December 04, 2008
Like apple pie and motherhood, everyone can get behind scrapping the BCS. Even if you're anti-playoff -- or maybe especially if you're anti-playoff -- opposing the status quo in favor of change is just serving up spoonfuls of the softest, moistest pablum: The system is bloated, unfair, too powerful, both too complex and not complex enough, extends its influence into areas in which it has no business and sucks all the air out of the room for niceties like, say, the ACC Championship. It's like money in the bank; Barack Obama said he's fed up with the computers and was swept into the presidency the next day. Even politically, it's no-brainer.
But how, exactly, you propose to do away with the system probably says a lot about you, and your politics. Obama, while promising to "throw his weight around" in favor of a playoff, has never indicated he might directly intervene on the BCS' operation as president. But Obama is a classic technocrat, and if you're of the mind that a properly-administered government can be the solution to society's many injustices and inefficiencies, Democratic Congressman Neil Abercrombie of Hawaii has just the a href="http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2008/12/02/congressman-requests-obama-doj-investigation-of-the-bcs/">activist campaign to end the BCS for you:
Seizing on Obama's public support of a new system, Abercrombie wrote a letter to the president-elect last month urging him to have the Department of Justice investigate the issue. "With the prestige of the Presidency and vigorous pursuit by the Department of Justice in support of fairness and equity, we are certain the BCS will be persuaded to resolve the issues to the benefit of the nation’s colleges and their fans."
"Replacing the Bowl Championship Series with a process that allows the NCAA Division I football National Championship to be decided on the field is a matter of sportsmanship and a matter of equity," Abercrombie said.
Fairness! Sportsmanship! Equity! Intense, uh, government scrutiny. By Abercrombie and his fellow BCS-hating Congressmen. Er.
For the more libertarian-minded among you, seek not the guiding hand of the crusader government, but rather, as the Baltimore Sun's David Steele suggests, the invisible hand of your eyeballs:
Boycott it, all of it. Or, if that word is too extreme-sounding, just don't watch.
College football has been asking for it for a long time. This is your chance to give it to them, right in the wallets. Start this weekend. Don't just talk about how Texas got robbed of a Big 12 title-game berth or how the Atlantic Coast Conference championship rewards mediocrity and shoves the Boise States and Utahs to the kiddie table. Turn it all off and leave it off.
The decision-makers in all of this understand money and little else. Speak to them in their language. They've tuned out everything else. Otherwise, why would things be the way they are today?
I think your fellow ACC fans hear you loud and clear, Mr. Steele. But see, for the rest of us, that sounds like forcing change through sacrifice. And if there's one thing Americans definitely oppose even more than the BCS, it's altering our lifestyles and behavior to affect fundamental, long-term change in others. Don't we elect people to do that for us, anyway?