Monday, November 17, 2008

Big Guv'ment Alert: Obama Promises to Reform College Football!!!

Every year, the BCS poll generates passionate debate among college football fans. Standings in the poll determine which teams ultimately compete for the national championship. Many football fans believe that some form of playoff system should replace the poll. A lot of traditionalists, however, favor the current format with the multiple bowl games. Naturally, corporate sponsors of the bowls also favor the present framework.

Now, Barack Obama has jumped into the fray. Obama says that he prefers a playoff system, and he has promised to do something about it:

“If you’ve got a bunch of teams who play throughout the season, and many of them
have one loss or two losses, there’s no clear decisive winner....We should be
creating a playoff system.

Eight teams. That would be three rounds to determine a national champion. It would add three extra weeks to the season. You could trim back on the regular season. I don’t know any serious fan of college football who has disagreed with me on this. So, I’m going to throw my weight around a little bit. I think it’s the right thing to do.
Obama's comments did not go over well with BCS officials. John Swofford, a representative of the BCS, released a statement responding to Obama:

First of all I want to congratulate newly elected President Obama, and I am glad
he has a passion for college football like so many other Americans. . . .For
now, our constituencies — and I know he understands constituencies — have
settled on the current BCS system, which the majority believe is the best system
yet to determine a national champion while also maintaining the college football
regular season as the best and most meaningful in sports. . . .We certainly
respect the opinions of president-elect Obama and welcome dialogue on what's
best for college football.
My take: Say what? There are just some places government should not go! I have gone back and forth on a playoff system. Although I enjoy the college basketball playoffs, I also respect the tradition and culture of the college football bowls. They are such a part of the holiday season. Playoffs systems seem "neutral" on the surface, but they are not; someone has to pick the teams that compete in the playoffs and then match them in the various rounds. Perhaps more conferences should adopt a playoff system, like the SEC and Big 12 have done. Although that would not completely solve the argument concerning which teams should compete in the championship game, it would at least represent a compromise between competing camps. But a White House solution truly scares me! Imagine Congress holding hearings on BCS reform and steroid usage among athletes for the next four years. That would be truly "special."


FLRN said...

Oh no he didn't did he??? Here I have to agree with you Prof. Last time I checked the White house was located at Pennsylvania Avenue and not Penn State Stadium - this lion really should stick to one arena at a time. Government no matter how well intended, needs to remain focused on the job at hand you know "provide for the common defense and secure the blessing of liberty" yada yada yada....

Pick your battles Mr. President-elect least you lose your focus and diminish the respect we have for your office by displaying a newly found condition of ADHA. What is next horse racing, NASCAR, or Golf? What about the Arms Race, NASA, or the Gulf?

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

As much as I love football, I kinda think this one is not a critical national issue for a public solution.

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