BERNIE MACHEN GUNS FOR THE BCS

The SEC will convene this April in--where else?--the heart of the Redneck Riviera, Destin, Florida, to discuss topics important to the SEC: academic integrity, the future of amateur sport, and if you really can get a grown man to bite on a hook baited with a blueberry cake donut from the Donut Hole. (Our verdict? Hell, yes.)

They'll likely discuss money, too. Lots of it. In the hypothetical and real senses of the word. In fact, we have a copy of Bernie Machen's entire presentation to the collected heads of SEC schools:

That's likely it for the underlying semantics of the argument: MMMMMM CASH TASTY SWEET CASH.

The money the BCS generates now as an awkward resolution to the season would pale in comparison. Rampant speculation of the sort bloggers get chastised for has floated through various MSM pieces: that Machen's agitating for this because his school's been on the outside of the BCS looking in at Utah, blah blah blah.

If there's lucre to loll in, however, it must be considered the catalyst of Machen's advocacy binge. For Machen and other university presidents, their chunk of a hypothetical national playoff contract for college football and the addition of still more games to the college football season/postseason ticket menu can only mean more money in the bank for colleges--potentially brain-injuring amounts of cash from television in particular.

Example: the current BCS pot is around $120 million; seventy-five percent of that total flies straight into the accounts of the six major conferences of the BCS. In contrast, CBS paid $6 billion for an eleven year contract for the NCAA Men's Tournament in basketball, a sport whose popularity can't come within zip codes of the overall popularity of college football.

The hypothetical sums for a BCS contract have got to make university presidents--ever on the make for fresh, strings-free funding--erect under their mahogany board tables. It also could sound the death knell of the current BCS system. Bernie flashed a little leg at an Atlanta meeting in March; the full rabbit-in-the-hat trick comes at the Destin meetup. We say make it rain, sir, on them hoes. College football fans will be the ones dancing happily for the cash in the end.

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