Live Debate: Tigers and the BCS

Marcus: University of Memphis fans are out of their minds if they think the Tigers will be added to the Big East or any BCS conference in the next 10 years.

Kevin: I don’t think it is that far-fetched of an idea. Who would have thought a year ago that the letters UCF would even be brought up in the same breath as the letters BCS? But it’s happening now.

Marcus: UCF built a new stadium. They have invested money into football.

Kevin: UofM athletic director RC Johnson has invested in former Big East commissioner Mike Tranghese as an advisor for future conference realignment. Not to mention, Memphis has one of the best brand names of any non-BCS school and the financial support of the global brand known as FedEx.

Marcus: Brand name? When it comes to football I think Notre Dame, Boise State, and TCU are better. Sure, Memphis has FedEx. But even Fred Smith can’t make Tiger football relevant.

Kevin: You got that wrong, Cannon Smith cannot make Tiger football relevant. But believe me, Fred Smith can. Maybe if Mr. FedEx had his choice of a coach, the program wouldn’t be losing every game by 30 points.

Marcus: His choice? What is he – an athletic director or general manager now? I am still not convinced hiring Porter was a bad move. The mistake was RC not letting Porter bring in the assistant coaches he wanted. Porter had to hire a ‘senior’ staff. I would rather him hire young guys who are hungry to prove themselves instead of guys looking for a check at the end of their careers. It’s up to the administration to show effort in making football important. Once the fans know it’s important to the administration, they will see it and the support will grow.

Kevin: But you don’t think FedEx can help buy Memphis into a BCS conference? College football is all about money, and FedEx is all about sponsoring sports. Why wouldn’t every conference want a long-term sponsorship deal with FedEx?

Marcus: The only thing Tiger football could bring to a BCS conference right now is one extra win for teams to become bowl eligible.

Kevin: There are a number of BCS schools that are bad at football. The last big shakeup in conferences was when the Big East invaded C-USA and not one school they took was known for football. All those schools improved on the gridiron because they were in a BCS conference.

Marcus: But all those schools were making strides in that department, and this time the BCS conferences have made it clear that they want good football teams. Look at Boise State, Utah, and TCU. They haven’t always been powers, but now BCS conferences want them.

Kevin: No doubt, it would be much easier for Memphis to get into a BCS conference if their football team was respectable. Unfortunately, as long as RC Johnson is in charge that isn’t going to happen.

Marcus: And that is why they will not be leaving C-USA anytime soon. Football has to be a part of their plan for conference realignment. They should listen to Tommy West’s rant again. He spoke nothing but the truth.

Kevin: Football will not be a real part of the plan as long as the university’s current leadership is running things. If RC Johnson was in charge of making Lebron James’ decision this summer, it would have aired on CBS College Sports and Lebron would have picked Milwaukee.

Marcus: But he is in charge of Tiger Athletics. And the truth is, he can hire consultants, put together presentations or roll out a FedEx jet. Until he and UofM President Shirley Raines invest in football, the BCS will not come calling.

Kevin: I think you mean until they ‘invest in the helmet.’

Marcus: Pretty much. Don’t ask the fans to do it if the university won’t.

Kevin: What do you think next year’s Tiger football slogan will be?

Marcus: ‘All sales are final.’

Photo by Chase Gustafson. Kevin Cerrito and Marcus Hunter host the award-winning Memphisport Live every Tuesday at 6pm on Sports56 WHBQ. Listen anytime at

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