Dallas Colleges: BCS

Texas tops in football profit, revenue

December, 13, 2012
The University of Texas football program in 2011-12 generated the most revenue and highest profit among all programs, but the rest of the top 10 saw some changes. Michigan football replaced Penn State in second place with $14.8 million more in profits than in 2010-11.

David Ablauf, associate director of media and public relations for Michigan, says there were a number of reasons for last year’s increase. Having one additional home game accounted for about $6 million in additional revenue. Also, ticket packs were sold for the first time, and Michigan had its first night game at Michigan Stadium. During that game, the team wore throwback uniforms, which, combined with the unique bowl uniforms they wore in the Sugar Bowl, resulted in higher licensing royalties when fans purchased the new looks.

Perhaps most glaringly absent from the top 10 most profitable programs is Penn State, which held the second spot just a year ago and third the previous year. After a tumultuous year off the field, Penn State fell to 11th place with $66.2 million in revenue, a $6.5 million reduction. However, it’s important to note that Penn State hosted an additional home game in 2010. Based on data provided to the NCAA, Penn State averaged $4.5 million in ticket revenue per home game in 2010, which could explain a large portion of the revenue decrease last year.

Even with the reduction, Penn State posted the eighth-highest revenue for football last year.

Revenue among FBS football programs ranged from a high of $103.8 million at Texas to a low of $3.6 million at the University of Louisiana at Monroe. The average FBS football program brought in $25 million, with a median of $19.9 million.

It should come as no surprise that the top revenue producers also led the FBS in average attendance in 2011. The top 10 programs in attendance also fell within the top 25 in revenue.

The largest revenue producer in a non-automatic BCS-qualifying conference was TCU, which joined an automatic-qualifying conference this season. Independents Notre Dame and BYU both finished above the median, No. 7 and No. 52.

Texas didn’t top every list. The highest expenses for a football program went to the University of Alabama, which has the nation’s highest-paid head coach, Nick Saban. For the 2011-12 season, Saban took home a $4.8 million paycheck. Total expenses for the football program ran to $36.9 million.

Ohio State, Auburn, Penn State and Oklahoma State rounded out the top five in terms of expenditures on football. The FBS average was $14.6 million, with a median of $14 million. TCU was again the highest-ranked program from a non-automatic qualifying conference, coming in sixth.

Every football team that played in a BCS bowl for the 2011-12 season fell within the top half of all FBS programs for football expenditures. Six of the 10 fell within the top 20.

BCS bowl game in sight for Longhorns

November, 20, 2012

AUSTIN, Texas -- Nearly 11 months ago, before the celebration became subdued, Texas coach Mack Brown stepped in front of his team to tell the players where he had been and where they were going.

A pattern had been established, he explained. Steps his past teams had taken that were to be followed by the present one – Holiday Bowl, BCS bowl, BCS title game. It had happened twice before -- 2003, ’04, ’05 and 2007, ’08, ’09. Now, the coach told those players fresh off a Holiday Bowl win, he -- and they -- was poised to make it happen again.

Thanks to Baylor, Brown was right. With two weeks to go and the possibilities still endless, the Bears' victory over Kansas State has cleared a path for Texas to make it to a BCS bowl. Of course, that is predicated on Texas winning out, grabbing second place in the Big 12 and the almost certain BCS at-large bid that comes with it. Oh, and by the way, one of those wins would have to come at Kansas State.

David Ash
Cal Sport Media via AP ImagesQuarterback David Ash has bounced back from a rough game against Kansas to lead the Longhorns to an 8-2 record.
But after a season of head slaps as well as some heady play, Texas, even though everything didn’t always go as planned, will gladly take it.

Now the Longhorns just have to figure out how to take advantage of the opportunities afforded them by the Baptist school to the north. By the way, had West Virginia managed to either make an extra point or a two-point conversion, the Longhorns faithful, giddy with the possibility of a conference title, might have been bowing in the direction of Morgantown, as well.

Enough about what others did while Texas watched. For Texas to seize the opportunity, there is one thing it must do against TCU and Kansas State: run it early and often.

Kansas State is susceptible to the run. Baylor had 16 rushing plays of 10 yards or more. And although TCU is No. 7 nationally against the run, it has not played a dominant run team. The Horned Frogs did play against Joseph Randle, and they gave up 126 to the Oklahoma State running back in a loss.

