Monday, November 17, 2008

Obama To Get Tough On BCS

Anyone watch President-Elect Barack Obama on "60 Minutes" last night? Most of you probably did, since his appearance gave the CBS News weekly magazine program its highest rating since 1999.

He talked about a myriad of topics, from the economy and financial bailouts to national security and the war in Iraq. He also niftily dodged Steve Kroft's repeated questions about any of Obama's impending administration appointees.

As usual, I found him eloquent, knowledgeable and sincere. My only regret is that he has to wait until January 20th to take office.

Besides the real meat-and-potato dialogue of the interview, there were two things I took away from the show: 1) Barack loves him some Michelle and 2) the BCS might want to get started on a playoff system.

During one of his very last public appearances prior to Election Night, Obama told Chris Berman during halftime of Monday Night Football that the one thing he would change about sports is the lack of a playoff in the Football Bowl Series, formerly known as Division 1A. And just as he has stayed true to some of his other campaign promises and pledges, Obama is serious about the need for a playoff system.

In fact, he already seems to have a plan for it: 8 teams, winner take all!

"It would add three extra weeks to the season," said Obama. "You could trim back on the regular season. I don't know any serious fan of college football who has disagreed with me on this. So, I'm going to throw my weight around a little bit. I think it's the right thing to do."

There's no question it's the right thing to do. It's been the right thing to do for decades, but the individual institutions of the BCS conferences are just too greedy to make it happen. They want to hoard all the big money and not allow all 119 FBS schools to get a cut.

The one question I have always wondered but never had answered is this: If the NCAA can prevent schools from playing in a bowl game, why can't the NCAA dictate how the champion is determined? It does so in every other sport, including the other three levels of NCAA football.

The BCS issued a reactionary statement today, and as expected, the top brass wasn't exactly open to the idea.

"First of all I want to congratulate newly elected President Obama and I am glad he has a passion for college football like so many other Americans," said BCS Coordinator John Swofford. "For now, our constituencies -- and I know he understands constituencies -- have settled on the current BCS system, which the majority believe is the best system yet to determine a national champion while also maintaining the college football regular season as the best and most meaningful in sports."

Swofford added: "We certainly respect the opinions of president-elect Obama and welcome dialogue on what's best for college football."

I think what's best for college football is to consider your players, alumni and fans as your "constituencies" and not the school presidents and athletic directors.

I have tremendous confidence that President Obama can right this terrible wrong. I mean, if he can take on the RNC and win, the BCS should be a pushover!

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