College bowls trump playoffs

Sunday, November 14, 2010; 8:09 PM

I'm concerned that Sally Jenkins ["It's time for Congress to sack the BCS," Sports, Nov. 11] thinks that Congress ought to override university presidents, athletic directors, coaches and conference commissioners who make decisions in college football.

I can't imagine that anyone really believes Congress knows more about the thousands of student-athletes than their own coaches, 93 percent of whom prefer the traditional bowl arrangement to a playoff, according to a poll taken by the American Football Coaches Association.

In fact, when ESPN the Magazine put the question to the players in August, 70.4 percent preferred the current system, known as the Bowl Championship Series (BCS), over a playoff with no bowls.

There is consensus among bowl directors that if a playoff were created, many bowls would go out of business because all eyes would be on the playoff. They believe that the few surviving games would bear little resemblance to today's multi-day bowl celebrations - they would become an NIT.

Student-athletes often see the bowls as the highlight of their careers, and fans love college football every Saturday because it has the best regular season in sports.

You don't need to look any further than college basketball's regular season to see the unintended effects of an ever-expanding playoff.

Bill Hancock, Prairie Village, Kan.

The writer is executive director of the Bowl Championship Series.

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