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Obama ready to throw his weight at the BcS?

Out of all the critics of the BcS — and there are many — there’s none that wield more power than The First Fan, President Barack Obama.

Shortly after he was elected in November of 2008, Pres. Obama said during a 60 Minutes interview that he was a proponent of a playoff system and would “throw my weight around a little bit” upon taking office.

“If you’ve got a bunch of teams who play throughout the season and many of them have one loss or two losses, there’s no clear, decisive winner,” Obama said during the interview. “We should be creating a playoff system.”

While The President has been forced to deal with, ahem, a couple of slightly more pressing issues since moving into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, it looks like his administration may be carving out a little bit of time to deal with the inequities of the current system used to determine a national champion.

The Associated Press has obtained a copy of a letter from Assistant Attorney General Ronald Welch to Utah Senator Orrin Hatch, in which Welch states the Justice Department is looking at the option of opening an investigation into the BcS in order to determine whether the cartel group violate antitrust laws.

During Hatch’s hearing last July, the senator blasted the “arrogance” of the BcS and strongly intimated both during and after the proceedings that the Justice Department should become involved.

“Frankly, there’s an arrogance about the BCS that just drives me nuts,” Hatch said at the time. “Hopefully this hearing will open the door to have some people reconsider their positions. And if nothing else, the Justice Department ought to be looking at this.”

Welch also stated that the administration is looking at several other options, one of which would be charging the Federal Trade Commission to “review the legality of the BcS under consumer protection laws.”

For all of the clout the Senate and House hearings that were held last summer carried, there was — and still is — really only one thing that could potentially force the BcS back on its heels enough to make it more amenable to a playoff system.  And that one thing would be Obama following through on his “threat” and having his administration — particularly the Justice Department — throw the weight of the Oval Office around a little bit.

Hopefully, the threat of that “little bit” will be enough to force the BcS to do what the majority of fans want, and that’s to give everyone a playoff system to determine a national champion.

Ya know, the way they do in every other major collegiate sport.

Either way, you go Obama.  Here’s hoping for change that most college football fans can believe in.

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22 Responses to “Obama ready to throw his weight at the BcS?”
  1. JaggedMark says: Jan 29, 2010 8:07 PM

    And if Obama is as successful with this as he was in getting the Olympics in Chicago, we’ll never have a playoff system.

  2. Observer1 says: Jan 29, 2010 9:19 PM

    John,
    How about reposting my playoff suggestion?

  3. WarriorMonk says: Jan 29, 2010 9:38 PM

    “Everything within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state.”
    -Benito Mussolini

  4. gator_prof says: Jan 29, 2010 9:44 PM

    One would think that our politicians have more important things to worry about. Wasting time on this will not help his sinking approval rating.

  5. joe6606 says: Jan 30, 2010 12:17 AM

    Stupid right wing nut jobs such as drudgereport are already complaining that this is a bad thing…surprise, surprise…
    /spit

  6. Thor says: Jan 30, 2010 7:20 AM

    I’m one of those right wing nut jobs and I hate the BCS as much as anyone. However, this idiot president has more important issues to deal with like double digit unemployment, a 12 trillion dollar debt load (and growing at 1.5 trillion a year). Plus, he knows nothing about football (well, to be fair he knows nothing about being a President, but that never stopped him).

  7. JGav says: Jan 30, 2010 8:34 AM

    With job he has done as thus far as President of the United States, he needs to leave college football alone. The country is in shambles…fix it and leave college football alone.

  8. BrownsTown says: Jan 30, 2010 9:37 AM

    gator_prof,
    What’s the matter? Don’t want to lose that automatic spot handed to the SEC every year?
    Newsflash to everybody else,
    The government handles all types of regulatory affairs during crises. That’s why there are hundreds of elected officials in DC and countless committees. This is a commerce issue, not a sports issue.

  9. I am Providence says: Jan 30, 2010 10:23 AM

    Maybe you all haven’t noticed that the guy pushing this, holding hearings and arguing that the Justice Department should get involved is the conservative Republican Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah. He’s doing this because the University of Utah got screwed by the BCS last year. Just another example of big government conservatism.

  10. TheRealARod says: Jan 30, 2010 10:40 AM

    The only way a playoff system would work is if you just had every single Conference winner earns a spot in the playoffs, with just a few at large bids. So yes will some teams still get left out, yes, atleast every single team has a shot of gettin to the dance just like in basketball

  11. leatherneck says: Jan 30, 2010 11:08 AM

    Yes, the BCS system is much more important than 10% unemployment.
    What a joke.

  12. hrmlss says: Jan 30, 2010 11:28 AM

    Cornerdenizen,
    The financial mess was brought on by the collapse of the real estate market. Who pushed for the lessened restrictions on Freddie and Fannie? Wow, Barney Frank. Who’s boy friend ran one of those two fine pseudo government boondoggles? Wow Barney Frank. I’m a registered Democrat that votes centrist. I voted for Mr. Obama. But I will not make that mistake again. Stay on the pressing issues, and out of sports, Mr. Obama.