Over the past four victories, Texas has proved it can be successful running the football. That is why, by the way, Mike Davis has been open for so many passes down the field. The Longhorns are averaging 201.5 rushing yards per game in their past four. In the two games before that, both losses, Texas averaged 104.5 rushing yards.

Of course, some of that has to do with the defenses presented by Oklahoma and West Virginia as well as the defense presented by the past four opponents. But it is impossible to discount the emergence of Johnathan Gray and what he has meant to the run game. Gray has rushed for 361 of Texas’ 806 yards over the past four games. He had back-to-back 100-yard games in his first two starts.

The freshman’s ability to jump-cut and accelerate has given the Longhorns a player who can make a linebacker miss and get upfield for double-digit yards. Although he might not have the speed of Baylor’s Lache Seastrunk -- he went for 185 yards against Kansas State -- Gray does offer some of the same versatility in his running style and can explode to the second level. It was clear in Baylor’s win against KSU that once a runner made it past the initial wave, the Wildcats didn’t have the speed or wherewithal to tackle him.

That brings Texas to its next option, Daje Johnson. (Anyone else watch WVU’s Tavon Austin take handoff after handoff, go for 344 rushing yards and wonder why Texas didn’t try that with Johnson against the Sooners?) Johnson will be the fastest player on the field the next two games. Because of his size -- 5-foot-10, 184 -- Texas might be hesitant to run him between the tackles. But Johnson has proved when he takes the ball 7 yards deep that he has the explosion to put a defense on his heels. Johnson took a deep handoff against Baylor and exploded into the line. The gain was minimal. But the effect put the Bears on their heels, therefore allowing Texas to run Joe Bergeron more successfully and David Ash to pass over the top.

Add to all that a healthy Malcolm Brown, Texas’ most effective weapon at getting outside the tackles as well as at breaking tackles, and it appears as if the Longhorns have a chance, heck maybe even a plan, to take the next step Mack Brown talked about in December.

Good news keeps coming for Cotton Bowl

June, 26, 2012
ARLINGTON, Texas -- It's been a pretty good five weeks for the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic.

First, word comes out in May that the Big 12 and SEC have established a Champions Bowl that will match the two top teams from each conference not in a playoff system. That's bound to involve Cowboys Stadium and the Cotton Bowl, even if it's in some sort of rotation with the Sugar Bowl.

Coop and Nate discuss the four-team playoff that will be coming to college football.

Listen Listen
Today, the NCAA brass approved a four-team playoff starting in 2014 with the semifinals to be rotated among six sites. Again, Cowboys Stadium is bound to be included in that mix. So what does all of this mean for the Cotton Bowl?

* The bowl, which has wanted to climb into the top echelon of the BCS, now has the opportunity to do just that. In conjunction with Cowboys Stadium and Jerry Jones, they can bid on the National Championship game. Any city with a stadium (even ones that don't currently have bowl games) can bid for that game.

* One possible scenario is that when the Cotton Bowl is not hosting the semifinal, they're hosting the Champions Bowl (the Sugar Bowl would also do the same, hosting a semifinal when the Cotton Bowl isn't). But again, that puts Cowboys Stadium and the Cotton Bowl right in the middle of the playoff action.

* No matter what, it seems the Cotton Bowl is in position to be a major bowl game every season, just like it used to be (don't you miss the Southwest Conference?)

"It’s a great day for college football," Cotton Bowl president and CEO Rick Baker said in a statement. "We congratulate the conference commissioners and presidents for their diligent work to enhance the postseason. We look forward to learning more about the opportunities that will be created by today’s announcement. With partners like AT&T and Cowboys Stadium, we believe we have a great story to tell."

Now the Cotton Bowl waits to see how the landscape changes -- for the better for them -- in 2014.

Charles Barkley on BCS, Odom, SNL

January, 10, 2012
Charles Barkley joins Galloway and Company to dish on the BCS title game, Lamar Odom's funk, boxing and the hardships of hosting "Saturday Night Live."

Play Download

TCU's BCS bowl hopes up in the air

December, 4, 2011
It's going to be an interesting day for TCU. After Houston's loss to Southern Miss and the Frogs' win over UNLV, TCU has hope for making a BCS bowl. But things have to line up. First, some background. To make a BCS bowl, TCU must: finish in the top 16 of the BCS rankings (that come out tonight at 7:15 on ESPN) and be ranked ahead of Southern Miss and the highest-ranked Big East champ (likely West Virginia).

