Books | Sports

December 3, 2007

Deconstructing the BCS

Sports Illustrated's Stewart Mandel tells Gelf why college football can't seem to settle its controversies on the field.

David Goldenberg

The first thing you have to understand about big-time college football, writes Sports Illustrated's Stewart Mandel in his new book Bowls, Polls, and Tattered Souls, is that no one's in charge. There's no commissioner making final decisions on scheduling or television rights and no real organization running the Bowl Championship Series. (Think the NCAA pulls the ultimate strings? It's basically powerless to stop conferences from doing things like raiding one another and has almost no control over the bowl system.) Fans are often left confused and heart-broken by this confusing and ever-changing college-football landscape, which seems to be at its foggiest when the final BCS rankings are announced in early December. This year may be the most frustrating ever, as a two-loss LSU team somehow made it into the championship game over several other worthy candidates.

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Article by David Goldenberg

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