Thursday, November 13, 2008

To BYU Football Team: Throw the Game!

College Football Quiz:

Why should BYU let the University of Utah beat them next weekend?

A) Money. BYU, even with the loss, will earn a reputable bowl bid. A bid with a payout almost big enough to cover their costs (though as reported here, most teams lose money when they go to non-BCS bowl games). But if the U of U wins they will almost certainly be invited to a BCS bowl. This is great news for BYU because the big bucks Utah would earn are shared with the other teams in the Mountain West--in 2004, when the U went to the Fiesta Bowl, BYU made an estimated 1 million for sitting at home.

B) If they publicly let it be known they intend to throw the game, it would put the BCS and the NCAA in the awkward position of acknowledging their system needs revamping to allow conference champions a chance to make it to the big show, even with a loss. If BYU wins, they would be conference champions (please correct me BYU fans if I'm wrong on that) but would still likely lose money going to a post-season game under the current bowl system. And Utah, too, would likely be invited to a second-tier game. If every conference champ had a guaranteed ticket to a top-tier bowl game (or to a playoff and a chance to play their way in), every team would try to win every game.

C) A & B.

D) They shouldn't lose but should do the morally upright thing--try and win--remembering that little Johnny's hopes are riding on their shoulders (along with the hopes of Little Caesars, KSL, Hogi Yogi, Les Schwab, Deseret First Credit Union, Zion's Bank, Omniture, and many other local fans).

Please leave your answer in a comment. All responses are due by game time. Absolutely no late work will be accepted.

Update: an article in BYU's NewsNet reports that the payout for a BCS bowl would be in the 17 million range and an accountant with the athletic department is quoted as saying that the money would all go back into the football and athletic programs. After they throw the game, they should contribute to the university's mission by giving some of that money to the library, or better yet to a general scholarship fund for students with financial need.


Anonymous said...

I may be wrong, but I think if BYU wins, then it's a three-way tie for conference champion between Utah/BYU/TCU (That's assuming BYU beats minor assumption).


Corry Cropper said...

In a 3-way tie, who would be contractually obligated to go the Las Vegas bowl?

Anonymous said...

I think, in the event of a tie, the LVB gets to choose who they'd like. I heard part of a discussion on this during a recent game.


Unknown said...

If BYU, Utah and TCU all end up with one conference loss then it will be a 3-way tie for the MWC crown as Nate said. The Las Vegas Bowl has a contract with the Mountain West through the end of next season that gives them the first pick of any MWC team. If we have a 3-way time, I would put my $ on the LV bowl selecting BYU given the close proximity of the team, the number of Mormons in Vegas, and the fact that BYU would probably be ranked higher than Utah if they win next Saturday.

Steve Dittmore said...

Corry - For what is worth, the same scenario occurred in 2006 when undefeated Boise State played 8-3 Nevada in the final WAC game. BSU won, of course, and went on to beat Oklahoma. Had Nevada won, it would have cost the school close $1.5 million.


Corry Cropper said...

Yes, I watched that game. Thanks for reminding me. I remember how awkward it was when they interviewed the conference commissioner (if memory serves) who was in the uncomfortable position of pretending he wanted it to be a competitive football game. And (again if memory serves) I think that game was pretty close... And they are playing Nevada again this Saturday with almost as much on the line. If all the undefeated teams remain undefeated, it will put a lot of pressure on the BCS and fuel the growing resentment against it.

Anonymous said...

If BYU plays the way they did against TCU or New Mexico, they might enjoy having a "sour grapes" excuse for "throwing the game."