  13. Cornerdenizen says: Jan 30, 2010 1:22 PM

    @hrmlss:
    So Barney Frank and his boyfriend are completely responsible for the mess. Okay..
    Other than your not voting for Obama, how will everything get back to the way it was? Should Obama have Barney Frank removed from his post? Shot? Electrocuted?
    For me its not about bullshit political distinctions. I dont care if youre a demoract, republican, conservative, liberal, etc.
    But I’m not seeing your logic here.

  14. Observer1 says: Jan 30, 2010 5:12 PM

    I hope that we have elected folks that can multi-task. If not, we are in trouble.
    11 conferences champions get automatic bids.
    5 at large bids.
    The 5 at large bids come from an at large bid eligible pool. The at-large eligible pool consists of all the conference championship games losers and the highest BCS rated independent.
    The 5 highest rated BCS teams IN the at-large bid eligible pool are awarded the at-large bids.
    Seeding is also based entirely on the final BCS standings.
    First round games would be held the first weekend in December although it would be better to move the season back and play the first rouond over Thanksgiving weekend to make sure every games is on tv.
    Second round games would be played the following week.
    Teams that lose in the first two rounds (12 total) would be eligible for bowl bids.
    The two third round games would be held the Friday following New Years Day. All bowl games must be completed by the day before to insure clear focus on these games.
    The Final Game should be held 10 days later on Monday Night so that it does not interfer or compete against the NFL.
    All games could be corporate sponsored and host sites could bid on the privilege of hosting a game although I would recommend the first and second round games be held at the highest seeds home field.
    Here is what this years playoffs would have looked like:
    2009 National Championship Playoff Teams
    Week 15 BSC Rankings in (). Week 15 is final regular season BSC
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2009_NCAA_Division_I_FBS_football_rankings#BCS_ranking
    Automatic Bids
    ACC – Georgia Tech (#9)
    Big12 – Texas (#2)
    BigEast – Cincinnati (#3)
    Big10 – Ohio State (#8)
    CUSA – East Carolina (NR-50)
    MAC – Central Michigan (NR-38 )
    MWC – TCU (#4)
    Pac10 – Oregon (#7)
    SEC – Alabama (#1)
    SunBelt – Troy (NR-69)
    WAC – Boise State (#6)
    At Large Eligible
    ACC – Clemson (NR)
    Big12 – Nebraska (#22)
    BigEast – Pittsburgh (#17) ****
    Big10 – Iowa (#10) ****
    CUSA – Houston (NR)
    MAC – Ohio (NR)
    MWC – BYU (#14) ****
    Pac10 – Arizona (#20) ****
    SEC – Florida (#5) ****
    SunBelt – Middle Tennesse (NR)
    WAC – Nevada (NR)
    Independents – Navy (NR)
    Brackets
    Troy (16) @ Alabama (1)
    Georgia Tech (9) @ Ohio State (8)
    Arizona (13) @ TCU (4)
    Pittsburgh (12) @ Florida (5)
    Central Michigan (14) @ Cincinnati (3)
    BYU (11) @ Boise State (6)
    Iowa (10) @ Oregon (7)
    East Carolina (15) @ Texas (2)
    For more information or to comment, please visit and join:
    http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#/topic.php?uid=184480971970&topic=12188

  15. brasho says: Jan 31, 2010 8:58 AM

    I have a better solution. Instead of 16 playoff teams and littering the playoff field with Troy and East Carolina you allow 8 teams. Six from the BCS conferences…ok, maybe 5 and the Big East should take their automatic bid taken away. Then you give away automatic bids to any non-BCS conference undefeateds in the top 10, you fill up the rest of the al-large teams by BCS rankings. This way there are only 3 additional games are played instead of 4 with a week and a half between games.
    The brackets would have been
    ACC:Georgia Tech
    Big12:Texas
    Big10:OhioSt.
    Pac10:Oregon
    SEC:Alabama
    At-large
    BigEast:Cincinatti
    WAC:BoiseSt.
    MWC:TCU
    Of course in this scenario, Florida is left out, but they did lose their conference championship game and there were 3 teams from non-BCS conference teams that were undefeated and in the top 10. I think that this best 8 teams scenario should require all conferences to have championship games…. and for all schools to affiliate themselves with a conference (Notre Dame, Navy, Army, etc)
    Another possibility is to have any and all conferences that don’t have conference championship games to have play-in games. (Pac10, Big10, BigEast, etc—all but Big12, ACC, and SEC)

  16. Observer1 says: Jan 31, 2010 1:41 PM

    My idea is still the best. It has a clear cut critieria set to get into the playoffs…win your conference and a clear cut criteria to be eligible for consideration for an at-large bid.

  17. Pier588 says: Jan 31, 2010 3:11 PM

    Thank you Mr President – for FINALLY taking a few minutes out of you busy schedule to “throw your weight around alittle” on this national issue. It’s long overdue and very nice to see some expanded thinking coming out of the Oval office for a change.
    “Slick Willy”Clinton was too busy chasing skirts to take this up and Young Georgie Bush spent all of his 8 years starting wars and running our economy on to the rocks. Perhaps now that neither has any “important presidential duties” to attend to – maybe they could co-chair an effort looking into this matter?
    Maybe Jimmy Carter could join them but he’d have to break out of that permanently affixed smile he’s been wearing since “W” (worst ever) usurped him for that presidential distinction.
    Great plan Observer1 – well thought out and long over due.
    brasho – time to go back to the drawing board.

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