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House panel passes college football playoff bill

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WASHINGTON (AP)—Dismissing complaints from some members that Congress had more pressing matters, a House subcommittee approved legislation Wednesday aimed at forcing college football to switch to a playoff system to determine its national champion.

 

“We can walk across the street and chew gum at the same time,” said the subcommittee chairman, Illinois Democrat Bobby Rush, one of the bill’s co-sponsors. “We can do a number of things at the same time.”

 

The legislation, which still faces steep odds, would ban the promotion of a postseason NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision game as a national championship unless it results from a playoff. The measure passed by voice vote in the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s commerce, trade and consumer protection subcommittee, with one audible “no,” from Rep. John Barrow, D-Ga.

 

“With all due respect, I really think we have more important things to spend our time on,” Barrow said before the vote, although he stressed he didn’t like the current Bowl Championship Series, either.

 

The BCS selections announced last weekend pit two unbeaten teams, No. 1 Alabama and No. 2 Texas, in the Jan. 7 national title game. Three other undefeated teams—TCU, Cincinnati and Boise State—will play in a BCS bowl game, but not for the championship.

 

“What can we say—it’s December and the BCS is in chaos again,” said the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Joe Barton of Texas, the top Republican on the House Energy and Commerce Committee. He said the BCS system is unfair and won’t change unless prompted by Congress.

 

The legislation, which goes to the full committee, would make it illegal to promote a national championship game “or make a similar representation,” unless it results from a playoff.

 

There is no Senate version, although Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, has pressed for a Justice Department antitrust investigation into the BCS.

 

Shortly after his election last year, Barack Obama said there should be a playoff system.

 

In a statement before the vote, BCS executive director Bill Hancock said, “With all the serious matters facing our country, surely Congress has more important issues than spending taxpayer money to dictate how college football is played.”

 

Yet Barrow wasn’t alone in criticizing his colleagues’ priorities; Reps. Zach Space, D-Ohio, and Bart Stupak, D-Mich., made similar arguments. Space said that with people facing tough times, the decision to focus on college football sends the “wrong message.”

 

The legislation has a tough road ahead, given the wide geographic representation and political clout of schools in the six conferences that have automatic BCS bowl bids—the ACC, Big East, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-10 and SEC.

 

The current college bowl system features a championship game between the two top teams in the BCS standings, based on two polls and six computer rankings. Eight other schools play in the Orange, Sugar, Fiesta and Rose bowls.

 

Under the BCS, the champions of those six big conference have automatic bids, while other conferences don’t. Those six conferences also receive far more money than the other conferences.

 

you'd think they have better thing to do. :wacko:

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you'd think they have better thing to do. :wacko:

 

 

What a waste of time and energy . .

 

That all depends on whether you want to fixate on the notion that they're meddling in decision making that affects a game that young men play or whether you want to recognize that the BCS is a multi-billion dollar business that may or may not be operating in manner that creates artificial barriers of entry and otherwise acts in violation of anti-trust laws. I'm no expert on the law in this matter but arguments made to this affect by those who seem more so have made sense to me.

Edited by detlef

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That all depends on whether you want to fixate on the notion that they're meddling in decision making that affects a game that young men play or whether you want to recognize that the BCS is a multi-billion dollar business that may or may not be operating in manner that creates artificial barriers of entry and otherwise acts in violation of anti-trust laws. I'm no expert on the law in this matter but arguments made to this affect by those who seem more so have made sense to me.

 

That also assumes that they are behaving in an illegal manner that would require enforcement/ intervention of congress.

 

It isnt like the BCS is ASKING for help or a TARP bailout. They are doing juuuust fine monetarily. Now if they actually had a COURT case that reflected a violation of an anti-trust law, that is another issue . . .

 

I just dont see anthing like that here . . .

 

PS- I HATE the BCS system. But I dont see how Congress can fix it . . :wacko:

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That also assumes that they are behaving in an illegal manner that would require enforcement/ intervention of congress.

 

It isnt like the BCS is ASKING for help or a TARP bailout. They are doing juuuust fine monetarily. Now if they actually had a COURT case that reflected a violation of an anti-trust law, that is another issue . . .

 

I just dont see anthing like that here . . .

 

PS- I HATE the BCS system. But I dont see how Congress can fix it . . :wacko:

The bit about a court case needing to proceed congressional intervention is a good point. Assuming, of course, that there's no precedent for congress stepping in and breaking up a monopoly before someone specifically challenges it.

