Wed Dec 09 01:38pm EST
As cynical as I was when Texas Rep. Joe Barton introduced his anti-BCS legislation almost exactly one year ago today, and as unlikely as it seemed to ever make it out of committee, Barton's little playoff bill keeps chugging along. H.R. 390 -- to prohibit any game from referring to itself as the "national championship" unless it's "the culmination of a fair and equitable playoff system" -- passed a subcommittee vote this morning, the first hurdle on its long, winding legislative road to actual significance:
WASHINGTON – A House subcommittee approved legislation Wednesday aimed at forcing college football to switch to a playoff system to determine a national champion, over the objections of some lawmakers who said Congress had more pressing matters on its plate.
The bill, which faces long odds of becoming law, would ban the promotion of a postseason NCAA Division I football game as a national championship unless that title contest is the result of a playoff. The measure passed by voice vote in a House Energy and Commerce Committee subcommittee, with one audible "no," from Rep. John Barrow, D-Ga.
Rep. John Barrow and similarly dissenting Democratic colleagues Zach Space and Bart Stupak, why do you hate America?
I mean, I sympathize with their libertarian instincts, I do, but my patience with the BCS is at an all-time low when I compare this year's largely unappetizing matchups to the potential of anywhere from a six to 16-team playoff that would rivet the nation to its La-Z-Boys for every game. I've finally reached the point where I hate the BCS more deeply than I hold the principles of limited government, and Barton's vote was well-timed to exploit that sentiment while it's still hot.
The bill has a long road to hoe -- BCS-hating Sen. Orrin Hatch would have to rally his colleagues around a bill that doesn't yet exist to get it through the upper chamber -- but if it reaches Obama's desk, the president has vowed to sign the thing and put the BCS out of its misery. I don't need to know the specifics of the sausage-making it will take to get there to know that would smell pretty great, with or without a bracket in its place.