So it's come to this: Congress is talking about football games.
The economy stinks, joblessness is nearly 10 percent, gas is up, stocks are down — and Congress is trying to fix college football?
Isn't that like rearranging the furniture while the Hindenburg's on fire?
College football: the problem that just won't go away, like Hillary Clinton and Jesse Jackson.
First the House held hearings, then last week it was the Senate, which is how a sports problem spilled over onto the front page last week and right here into this column. Now what? So far, it's just a lot of the same yakking we hear from fans at the end of each football season, but at least the boys on the Hill got to talk jock for a week.
Here's what I don't get: Everyone who can rub two brain cells together — Congress, football fans (the paying customer), the president of the United States and every journalist with a laptop — believes college football needs a playoff system.
Can that many people be wrong, even if some of them are congressmen?
Yet Bowl Championship Series football officials, such as that big windbag of hot gas, John Swofford, insist that everyone else is wrong and they are right.
Is it just me, or does the BCS remind you of the IOC and the old AAU — a good-ole-boys club trying to keep their thumbs on their cash cows in the name of "doing what's best" for their sport?
All this notwithstanding, here's another reason the pointy-headed BCS officials should cave in and create a fair system for determining a national champion — if they don't do it, the government will do it for them, or, more likely, make a futile and expensive attempt.
Trust me, they don't want that.
They don't want the feds meddling with college football. They mess up everything they touch. Whatever touch Midas had, the feds don't have it.
They'll do to college football what they've done to the economy, the banking industry, airlines, Wall Street, social security, the tax system and the national reserve.
The playbook will be 10 inches deep in rules and regulations and recommendations for the screen pass by subcommittees. There will be oversight committees and enough red tape to fill up the Rose Bowl.
Congress doesn't fix things, it makes them worse.
A lot of football fans think it's great Congress is getting involved in the BCS mess. But the next thing you know congressmen will be in the huddle calling plays and firing the coach, just as they did with General Motors. They'll replace the general manager with some yutz from the Department of Housing and Urban Development who doesn't know a football from a foosball.
The BCS should fix itself before Congress gets around to it. Congress has defied all common sense and evidence that they have created a system that is a monopoly and a cheat. They remind you of those cigarette companies that, in the face of overwhelming evidence, continued to state with a straight face that tobacco was completely safe.
Swofford, the official BCS windbag who doubles as BCS coordinator and ACC commissioner (no conflict of interest there, right?), has been singing the party line so long that he actually believes it.
This is what Swofford said when President Barack Obama stated that the BCS should create a playoff: "For now, our 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."16 comments on this story
Then there is the Nebraska chancellor and BCS proponent, Harvey Pearlman, who said, "Honestly, it's hard to see why anyone would litigate this."
They said this with straight faces in defense of a system that eliminates about half of the teams from competing for a championship.
Someone needs to fix this thing, but don't count on the BCS or Congress to get the job done.
Doug Robinson's column runs on Tuesdays. Please send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org