this is way beyond "the BCS"
this is the bowl system that's existed for like 3 of my lifetimes
yes, the whole Bowl systems is corrupt.
i don't see how it's not a free market
It's cronyism, there is nothing free market about it. Insiders spending other people's money. they have no risk. If they lose money going to a bowl they aren't bearing the costs.
at the end of the day the deals are made by conferences
they are making deals with their buddies to spend someone else's money. There is no way someone would spend their own money this way. A private business would never agree to those deals. I mean do the Outback people need to fly to BR or Michigan to scout teams? The whine and dine the conference commissioners and AD's with the tax exempt bowl's money.
do you really think there are no consequences
not in a normal business sense. in a free market, if a company called UConn lost money on a deal like the Fiesta Bowl, they would fire the guys that made the deal if it didn't bankrupt them, try and renegotiate something like that. They only consequences for these guys is if they do something really outrageous and caught or break the law.