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.