This changes everything.

Joe Barton’s BCS-you-can’t-call-it-a-title-game bill moves out of his subcommittee.


UPDATE: The BCS is doomed, Andy Staples tells ‘ya.  Why?  Because a lawyer representing the Mountain West and Boise State says so.  Oh.


UPDATE #2: Ray Ratto’s take on the situation is spot on, though.

… What we want, essentially, is to know how much money has been generated from all sources, and how and to whom it has been distributed. We want to know how much money the TV smart folks project a playoff system would generate, and how many schools would benefit from that system.

What we suspect is that the bowl system makes more money, but it is distributed to more schools, which means that the shares for the largest schools and conferences are smaller. What we suspect is that the playoff system would hasten the reduction of the FCS (big-time) football conferences to six — the ACC, Big 12, Big 10, Big East, Pacific 10 and SEC. What we suspect is that the conferences would then re-align to cherry-pick the few strong schools from outside the circle and perhaps eject some of the weaker operations inside it.

But “we suspect” is a pretty thin reed to swing from. What we need out of the BCS Bill is not necessarily a bill, because the laws of unintended consequences come into play when we don’t know what’s being voted on. What we need is the hard and real information, as opposed to the “I want a playoff because my school got screwed” crowd or the “I want the BCS because my school didn’t get screwed” crowd.

The bill would still be stupid because it eats up finite time and resources on something that is essentially trivial, and it would be stupid because it would further convince people who don’t love college football that our politicians really are the intellectual lightweights and dilettantes we suspect them to be.

It could, though, provide the actual working data upon which we can all draw and make actual learned judgments on that trivial issue. We could see why people perceive a value in the BCS that its opponents do not. We could actually learn something.

If this political farce leads to a consolidation of D-1 power conferences and teams, then in the end Joe Barton will have done the Republic a favor. Although it won’t be the one he intended. Which will make it even better.
UPDATE #3: Tony Barnhart makes an amusing point at Barton’s expense.

… And by the way, if I live in the district of Texas Republican Joe Barton, I have to wonder what he is doing with his time. In sponsoring the legislation, Barton said: “It’s December and the BCS is in chaos again!” Really? Alabama and TEXAS are playing for the BCS title. Is old Joe saying TCU should have been in the game?


Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Political Wankery

5 responses to “This changes everything.

  1. Brandon

    I’ve only voted for one Democrat in my life, but I have to give John Barrow some credit there, he said what I’d have said, what a waste of taxpayer time and money, of course that could be said for 99% of everything they do.


  2. The Realist

    I’m on board with the Good Senator’s playoff proposal. Radically change the entire landscape of college football, or do nothing at all. A half-ass playoff for the sake of having a playoff will do nothing to add to the mystique, uniqueness, or quality of college football as it is today.

    It takes massive conference realignment (for football only or for all sports?), the forfeiture of conference championship games (of which the SEC in particular makes a ton of money… the ACC… not so much), and kicking out 1/3 of FBS teams.

    All or nothing.


  3. rbubp

    Dear Tony Barnhart,

    If you lived in the same state as Barton, much less district, you would not be questioning if the fine gentleman is wasting his time. You would know, by all cultural indications, values, and belief systems available to you in the great state of Texas, that he is not.

    In Texas it is practically an academic requirement to play football in high school. He’s wasting his time? Sh*t, that’s like saying he needs to stop eating all that barbecue so he can go vegetarian. They just roll like that there–football is politics and government and academic and entertainment and expected and every other thing except “sport,” which is more like tennis or basketball.

    Decide for y’selves how you feel about that, but time-wasting is relative.


  4. Prov

    What would this bill mean for the AP?