This year the University of Alabama and the University of Texas, ranked Nos. 1 and 2, will compete for the title on Jan. 7 in Pasadena, Calif. Texas Christian University (TCU) and the Boise State University which, like Texas and Alabama, are undefeated and rank high in all polls will be watching from the sidelines of the Fiesta Bowl.
A friend emailed today about the horrible play of the Cowboys yesterday and the fact that TCU got screwed by the BCS. He noticed what thousands of tweeters did last night. After the BCS bowl announcements on FOX, which owns the rights to broadcast all the BCS Bowl games, the word spread quickly. TCU and Boise State got screwed by the "Bowl Championship Series".
My buddy Longshanks, who finished in the top 500 on the espn College Picks regular season contest this season, emailed Mr. Wolf :
Think about this. Alabama and Texas are in the title game. Oregon and Ohio State are locked in the Rose Bowl. That leaves Florida, Iowa, and Ga Tech as the other BCS Conference top teams. Now imagine Cincinnati beats Florida, TCU beats Iowa, and Boise State beats Ga Tech. That would really screw things up for the BCS committee. I don't think that Florida will lose to Cincinnati, but I do think TCU and Boise could beat up on Iowa and Ga Tech.
An oft-pitched alternative to the BCS is a playoff system. "Unless you broaden the base and let the teams in the last game win their way there, you are never going to have a true national champion," says my Representative in Congress, Rep. Joe Barton. Barton is sponsoring legislation aimed at forcing a playoff. Mr. Barton's district includes part of Fort Worth, where TCU is located.
The House Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection subcommittee is expected to vote this week on Mr. Barton's bill, which would effectively force a national playoff system by 2012. It would do so by making it an "unfair or deceptive" trade practice for anyone to market or promote a "national championship game" unless the game is "the final game of a single elimination post-season playoff system."
BCS Executive Director Bill Hancock's only lame response, "With everything going in the country right now, doesn't Congress have more important things to do?" This issue has drawn the attention of President Barack Obama, who said late last year that "we should be creating a playoff system" for college football.
I have said it before, and I will say again, this issue like every other issue is ALWAYS ABOUT THE MONEY.
Mr. Barton and other critics also say that in distributing its sizable revenue, the BCS reserves outsize shares for the six original conferences and the independent University of Notre Dame. "Our nation has weightier issues to tackle, but this issue merits some attention because college football is a billion-dollar enterprise that affects schools' funding for athletic programs, scholarships and capital projects," said Matt Sanderson, one of the founders of Playoff PAC, a group pushing for a new selection system. "That's important in this economy."
BCS officials and their allies argue that any move to a playoff system could adversely affect the numerous post-season bowl games. Even a four-team playoff would inevitably be expanded, they say, potentially leading to poor attendance, a shift of post-season games to campus locations from neutral sites, the death of the bowls and lost jobs.
JOHN D. MCKINNON and DARREN EVERSON of the Wall Street Journal contributed to this entry