Ban the BCS championship? Texas congressman says yes

Dre Kirkpatrick of the Alabama Crimson Tide
This post has been updated. See note below for details.

Some college football fans think the whole BCS system — which culminates Jan. 9 when No. 1 LSU takes on No. 2 Alabama — is unfair and unworkable. A Texas congressman wants to make it unlawful.

Well, technically, Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) wants a playoff system for determining a national football champion. He has once again introduced legislation to compel college football to do so.

His “College Football Playoff Act” would “prohibit, as an unfair and deceptive act or practice, the promotion, marketing, and advertising of any post-season NCAA Division I football game as a national championship game unless such game is the culmination of a fair and equitable playoff system.”

A complicated formula involving polls and computer rankings is used to select the nation’s two top college teams, who face off for the national title.

“Letting computers decide which schools will play for a national championship and reap the financial rewards goes against everything fair competition stands for,” Barton said in a statement last month.

Barton and Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) recently teamed up to form the Congressional Collegiate Sports Caucus whose purpose, they said, will be to “examine pressing issues facing college sports — especially issues that undermine the integrity of some of our nation’s most prestigious, tax-funded academic institutions.”

A similar Barton bill, introduced in 2009, never made it to the House floor for a vote.

[Updated 12:05 p.m., Jan. 3: In an email sent after the publication of this post, BCS Executive Director Bill Hancock commented: "We respectfully believe the administration of intercollegiate athletics should be left up to the leaders in higher education.  The government has more important things to do other than managing how college football is played."]

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-- Richard Simon in Washington

Photo: Dre Kirkpatrick of the Alabama Crimson Tide is hurt after a punt during the game against the LSU Tigers at Bryant-Denny Stadium on Nov. 5, 2011, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Credit: Streeter Lecka / Getty Images.

 
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Rene Lynch has been an editor and writer in Metro, Sports, Business, Calendar and Food. @ReneLynch

As an editor and reporter, Michael Muskal has covered local, national, economic and foreign issues at three newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times. @latimesmuskal


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