Barton thinks BCS is doomed

Published 11:39 pm Saturday, June 19, 2010

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — One of the most powerful advocates of a college football playoff system believes the Big 12’s brush with death might eventually help doom the BCS.

It’s not going to happen right away, said Texas Rep. Joe Barton. But the promise of renewed television riches that persuaded the Big 12’s major football members to reject overtures from the Pac-10 has shone the spotlight on the huge financial jackpot awaiting a playoff.

“The reason the Big 12 stayed together is the commissioner was able to put together a deal that enabled Texas and Texas A&M to go from about $8 million-$12 million a year to around $20 million a year” apiece, the Republican said. “I don’t really have a dog in the hunt as to how the conferences ought to be aligned. But I do think this moves us toward a playoff because we now know where the money is.”

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After Colorado announced it was going to the Pac-10 and Nebraska agreed to become the Big Ten’s 12th member, the Pac-10 made a bid for all Big 12 South schools except Baylor. As Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott flew from campus to campus in Texas and Oklahoma making his pitch, the Big 12 teetered on the brink.

Momentum seemed to be building toward a handful of 16-team mega-conferences.

As the drama unfolded over several rumor-filled days, BCS haters took heart that a historic, tectonic shift in the collegiate landscape would naturally result in a championship tournament among four or five super leagues.

But after the Big 12 elected not to disband, only two other schools switched leagues, Boise State (Mountain West) and Utah (Pac-10.)

“I think what happened with the Big 12 staying together maybe postpones the creation of a playoff system,” said Barton, who has introduced anti-BCS legislation in Congress. “But it doesn’t eliminate it.”