One of the biggest things which attracts sports fans is that there’s a winner and loser every night; a finite answer as to who is the best. College football goes away from that with their BCS ranking system. Their subjective grading methods where two teams are picked to play in the final match-up of the season to see who is the country’s “best,” never really made much sense. There has been talk about changing it for quite a long time – Congressman Joe Barton of Texas is a self-described “conservative Texas Aggie” who wants the BCS system brought down. He is the writer of the bill to change the system – a bill supported by President Barack Obama according to Barton. It’s unclear whether this has really been a pet project of his since the inception of the BCS or only since the University of Texas finished just lower than the University of Oklahoma last year in the BCS standings, allowing OU to move on to the Big 12 Championship Game and a shot at the BCS title. Texas Congressman Joe Barton joined Galloway and Co. on ESPN Radio to discuss his bill, the timing of attempting to bring it to Congress, and conversations he’s had with Obama.
Is the timing right to attempt to change or destroy the BCS system?
“The timing, I think, is really good because number one we just had the NCAA championship basketball game that North Carolina won, so people know that it is possible to actually determine the national championship on the field or on the court, as the case may be. And, number two, the BCS is having a meeting in the next couple of weeks where they’re going to consider, at least it’s on the agenda, going to some kind sort of playoff system.”
On conversations he and President Obama have had regarding the possibility of a playoff:
“We do agree on this and we have talked about it. To answer specifically, we have spoken on this three times, and all three times he has said that he supports my bill and he thinks that there should be a playoff and if it gets to his desk he will sign the bill.”
On what’s next for his bill regarding the end of the BCS and the development of a playoff:
“I do have agreement with the chairman and the sub-committee chairman in the House that we’re gonna hold a hearing on the bill. The hearing ought to be within the next month.”
On if Congress should be involved in sports (like with baseball and steroids) or worry about more important issues:
“In terms of the BCS system, they’ve had ten years to get it right, and you cannot get it right when you do not have an open system that gives a fairly large number of teams an opportunity to compete for the championship. Just picking two — and they don’t do it at random, obviously — but if they let 65 teams compete for the basketball championship, you could certainly let 8 teams or 16 teams, using the existing bowl structure, compete for the championship in football.”