November 17, 2009
It may come as a surprise to some readers to learn that the BCS has no centralized "brain" -- far from the monolithic ruler of the sport that it sometimes seems, the Series is only a loose cabal of conference commissioners whose primary duties remain with their individual leagues, with one commissioner taking over the top chair every two years. There's never been anyone at the top devoted exclusively to the BCS itself, until this morning:
BCS officials have selected Bill Hancock to become the first executive director of the postseason system. BCS coordinator and Atlantic Coast Conference commissioner John Swofford announced Hancock's promotion from administrator to his new position on Tuesday.
Hancock will replace the BCS coordinator. The coordinator position has rotated on a two-year basis between conference commissioners since the Bowl Championship Series was implemented in 1998.
The change undoubtedly comes with the increased pressure from Congress this summer and the formal organization of an anti-BCS lobby in Washington to accelerate the Series' demise, which has turned its defense into a full-time job. It also undoubtedly comes to the relief of the conference commissioners like Swofford and the Big Ten's Jim Delany, who have had to take time out of their actual jobs to deal with intensifying media scrutiny, get berated by grandstanding Congressmen and generally come across as villains for defending a client most people -- including quite a few of the most high-profile coaches and the advocate-in-chief -- judged "guilty" years ago. That requires a full-time, public, marketing savvy cheerleader to hammer home talking points like "Every game is a playoff," and Hancock has been one of the few full-time employees the BCS has ever had in his mostly behind-the-scenes capacity as spokesman and administrator the last four years.
Hancock stands, then, to become the first true "Face of the BCS" in the media when he officially takes over in January. Good luck with that, Bill, and we promise we don't bite. Very hard.