Welcome back to Three Downs and Punt, where we're standing outside the spring practice fence hitting the inhaler amid a cloud of yellow pollen dust.
Before we get started, a quick shout-out to reader Clint from Columbia, S.C., who wrote in reaction to last week's blog about five potential replacements for the Fiesta Bowl should it be dropped from the BCS:
"Oh dear football gods, please do not take McGee's suggestion that the Chick-fil-A Bowl be a good replacement for the Fiesta Bowl in the BCS. My beloved South Carolina Gamecocks couldn't beat a bad middle school team in that building. Now there would be a year where to win a national championship we'd have to win in that building twice? That gives me night sweats."
I hear you, Clint, but right now your team has bigger issues than hypothetical BCS titles. Like getting your backup quarterback up to speed.
Speaking of BCS hypotheticals ... to the plays!
First Down: Dude, you're the one who brought this up
Last week's column drew the usual reader comments, a 50-50 mix of "This is great" and "You're a moron, go back to auto racing."
But what I didn't see coming, nor likely did any of the other writers who did a "The Cotton Bowl would be an awesome replacement for the Fiesta" column, was the reaction that we got out of BCS executive director Bill Hancock.
In an interview with the Arizona Republic's Craig Harris on March 31, Hancock took aim at the college football media, saying that discussion of eliminating the Fiesta Bowl was "way premature" and that it was "irresponsible" for the media to speculate what game might replace it.
First, I like Mr. Hancock. We've chatted twice for various ESPN The Magazine assignments, during which he admitted that he liked my book about the College World Series. However, he doesn't seem to remember who first brought up the possibility of the Fiesta Bowl losing its BCS status. He did. Just two days earlier.
You can read the entire very strongly worded press release here. But the section that got everyone's attention was this:
To read the rest of Ryan McGee's blog, which includes a new playoff system proposal designed to protect the bowls, become an ESPN Insider today.