December 03, 2005
Smokey Joe versus the BCS
Despondent because your team may not play for the national championship in college football? Sad because said championship is called a "mythical" one in the first place? Do you feel that your life will lack purpose until Division IA football becomes like any other sport and as a postseason playoff to determine a champion? Well, buck up, because Smokey Joe Barton is on the case!
A House Energy and Commerce subcommittee, charged with regulating America's sports industry, announced Friday it will conduct a hearing on the BCS next week, after this season's bowl matchups are determined.
"College football is not just an exhilarating sport, but a billion-dollar business that Congress cannot ignore," said committee Chairman Joe Barton, a Texas Republican. Barton's panel is separate from the House Government Reform panel that tackled steroids in baseball.
The committee announcement called the hearing, scheduled for next Wednesday, a "comprehensive review" of the BCS and postseason college football.
"Too often college football ends in sniping and controversy, rather than winners and losers," Barton said. "The current system of determining who's No. 1 appears deeply flawed."
The first order of business will be to determine why there is no college football PAC funnelling money into Barton's reelection campaign.
Barton said he does not have legislation in mind to force a change, but said he hopes congressional hearings will spur discussion and improvements. It won't be the first time Congress has looked at the BCS. In 2003, the Senate probed whether the system was unfairly tilted against smaller schools.
What he's really hoping for is a little free publicity and the chance to do some gratuitous grandstanding against a system that nobody really likes or can reasonably defend.
Look, I dislike the BCS as much as anyone, especially since the team I root for is in a non-BCS conference. I'm perfectly happy to see it trashed. But even I, big-government-loving, BCS-hating liberal that I am, don't think this is a job for Congress, just as I don't think Major League Baseball's steroid policy is a job for John McCain. It would be nice if the next reporter who writes about this would ask ol' Smokey Joe why he thinks it is.
Posted by Charles Kuffner on December 03, 2005 to Other sports
"...A House Energy and Commerce subcommittee, charged with regulating America's sports industry ..."
Is this a leftover from Mr. Bill and Mr. Gaya, or did the Republicans think this one up all on their own?
BTW, Smokey Joe has been a favorite topic here for awhile, and pollution issues raise the topic of energy costs. Has anybody had their gas charges re-calculated lately? Loren Steffy at the Chron business blog said his went up from 5 cents CCF to $1.28.
We haven't been hit with that just yet where I'm at, but do the power companies do it sneaky, like the Central Appraisal Districts for tax assessments, i.e., hit only 1/3 of the homeowners and renters at one time?
I agree, this isn't a job for Congress.
The BCS would end tomorrow if enough of the individual institutions that make up the NCAA and the BCS decided to make it so.
I happen to have grown up in Eugene Oregon and consequently I'm an Oregon fan as the little liberal arts college I went to didn't have a football team. And so I've seen Oregon come out on the short end of the BCS stick twice in the past 5 years. Well, presumably twice as all the smart money seems to think that the Fiesta Bowl will pick two 9-2 teams, Notre Dame and Ohio State over 10-1 Oregon in a couple hours. The real hosing they got was a few years ago when Nebraska got picked to play in the title game over them and ended up getting crushed by Miami when Oregon went on to demolish Colorado in the Fiesta. Most impartial fans wanted to see a Miami-Oregon game that year.
Yet Oregon itself is to blame for this as much as anything else as long as its college president along with the others in the PAC-10 chose to go along with this BCS silliness.
Fortunately for the BCS this year there doesn't appear to be any real travesties in the making. No one can argue with a Texas-USC title game. They are obviously a step above everyone else this year. No non-BCS teams ran the table this year like Utah, Louisville, and Boise State did last year. And no really horrible BCS teams appear likely to squeak in like Pitt did last year. The Big East is weak but West Virginia looks like a legit team. In fact, the lowest ranking BCS team is probably going to be Florida State.
It's unfortunate that things will work out OK this year for everyone but Oregon. Becuse that just takes the heat off. What I wouldn't have given to see a Big 10 and SEC or ACC team run the table and leave the BCS with 4 undefeated teams this year.
I recently read that Smokey Joe was actually on the right side of an issue (it had to do with nuclear nonproliferation) for once in his career, and nearly fell out of my chair. Even more surprising, he was opposing one of the many bad provisions in the Energy bill! Glad to see it wasn't the start of a trend (he apparently had no problem with the other 999 bad provisions, natch) so I can keep on hating him.
What the heck ever happened to small-government, pro-free-enterprise Republicans anyhow?