TCU started the weekend at No. 18 in the BCS. Southern Miss was No. 24 and West Virginia No. 23. TCU is likely to stay in front of those teams, unless the polls give Southern Miss a huge jump for its win over Houston (but TCU was six spots up, so that's doubtful).

So it comes down to getting two spots higher in the BCS (at least before the weekend started). That's a tough chore.

"I don't think they do it," ESPN's BCS guru Brad Edwards said. "The computers aren't going to help TCU and I couldn't find three teams that fall past them with Clemson going ahead of them."

But here's a look at where things stand and what needs to happen for TCU to do it:

* Clemson's win over Virginia Tech will not only impress voters, but the computers will love it. So the Tigers seem destined to leapfrog (yes, I said it) TCU in the BCS. That means the Frogs essentially must jump past three teams to get to No. 16.

* TCU's most logical avenue to rising in the polls was Texas beating Baylor in Waco. But RGIII and the Bears were impressive and could even work themselves into the discussion for an at-large BCS bid from the Big 12. They won't be dropping past TCU (and they beat the Frogs in week one).

* Wisconsin's close win over Michigan State may not have helped, either. Since it was such a good game and a tight one, voters may not penalize the Spartans much (the computers probably won't either) and they started the week at No. 13, five spots ahead of TCU.

So is there any hope for TCU? Yes. Here are some possibilities:

* There are other teams that could be downgraded in the polls. Let's start with Houston. They had a weak strength of schedule coming into the C-USA championship game and then lost to Southern Miss. Jeff Sagarin's computer rankings are already out and the Cougars went from eighth to out of the top 25. The polls won't penalize them that much, but is a 10- or 12-spot drop out of the question? No.

* What about Georgia? They were No. 14 in the BCS, but lost in blowout fashion to LSU. But that is the unquestioned No. 1 team in the country. And Georgia's strength of schedule goes up with the loss. That one depends on the voters.

* We talked about Michigan State earlier, but it's possible they could slip behind TCU. Still, with a close loss and starting five spots ahead, it could be close.

* What about Oklahoma? Coming into the day, that probably wasn't a team on TCU's radar as one that could slip. But after the drubbing they took in Stillwater, OU now has three losses and that last one is fresh in the minds of voters. They started No. 10, so it would take a big fall.

"I think there's just too much ground to make up without help from the computers," Edwards said.

If TCU does qualify, the Sugar Bowl could end up taking them to face Michigan, assuming the Wolverines make the top-14 (and it appears they will). Some have also speculated that the Sugar Bowl could take West Virginia and the Orange Bowl would end up with TCU against Clemson. Still, with TCU's history of bringing folks, I'd think the Sugar would look pretty hard at TCU (plus, with Michigan, will they be concerned with ticket sales at that point or more the matchup?).

Edwards, interestingly, thinks that if TCU doesn't qualify, the Sugar Bowl may seriously consider Boise State. We'll see.

Charmed? TCU's fate up to voters, computers

December, 3, 2011
As implausible as it might seem, if No. 18 TCU turns up at No. 16 or higher when the final regular-season BCS standings are revealed Sunday night on ESPN, say hello to the (most likely) Sugar Bowl, Frogs fans.

Despite its two losses, TCU (10-2) put itself in position for an improbable BCS berth with its last-minute victory at Boise State on Nov. 12. Since, a series of events, capped Saturday by No. 24 Southern Miss upsetting of No.6 Houston in the Conference USA championship, followed by TCU's 56-9 shellacking of UNLV, have put the Horned Frogs -- Fiesta Bowl and Rose Bowl participants in each of the last two seasons -- on the verge of creating more school history.

Don't get confused by the rankings. Boise State entered the weekend ranked No. 7 in the BCS standings, and Houston was No. 6 and in control of its BCS destiny. But, the automatic berth for a non-AQ team goes to the conference champion. If a non-AQ conference champion finishes ranked in the top 16 and ahead of the champion from an AQ conference (in this case the Big East's West Virginia is No. 23), the non-AQ champ earns the automatic berth.

The Frogs on Saturday wrapped up their third consecutive Mountain West Conference title. They need to finish ahead of Southern Miss (11-2) and West Virginia (9-3).

So it would seem the lone obstacle remaining is for TCU to jump two spots. It won't be easy.

