Fourth & Long

Published 10:09 am Thursday, May 7, 2009

If you have been paying attention to the world of sports over the last week, you already know that current BCS coordinator and ACC Commissioner John Swofford and Alamo Bowl president Derrick Fox went before a House subcommittee last Friday for what was supposed to be a meeting of the minds.

That simple meeting, however, quickly turned into an interrogation and led up to a condemnation of the current BCS system. While I will be the last person to defend the BCS or its supposedly fair system of selecting a National Champion, I do take issue with the way our nations leaders used their position of power to bully Swofford and Fox while hiding their own personal agendas.

Leading the assault was Republican Representative Joe Barton from Texas. During the so called meeting Barton compared the BCS to communism, claiming that it was unfixable. Had Barton known anything about communism, he would have recognized that not only is the BCS not like communism, the lobbied alternative that would transition the current bowl games into a playoff and spread the revenue evenly amongst all of the NCAA conferences is in theory almost exactly like communism.

Barton also joked that the Bowl Championship Series was really the Bowl Exhibition Series and might want to drop the C altogether and simply call itself the BS. The comment was witty and even funny.

Kudos to his aides for thinking that one up, maybe after they teach the Republican from Texas about communism they can all go out for drinks and a night of improv at their local comedy club.

In the meantime let’s try and keep comedy to the professionals and out of House subcommittee meetings. Comedians like Katt Williams are funnier and my tax dollars aren’t paying for their stage and time.

Barton, of course, is a fan of football; certainly can’t knock him for that. More importantly he is a fan of the Big 12 and from Texas (I could so knock him for that but won’t today).

Think back to last year and you will remember Texas coach Mack Brown crying and whining into every microphone he could find that his team was being unfairly left out of the National Championship game. The Long Horns and their fans are still bitter about being snubbed and their influence behind Barton’s tongue lashing last week was not missed by those paying attention.

Personal agenda or not, the biggest issue I have with all of this hoopla coming from our nation’s capitol regarding college football is… why does it matter to them?

Our economy is in horrible shape. Our auto industry if falling apart. The environment is becoming worse daily. Our prisons are overpopulated. Shouldn’t these be the issued for which our politicians are having meetings?

Instead they wish to focus their attention to a lucrative system that just signed a new four- year deal with ESPN worth $125 million per year. The BCS system is flawed yes, but not broken. That is of course until Congress gets their hands on it. Give them enough time and I’m sure they can change all that.

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