Who's going to investigate playoff-loving Congressman Joe Barton?
There's an interesting, but probably frivolous, story from Yahoo this week in which Texas Congressman Joe Barton says he plans to investigate testimony given by Alamo Bowl executive Derrick Fox during recent hearings on the Bowl Championship Series.
Barton is pushing legislation that would not allow the BCS to call itself a national title game unless it goes to a college football playoff.
Barton thinks Fox may have exaggerated by millions the charity dollars bowls generate for local communities. That could be perjury.
Of course, if Barton is going to hang Fox out for misleading a subcommittee that attracted Barton and two other Congressmen, he might first want to explain his inconsistent statements and loose grasp of the facts.
Barton on the BCS: "It's like communism."
Barton, later in the hearing:"It's about money, it's about market share, it's not about athleticism on the field."
OK, Joe, which is it? Communism or capitalism?
Barton: "I didn't realize how good Boise State was."
Then why is he holding these hearings? Also, he could have checked a media guide.
Barton: "The Cotton Bowl was part of the original BCS."
No it wasn't. Original BCS bowl games: Rose, Fiesta, Orange and Sugar.
Barton: "I'm told that there was some discussion at the last BCS meeting, whenever that was, about a playoff, but that it was rejected."
It was not rejected. BCS commissioners listened to a playoff proposal by Mountain West Commissioner Craig Thompson and then forwarded it back to the conference presidents for further study.
Barton: "The NIT basketball tournament has thrived in the midst of a 65-team playoff."
The National Invitation Tournament has not thrived. It has 32 teams. It was taken over by the NCAA a few years ago. Barton probably just misspoke. He probably meant the NCAA tournament has thrived.
Barton to BCS coordinator John Swofford: "Why did you just create another game that's just another bowl game?"
(Explanation: In 2006, the BCS added a "fifth" bowl to increase two more at-large access berths for non-BCS conference schools, agreed to make all 11 major conferences "BCS" conferences and increased the revenue output for coalition schools. Barton was part of congressional hearings on the BCS in 2005.)
Swofford on the extra game: "What that did was actually open up access."
Barton to panel: "Open up access?...Does that make sense what he just said?"
Boise State Athletic Director Gene Bleymaier: "Mr. Chairman, yes it does. It did provide more access."
Stay tuned for Barton's dogged pursuit of BCS truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
-- Chris Dufresne
Photo: Rep. Joe Barton. Credit: Brendan Hoffman / Bloomberg News