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The bit about a court case needing to proceed congressional intervention is a good point. Assuming, of course, that there's no precedent for congress stepping in and breaking up a monopoly before someone specifically challenges it.

 

That also assumes that the BCS is a monopoly. Schools have the OPTION of either being d-1 and offering scholarships or they can classify as D2 or D3. I am not aware that schools are FORCED to either

 

1.) be part of a specific level of collegiate competition

or

2.) Field a collegiate football team.

 

I am seriously asking as I dont know, how does the BCS qualify as a monopoly?

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That also assumes that the BCS is a monopoly. Schools have the OPTION of either being d-1 and offering scholarships or they can classify as D2 or D3. I am not aware that schools are FORCED to either

 

1.) be part of a specific level of collegiate competition

or

2.) Field a collegiate football team.

 

I am seriously asking as I dont know, how does the BCS qualify as a monopoly?

The BCS and the NCAA are not the same thing. D-1 FBS, D-1 FCS, D-2, D-3, that's all part of the NCAA and has nothing to do with the BCS. That's why the winner of the game between TX and Bama is going to be the BCS Champ, not the NCAA Champ. Here in NC, App St. fans jokingly make a big deal about how, for 3 years in a row, they were the only NCAA football champion at the D-1 level. The BCS is an invention of basically TV networks. Now, again, I'm not an expert on the subject of monopolies and such and am just essentially repeating arguments I've heard.

 

However, there are plenty of teams competing in D1 FBS who are not given the option of participating in the BCS. It is not by choice, for instance, that TCU and BSU have to hope for the crumbs to trickle down to them. They are not Notre Dame nor are they in the 6 conferences chosen by the BCS to matter. This is why one could argue that the BCS purposefully paired them against one another rather than against a top notch BCS conference team, to avoid being embarrassed in front of the customer and help protect the monopoly those conferences have. If schools outside the big six continue to show well against the big boys in January, then they may have to bow to public pressure and open things up.

 

There's a lot of money to be had and a lot of teams that are technically in the same division as others for whom artificial barriers are put up preventing them from a shot at it. I would imagine that's where the argument comes in. Again, I don't want to get in any deeper than I should on this because this is certainly not my forte. It just seems like someone could make a pretty reasonable case out of this.

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The BCS and the NCAA are not the same thing. D-1 FBS, D-1 FCS, D-2, D-3, that's all part of the NCAA and has nothing to do with the BCS. That's why the winner of the game between TX and Bama is going to be the BCS Champ, not the NCAA Champ. Here in NC, App St. fans jokingly make a big deal about how, for 3 years in a row, they were the only NCAA football champion at the D-1 level. The BCS is an invention of basically TV networks. Now, again, I'm not an expert on the subject of monopolies and such and am just essentially repeating arguments I've heard.

 

However, there are plenty of teams competing in D1 FBS who are not given the option of participating in the BCS. It is not by choice, for instance, that TCU and BSU have to hope for the crumbs to trickle down to them. They are not Notre Dame nor are they in the 6 conferences chosen by the BCS to matter. This is why one could argue that the BCS purposefully paired them against one another rather than against a top notch BCS conference team, to avoid being embarrassed in front of the customer and help protect the monopoly those conferences have. If schools outside the big six continue to show well against the big boys in January, then they may have to bow to public pressure and open things up.

 

There's a lot of money to be had and a lot of teams that are technically in the same division as others for whom artificial barriers are put up preventing them from a shot at it. I would imagine that's where the argument comes in. Again, I don't want to get in any deeper than I should on this because this is certainly not my forte. It just seems like someone could make a pretty reasonable case out of this.

 

:wacko:

 

A lot of good points here . . but arent BCS ranking devised by a formula that takes "quality of wins" into account? So if TCS beat several ranked teams, they would automatically be in the BCS? Same with any other team?

 

I am not defending the BCS, cause I HATE it and cant wait for it to expire in 2012. I am just challenging the assertion that the BCS is a monopoly and whether a case based on that assertion would have any legal standing.

 

Jeez . . . who knows/cares. When it comes to bowl games I just kick back and enjoy football . . . my division III alma mater might be playing for title in the D-III PLAYOFF SYSTEM fairly soon anyways . . . :D

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