Saturday, May 02, 2009

Morning In America

Barack Obama has cruised through the first one hundred days of his presidency, and taken the country on a whirlwind ride of his vision of how the country should be. He said he would close Guantanamo. He did it. He encouraged Chrysler to file for bankruptcy. Done. He wanted to get some cool pictures of his plane flying past the Statue of Liberty. Check. What else could he do?
How about get a playoff system for college football?
During the Monday Night Football broadcast the night before his election in November, Obama said, "I think it's about time we had playoffs in college football. I'm fed up with these computer rankings and this that and the other. Get eight teams -- the top eight teams right at the end. You got a playoff. Decide on a national champion." Now, seven months later and a whole lot of history later, lawmakers pressed college football officials to switch the Bowl Championship Series to a playoff, with one Texas Republican likening the current system to communism and joking it should be labeled "BS," not "BCS." BCS officials were not amused. John Swofford, the coordinator of the BCS, rejected the idea of switching to a playoff, telling a House panel that it would threaten the existence of celebrated bowl games. This list would include the Allstate Sugar Bowl, which used to be the Nokia Sugar Bowl back in the day. The tradition of corporate sponsorship could be seriously marred by any actual competition. The five BCS games are just the tip of the bowl iceberg. Twenty-seven other games are played from late December to that first week in January, and BCS officials insist that there is no way to insure the integrity of such classics as the Meineke Car Care Bowl if teams were allowed to play each other for a chance to win the still somewhat arbitrary National Championship.

The world has changed a lot in just one hundred days. The Mountain West Conference, which currently does not get an automatic bid to the BCS, could experience a little of that redistribution of wealth that has been in the wind for the past few months. What if the National Champion was the best team, not just the best sponsored? In a unique show of bipartisan cooperation, Democratic Bobby Rush and Republican Joe Barton of Texas have introduced legislation that would prevent the NCAA from calling a game a national championship unless it's the outcome of a playoff, bluntly warned Mister Swofford: "If we don't see some action in the next two months, on a voluntary switch to a playoff system, then you will see this bill move."
So let it be written. So let it be done.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I, for one, am just grateful that we as a nation are finally talking about this, out in the open, in the light of day. It's been an open secret for far too long, just festering away. It will be a good day in America when we finally have a college-football playoff. Some people reading this will think I am being sarcastic. I am not.