By Bill Smith
While I generally believe that the Opposite of Progress is Congress, I congratulate them for trying to do something that would actually improve the lives of college football fans—toss out the BCS in favor of a true playoff. The current bill introduced by Rep. Barton (R-Tx) would prevent the BCS from calling any game a “Championship” that was not the result of a playoff.
Sporting News Today reported Saturday that Constitutional law expert Jonathan Turley expects the current approach would be challenged in Federal Court if it ever became law. The critical issue according to Turley would be the law “wiping out benefits that have already been paid for by companies.”
As usual, the House may have a good goal but is going at it the wrong way. I think there are a couple of different approaches that would work.
The first approach I would try would be based on a Title IX style condition on federal funding for colleges. A college that participated in an discriminatory post season system would be denied federal funding. By definition, any system that did not provide a playoff of at least the top 8 teams would be discriminatory. As greedy as college presidents are, anything that would cost them cash would get their attention.
The second approach I would try would be the unfair advertising approach. There are a number of truth in labeling laws on the books now. This could be enforced through the FCC which has control of the over the air TV broadcasts. The law must include a provision that the BCS would be required to allow the current and future contracts to be converted to cover the new system. That would avoid Mr. Turley’s concern.
The best system for playoffs would be to involve 8 teams. The first round would be played at the home of the higher ranked team a week or two after the league championship games. The second round would be rotated among the current BCS bowl games. The true championship game would be the following week. If the current college schedule had to be reduced by a game, that would be fine with me. I am not interested in seeing Ohio State beat up on Whats-a-Matter U anyway.
This system would not disrupt the current bowl system. After all, who among us wants to interfere with the long and honored tradition of the Poulan Weed Eater Bowl—Oh that doesn’t exist anymore.
In previous columns I have refuted the arguments of the ivy covered presidents of college football like “an extra game will require the young men to miss too much class time.” To those pin heads, I suggest that since the NCAA Basketball Tournament causes students to miss three or four times the class time of football, maybe we should replace it with one game determined by a BCS type system. That would give us much more time for our St. Patrick’s Day shopping!
That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.
Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits https://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .
My email is [email protected]