss the pain and possible solutions with others like you,
    • Once you have a solution or product you probably have a good idea as how to reach your market.
  • As Adam suggests, because you know the pain you are a good candidate to test the functionality and quality of the solution,
  • Finally, because you too have the pain, you know what you would be willing (or not willing) to pay for a solution to that problem.

So, once again, what is your pain?  I’ve spent the last few days thinking about a few of mine, stay tuned.

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