It's opponent, downtrodden UNLV could be the biggest impediment despite the Frogs' lopsided victory. After a 34-10 win over Colorado State two weeks ago, TCU dropped from No. 19 to No. 20.

Then there's the teams in front of TCU. Most are two-loss teams from major conferences and playing ranked opponents, some in conference title games. The Frogs certainly didn't get any help from No. 17 Baylor (9-3), which whipped No.22 Texas, 48-24. The Bears beat TCU in the season-opener, 50-48. The Frogs' other loss was to SMU. That one could really end up haunting TCU.

No non-AQ team with a loss, let alone two, has ever played in a BCS game.

Here's a look at the games that will have a direct impact on TCU's final regular-season BCS ranking:

No. 1 LSU 42, No. 14 Georgia 10

No. 17 Baylor 48, No. 22 Texas 24

No. 16 Michigan (10-2), idle

No. 15 Wisconsin 42, No. 13 Michigan State 39

No. 12 South Carlolina (10-2), idle,

No. 11 Kansas State 30, Iowa State 23

No. 20 Clemson 38, No. 5 Virginia Tech 10

No. 21 Penn State, (9-3), idle

No. 23 West Virginia 30, South Florida 27 (Thursday)

No. 24 Southern Miss 49, No. 6 Houston 28

Charmed? Obstacles stacked against TCU

November, 27, 2011
A week ago, the TCU Horned Frogs won by 24 points and fell in the BCS rankings one spot to No. 20. This week they were idle and moved up two spots to No. 18 heading into the final week of the regular season. Gotta love the BCS.

So, can TCU actually sneak into a BCS game?

Technically, yes. The odds, though, are heavily stacked against them.

First, a reminder how a non-AQ team earns an automatic BCS berth: By winning its league championship (and being the champ is the key, not the final ranking, see Boise State); finishing in the top 16 of the BCS standings; and finishing higher than a champion of an AQ league. West Virginia is the highest-ranked Big East team at No. 23, and it isn't assured of winning the league.

By the time the Frogs (9-2) kick off their finale in Forth Worth against UNLV (2-9) at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, they'll have a pretty good idea if there's any hope. No. 6 Houston (12-0) controls its destiny: Beat No. 24 Southern Miss (10-2) in the Conference USA title game (11 a.m. Saturday, ABC), and an automatic BCS berth belongs to Case Keenum and the Coogs.

Lose, and suddenly the door flings open for the Frogs.

Here's the three-step process that must happen for TCU to seal a third consecutive BCS berth:

1. Houston must lose to Southern Miss -- which seemingly killed its BCS dreams with an awful loss to UAB two weeks ago.

2. TCU must beat UNLV (2-9) to win the Mountain West Conference title outright and do so in an overpowering way to make gains with voters (playing UNLV could actually hurt TCU in the computers, just see its 34-10 win over Colorado State that dropped it from No. 19 to 20).

3. TCU must move up two spots to No. 16 in the BCS rankings released next Sunday night.

If the first two dominoes fall, how plausible is a move into the top 16?

Well, No. 17 Baylor, with banged-up quarterback Robert Griffin III, plays host to No. 22 Texas. No. 16 Michigan's regular season is over. No. 15 Wisconsin faces No. 13 Michigan State in the Big Ten title game. No. 14 Georgia gets No. 1 LSU in the SEC championship game. Would loses to ranked teams, two of which will be in conference title games bump those teams down far enough to help TCU?

How charmed are these Frogs? We'll soon find out.

Charmed? TCU’s BCS hopes take hit

November, 20, 2011
The TCU Horned Frogs entered Saturday's game against Colorado State ranked No. 19 in the BCS rankings and needing to move up.

After the dust settled on a wild weekend, TCU's 24-point win turned into a rankings loss.

The Frogs' hopes for a third consecutive BCS berth took perhaps a devastating hit when the BCS computers revealed Sunday night that TCU (9-2) actually dropped one spot to No. 20. TCU must finish in the top 16 in the final rankings in two weeks to have any hope of earning an automatic BCS berth.

For the complete BCS rankings, click here.

TCU doesn't play again until its season finale on Dec. 3 at home against UNLV (2-8), which will do little to strengthen its case. The Frogs are assured of at least sharing the Mountain West Conference championship and will win it outright with a victory over the Rebels.

