So let’s say I were to ask you what the most important thing our country is facing today.
Most of you would probably respond with the economy and unemployment rates at an all time high.
Perhaps you might mention National Security, securing the nation’s borders, Healthcare reform, or the environment.
So what if I told you that there are members of Congress, specifically Reps. Neil Abercrombie (D-Hawaii), Lynn Westmoreland (R-Ga.) and Mike Simpson (R-Idaho), think that with ALL that Americans are faced with right now how a National Champion is determined in college football should be addressed by Congress.
In case the locations of those Congressmen do not look familiar, they are home to the University of Hawaii, University of Jawjuh… err Georgia and Boise State University. Both Hawaii and Boise State went undefeated during the 2007 regular season. Hawaii was since totally embarrassed in the Sugar Bowl vs. Jawjuh.
The reason that is significant is because, well, all three of those universities feel like they got the shaft in 2007 by being excluded in the National Championship game in 2008.
However, they are not alone as Orrin Hatch, Senator from the state of Utah and graduate of Brigham Young University – the arch rival of the University of Utah who went undefeated during the 2009 NCAA football season also felt as if they got the shaft from the National Championship game.
So they are all taking the matter up with Congress in an attempt to force the NCAA to institute a playoff system all so the system would be “fair” to all participants.
The Bowl Championship Series (BCS), I will admit has its flaws. For instance, the bowls are, with the exception of the National Championship Game, set up to pair one conference vs. another, . But if the object is to determine the best of the best, all the bowls should be set up in some sort of tiered system (Top 10, 11-20, 21-30) where the #1 team in the country faces the #2 team in the country, 3 vs. 4, 5 vs. 6, 7 vs. 8 and so on. Another issue is certain winners of certain conferences, including the SEC, Big 10, Big 12, ACC, PAC-10 and the Big East, have automatic bids to the major BCS bowl games. Don’t even get me started on the whole poll system. How exactly can you rank ANY team that hasn’t even played a down yet? Even though the official BCS poll doesn’t come out until after the season has begun, I feel the Preseason polls are unfairly positioning teams that haven’t proven anything and impacting the BCS poll. The Pre-season polls need to go away. Some BCS conferences don’t even have a championship game. Notre Dame isn’t even a member of a conference, yet can get a BCS bid?
Do you know what all of these teams have in common?
New England Patriots (11-5)
New York Jets (9-7)
Houston Texas (8-8)
Denver Broncos (8-8)
Dallas Cowboys (9-7)
Washington Redskins (8-8)
Chicago Bears (9-7)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9-7)
New Orleans Saints (8-8)
They each had comparable records to their playoff counterparts but yet they were left out of the NFL Playoffs altogether. Divisions within the conferences did not even show equal representation in the playoffs.
Both the AFC East and AFC West each had only one team appear in the 2008 NFL Playoffs (Miami Dolphins; 11-5 and San Diego Chargers; 8-8), while the AFC North and AFC South each had two teams in the playoff (Pittsburgh Steelers, 12-4; Baltimore Ravens, 11-6; Tennessee Titans, 13-3 and Indianapolis Colts; 12-4).
The NFC didn’t show any better equal representation in the 2008 NFL Playoffs with two teams from the NFC East and NFC South (New York Giants, 12-4; Philadelphia Eagles, 9-6; Carolina Panthers, 12-4 and the Atlanta Falcons, 11-5). Like their AFC counterpart, the NFC North (Minnesota Vikings; 10-6) and the NFC West (Arizona Cardinals; 9-7) each had one representative present in the playoff.
Yes, each division had at least one representative, but you are gonna have to really try hard to convince me that the New England Patriots shouldn’t have had a shot at the playoffs with an 11-5 record. What about the Jets, Cowboys, Bears or Saints who each had a better record than some teams that made the Playoffs with an 8-8 record? That system doesn’t seem to bring the best of the best together, and it wouldn’t solve the problems many bicker about regarding the BCS.
How do you solve a problem of a team getting hot at the right time if they DO make the playoff? (Arizona Cardinals, 9-7 made the Super Bowl)
College football has never been so popular and it has yet to meet its threshold. Yes, the BCS needs some tweaking. But how exactly does Congress feel they can fix the issue by forcing a playoff when they can’t even work together to solve the problems they SHOULD be dealing with?
This is how our government works today. Someone gets their feelings hurt… they raise the issue with Congress who in return proposes some new legislation forcing their will upon us and sticking their nose where it doesn’t belong. Forcing the BCS to move to a playoff system will not reinvigorate the economy and lower the tax burden on Americans. It will not strengthen our National Security. It does nothing to improve healthcare or the environment in America. It doesn’t even solve the problems with the BCS itself, it just compounds them.
The only thing it does show is why government is so damn ineffective.