2005-12-04

Nose-Sticking Again!


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This just in: Congress to look into 'deeply flawed' BCS System. They're at it again. And once again, it's a Republican leading the charge - Joe Barton. He's from Texas though, so I can only assume it's a real Republican. Not like Arlen Specter. Anyway, some choice quotes:
College football is not just an exhilarating sport, but a billion-dollar business that Congress cannot ignore," - Barton
Like there is any corner of life Congress can ignore. I love this Congressman-speak. Whenever one of them is about to embark upon something out of personal choice, they make it sound as if the situation compelled them, beyond their will, to stick their nose where it doesn't belong.
The committee announcement called the hearing, scheduled for next Wednesday, a "comprehensive review" of the BCS and postseason college football.
"Comprehensive" is Congress-speak for bloated and inefficient.
"Too often college football ends in sniping and controversy, rather than winners and losers," Barton said. "The current system of determining who's No. 1 appears deeply flawed."
Well, look who just fell off the turnip truck! Set aside the fact that he's totally MOTO (Master of the Obvious) here. Who says it's Congress' job to ensure that there is no sniping and controversy in College Football? Too often Congress starts with, continues through and ends in sniping and controversy. Why don't you investigate that?
Finally, here's the kicker:
Barton said he does not have legislation in mind to force a change, but said he hopes congressional hearings will spur discussion and improvements.
In other words, they're admitting from the outset that this is going to accomplish nothing more than wasting time and taxpayer resources.

So the goal is to create some discussion, stir the pot a little and hopefully some solutions will come out of it. Only a Congressman could think that he's stumbled onto a good and unique idea here.

First of all, on the discussion, it's not like they are going to discuss anything that the BCS Committee hasn't already heard, millions of times each year since the inception of this system. That there is controversy and inequity is not going to be news to anyone, except perhaps Congressman Barton. If such discussion was going to stimulate change it would already have done so.

Why haven't the "deep flaws" inspired change? I have to believe that the BCS and College Football are pleased with the results. What Congressman Barton sees as undesirable sniping and controversy, a College Administrator sees as a gold mine. The controversy grabs attention and big dollars. These problems, by the way, existed long before the BCS was so much as a gleam in some geek's eye.

Now if you want to talk about the inequity of it all, and the poor mid-major schools that don't get a chance at the trough, there again, nothing new. Those schools weren't in line for the big ticket bowls before the BCS system, why should they be now? In fact, under the BCS the little schools have a better chance, although it is still very small, of reaching the premier games. Under the old system, conference winners were almost always tied to certain bowl games in advance. Now there is a set of criteria by which any team can force their way into the party. A mid-major would have to pretty much run the table and set the world on fire in the process, but at least there is a mechanism. And I point you to Boise State, last year's crybaby, this year's whipping boy, as evidence as to why the little guy's don't warrant more consideration than that.

Finally, at the root of it all is this oft-heard complaint: That's not fair! And this complaint makes me want to scream to high heaven! No kidding? Not fair you say? Well, I've got a little news flash: LIFE ISN'T FAIR! Or on the other hand, it might be more accurate to say that life IS fair, and that a lot of people just don't understand what fair really is.

What's most "unfair" is that Congressman Barton Fife gets to be a royal idiot on my dime! But I suppose he will continue to do so whether I like it or not.

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