If TCU did somehow get the help it needs from teams ranked ahead of it and did crack the top 16, the Frogs would still need help from Houston, which moved up to No. 8. TCU needs Houston to lose Friday at Tulsa, which would make the Golden Hurricane (7-3) the Conference USA West division champ and put it in the C-USA title game. If Houston beats Tulsa, TCU would then need the Cougars (11-0) to lose in the C-USA championship game. If the Cougars win out, they will play in the school's first BCS game.

The BCS grants an automatic berth to a non-AQ conference champion if it finishes in the top 16 and ahead of the champion of an AQ conference. Houston and TCU are virtually assured of finishing ahead of the champion of the Big East, which does not have a team ranked in the top 25 of the BCS standings.

After Sunday's rankings, however, it appears TCU's brief flirtation with the BCS will end as nothing more.

Likely TCU bowl destination: Independence bowl in Shreveport, La.

Charmed? Latest polls tough on Frogs

November, 20, 2011
It appears the TCU Horned Frogs' bid for a third consecutive BCS berth won't gain much steam this week. The Frogs entered Saturday's 34-10 win over Colorado State ranked No. 19 in the BCS rankings as well as in the AP poll and coaches poll.

They remain at No. 19 in the AP poll and moved up one spot to No. 18 in the coaches poll. The latest BCS rankings will be revealed this evening on ESPN.

To earn an automatic BCS berth, TCU must finish in the top 16 in the BCS rankings, and it still must have Houston, which controls its destiny, lose its final regular-season game at Tulsa next Friday or in the Conference USA title game. Even if the Cougars lose, rising to No. 16 will require plenty of help from the teams ahead of TCU.

Whether at No. 18 or 19 in the BCS standings, the Frogs will have a tough time moving up on their own merit considering their season finale in two weeks is against UNLV. Still, getting to No. 16 is not impossible.

Consider that (rankings are current coaches poll) No. 17 Clemson plays at No. 13 South Carolina, No. 16 Michigan plays host to Ohio State and No. 15 Kansas State plays host to upset-minded Iowa State.

Charmed? First BCS shoe falls for Frogs

November, 18, 2011
The No. 19 TCU Horned Frogs put themselves in BCS contention with last week's win at then-No. 5 Boise State. They need help on two fronts and they got it from one Thursday night. No. 20 Southern Miss blew its golden chance with a stunning loss at downtrodden Alabama-Birmingham, 34-31.

That loss, Southern Miss' second of the season, will bump it down the BCS rankings, leaving No. 11 Houston (10-0) as the Frogs' lone hurdle to a possible third consecutive BCS berth. The Cougars play host to SMU Saturday and ESPN GameDay will be there. A Houston loss in either of its two remaining regular-season games (at Tulsa, Nov. 25) or in the Conference USA championship game could be enough to vault the Frogs into position for an automatic BCS berth.

TCU (8-2) has to take care of its own business. The Frogs play at home Saturday against Colorado State (3-6) and then finish the season two weeks later at home against UNLV (2-7).

For a more detailed look at TCU's road to the BCS click here.

SMU faces challenge with fan support

October, 20, 2011

Trevor Matich talks about how SMU needs to energize its fan base to look more attractive to the BCS.

Stakes big for Oregon, Pac-12 versus LSU

August, 29, 2011

Nobody likes sounding relentlessly redundant, but if the story doesn't change the story doesn't change.

For all that Oregon has accomplished in two years under Chip Kelly, it has flopped against highly rated nonconference foes who have had extra time to prepare for the Ducks high-tempo, spread-option attack.

  • In 2009, the Ducks opened at Boise State. While that game is most remembered for LaGarrette Blount's post-game meltdown in Kelly's debut, Boise State fans will be glad to remind you the Broncos held the Ducks to 31 yards rushing in a 19-8 victory.
  • The Ducks righted themselves dramatically in 2009 and earned a berth opposite Ohio State in the Rose Bowl. But the Buckeyes held the Ducks to 260 yards in a 26-17 victory
  • And, finally, in the national title game against Auburn, the Ducks only scored 19 points. They gained 449 yards but only 75 on the ground.
[+] EnlargeChip Kelly
Kirby Lee/Image of Sport/US PresswireOregon coach Chip Kelly and the Ducks would score a big win for the Pac-12 with a defeat of LSU on Saturday.
Those three games, against which there is little counter argument, other than the Ducks Pac-10 success, have inspired this sort of analysis: Oregon needs to get more physical.

If you have ever played football, you surely understand that when a football player has his physicality doubted, well, that's pretty galling.

Before all you Ducks get bent over this, keep in mind that Kelly has been a stand-up guy about this very point. In all three instances, he admitted the Ducks got beat at the point of attack. Further, during preseason camp, I asked running back LaMichael James about what went wrong against Auburn.

"Their defensive line was overpowering our offensive line," he said. "That was just the way it was."

How do you think this goes over with a Ducks offensive lineman? Department of "Truth Hurts."

Here's the good news: Oregon can end such talk on Saturday. All it has to do is take it to No. 4 LSU, a program as physically talented in terms of future NFL potential as any in the nation.

That's the micro-economic level of the super-cool-awesomeness of this marquee season-0pener in Cowboys Stadium.

Any one else curious to see what Kelly's got up his sleeve to counter LSU's extra prep time to school itself on the Ducks misdirection?

The macro-economic level is this: Pac-12 versus SEC. One game for a regular-season's worth of trash talking.

You might have heard the SEC has experienced some football success of late. On occasion, SEC fans will take a moment to remind you of it. There is a rumor, in fact, that five consecutive seasons have ended with a happy ending in some SEC outpost, the latest against the Pac-12's newest top-dog.

That would be Oregon.

To be honest, last January, I though Oregon was going to pound Auburn. I didn't think a two-player team -- no matter how good those two players were -- could beat the Kelly and the Ducks. The last time I had such a strong hunch about a game and was so completely wrong was when Washington pushed Miami around in 2000. (This is not to say I've had a long run of correct strong hunches about games before January. They just don't come by very often before marquee matchups).

Even if you throw out the stakes specific to Oregon and the Pac-12, this game has huge meaning nationally. The winner could -- should, in my mind -- rise to No. 1 in both major polls. Voters should reward the winner for showing the courage to play this game, which is great for college football at a time college football needs something great to distract fans from a stunning onslaught of scandals. A couple of which, rumor has it, might involve these two teams, territory we're choosing not to explore at this moment.

So if Oregon wins, it could rise to No. 1. If LSU has a successful season in the rugged SEC West, that win will grow in value. But even if LSU falters, the Ducks will be in position to play again for the national title if they keep winning.

Further, the odds aren't terrible that Oregon could arrive at Stanford on Nov. 12 and we find ourselves eyeballing two unbeaten teams. It could be a One-Two matchup even. At the worst, if the Ducks and Cardinal face each other without a blemish on either slate, it will be the biggest Pac-12 game in years (last year's game also matched unbeaten teams but was much earlier -- Oct. 2 -- in the season). If Stanford prevailed, it also could crow about beating the team that beat LSU and likely would play for the national title if it finished 12-0.

If Oregon loses to LSU, the Ducks could still have a great season. They could rally and perhaps get back into the national title hunt. And there's always the Rose Bowl, hardly a terrible destination. One nonconference game can't completely make or break a season.

But an Oregon victory would give the program a level of early-season gravitas it has never had. It would silence any remaining doubters, both of the Ducks and the Pac-12.

So, yes, you have heard correctly: This game is very, very big.

SMU head coach favors plus-one playoff

July, 25, 2011
FORT WORTH, Texas -- When asked about his thoughts on the current BCS system at the Texas High School Coaches Association Coaching School, SMU head coach June Jones jokingly said, "I'm supposed to have no comment on that."

But Jones did make a few comments on the matter, supporting a one-game playoff after what is currently the BCS Championship game.

"Let's look at the last three years at that final game that they claimed was the national championship," Jones said. "If there was one more game, there would be no discussion on who the best team was every year. It seems to me there is enough to just formulate a system using the existing bowls and rotate it for that one extra game."

If the non-automatic qualifying Mustangs could put together an undefeated season, like Boise State, TCU and Utah have done in recent years, they would automatically be put into the argument of teams to test the winner of the BCS No. 1-vs.-No. 2 game with out having to have that automatic bid.

While he didn't stick with "no comment," Jones gave his opinion with a few laughs and the disclaimer that he was trying to dodge the question as best he could.

"That's just me, but that will get shot down I assure you," Jones said.

BCS, June Jones

Cotton Bowl should go BCS or bust

March, 30, 2011

The Cotton Bowl made a move out of its namesake two years ago in favor of The Spaceship in Arlington, Cowboys Stadium, which snatched the title of America's best stadium when it opened before the 2009 season.

The bowl's intentions were clear, but bowl chairman Tommy Bain made it official before this past season's Cotton Bowl, which served as a dry run for the Super Bowl a month later for Fox television.

"We're really preparing now for year 2012 to position ourselves to make a compelling argument that we should be in the mix at the top of the college football landscape," Bain told The Dallas Morning News.

That means BCS. The Cotton Bowl, once among college football's best bowls, slipped out of the elite rotation when the BCS was created in 1998. It needed a landscape change to make it happen, and adding a sixth BCS game could have potentially been a bit much for college football fans, stretching the definition of the "top of the college football landscape."

But on Tuesday, that landscape change came in the form of a jaw-dropping report from the Fiesta Bowl that led to CEO John Junker being fired and the Fiesta Bowl's status suddenly in flux.

"It is expected that all parties contracted with the BCS will live up to the highest standards. We do not wish to be associated with entities that believe otherwise," BCS director Bill Hancock said Tuesday.

Hancock also noted that there will be an investigation into the Fiesta Bowl's future as a member of the BCS, and that bowl officials had been notified to "demonstrate why it should remain a BCS game.”

"We're dead serious," Hancock told CBSSports.com after the comments were originally made.

Publicly, the Cotton Bowl played coy on Tuesday, making no public comments.

But if the Cotton Bowl is really, truly bent on busting into the BCS, the next few months should be filled with as much politicking as possible. It may not get another opportunity.

Though the bowl's status as an elite game on the field changed, its hospitality to players and media off it didn't. The Fiesta Bowl is on par with the Cotton in both areas, but besides its desert locale, doesn't offer much more. A Big 12 tie-in and a Dallas locale -- especially for a BCS game -- can almost guarantee big crowds. Texas A&M sold its allotment of 2,600 student tickets for this past season's game in 90 minutes.

It's perhaps a bit poetic that the stadium that hosts the Fiesta Bowl, University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., had its unofficial title as America's best stadium stripped by Jerry World and its gargantuan big screen that stretches between the 20-yard lines and broadcasts 70-foot-tall high-definition images.

There are hurdles, sure. ESPN owns the rights to all five BCS games through 2013 and the national championship through 2014, thanks to a separate deal with the Rose Bowl, which hosts the title game in 2014. The Cotton Bowl is contracted with Fox through 2014 and holds an SEC tie-in already, whereas the Big 12's BCS tie-in would simply hand off from the Fiesta to the Cotton.

But every TV network and conference has its price, and the bowl could earn that money back quickly if buying out of both meant a sure spot in the BCS National Championship Game rotation. Plus, that's three years. Usurping the Fiesta Bowl's spot would likely be for the foreseeable future. There's no doubt it's worth it, if only for the prestige, money aside.

Should the Fiesta Bowl lose its status, those two factors could push another bowl into the BCS slot and keep the Cotton Bowl where it is. But no bowl can match the current stage and history of the Cotton, which has been played annually since 1937.

The Cotton Bowl talked a big game this winter before hosting its second game and first ever in prime time, a game that moved from its usual Jan. 1 slot all the way to Jan. 7 this year. The innuendo and flirting reached a fever pitch.

But if the Cotton Bowl is truly serious about gunning for a BCS bid, now isn't the time for silence and diplomacy.

Now is the time for aggressive action.

Idaho coach did not vote TCU No. 1

January, 12, 2011
The mystery as to which coach voted TCU No. 1 has centered around Idaho coach Robb Akey, because he had ranked TCU No. 1 at the end of the regular season.

But it was not Akey.

"It was me at the end of the regular season and I thought they deserved to be there, so I voted him there for a reason because they continued to answer the challenge," Akey said. "But I’m a team guy and we said the winner of the national game would be No. 1."

Akey said his preseason poll had Alabama, Ohio State and Boise State ahead of the Horned Frogs, who came in at No. 4. So when the other three teams lost, Akey put TCU at No. 1 and didn't see anything that he felt should change his mind.

"I was surprised I was the only one in the previous poll that voted them No. 1," Akey said. "I would have thought a few folks would have given them the attention and respect for that."

Akey was impressed by TCU's performance in the Rose Bowl.

"I thought they played their tails off," Akey said. "I was excited for them. I thought that was one of the hotter teams in the country they beat that day too in Wisconsin. You go in and win the granddaddy of them all, that’s a big deal."

So who could have done it? We still don't know. But it wasn't Akey,.