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Rick Reilly, Obama, and the BCS: Oh Boy

January 4, 2011

The Rickster’s column today was on the BCS. Namely, how there should be no BCS, but rather a playoff system. So far, so good. Most people recognize that the current BCS system is deeply flawed. I’ve really got no problem with the first half of Reilly’s column, except, you know, for gems like this: “It’s as phony as an Ivory Coast election.” “Anything else is about as real as Cheez Whiz.” “Just another day in college football — the Chrysler K Car of sport…” “It’s a load of bull potatoes. Just ‘cuz somebody puts their boots in the oven don’t make ‘em biscuits.” (What? Looks like Reilly dusted off the ‘ol Nonsense Machine for this one.)

Anyway, we’re gonna jump in at the middle.

There’s one guy who can change all this with the stroke of a pen. He’s a guy who has broken a mountain of promises in the past two years, but can make it all right by making good on a promise he did make, the one to look hard into a playoff. President Obama.

So looking hard into a playoff system for college football will fix everything? Sweet. That sounds like a great plan. I bet if we realign Major League Baseball we’ll discover the fountain of youth. It’s completely asinine, and we’ve heard it before.

In October of ’08, he told me on his campaign bus that he was going to make a real try at getting an eight-team playoff done. Once in office, he told “60 Minutes,” “I’m gonna throw my weight around a little bit.” But he hasn’t.

I’m going to venture that it’s because it’s completely unimportant relative to, you know, unemployment, the economic crisis, and pretty much every other thing that’s going on with the country today.

You want to win re-election, Mr. President? You could do worse than backing something that’s already favored by 63 percent of Americans, and will now be favored by nearly every Texan, not to mention Utahan (Utah undefeated in 2004 and ’08, but left out of the mix for a BCS title shot), Alabaman (Auburn undefeated in ’04 but left out) and Idahoan (Boise State undefeated in ’06 and ’09 and left out).

I guess you could do a lot worse than “fixing” the BCS, but…ummm…you could also do MUCH better by doing all those things I listed above.

Obama must have the Justice Department sue the BCS for violating the Sherman Antitrust Act. The BCS is run by a cartel of the 11 BCS conference presidents, Notre Dame and the five big bowl games who are restraining trade and colluding to hoard the gold. They are not exempt from antitrust rules. Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch (R) and Texas Rep. Joe Barton (R) have already looked into this. It would work. How many millions of dollars did TCU just lose by not being allowed to play for the title, not just in bowl TV dollars but in alumni donations and national prestige?

Here’s the thing, maybe it would work (I kind of think it wouldn’t because there are a lot of money-making industries/groups/businesses out there controlled by less than 16 entities.), but that’s not the point. The point is that this just isn’t important enough, AT ALL, to be dealt with by the government. Not ever, and especially not now.

You could have a pretty lengthy debate about how much involvement the government should have in things. More. Less. Just like it is. Whatever. But regardless of where you stand, it’s pretty clear that we don’t need the government stepping in here. Especially not with the economy collapsing in on itself and unemployment reaching all-time highs? Right? I’m not being ridiculous here, am I?

My favorite hypocrisy of the Bowlsheviks is: “The bowl system is tradition!” Yes, kids, there’s nothing so “traditional” as a team from Texas winning the Rose Bowl and then moving to the Big East.

The Bowlsheviks!!! Classic! Just classic! Guh.

TCU is a killer team with an amazing story. TCU’s seniors won 44 games. What reeks is they won’t get a chance to win a 45th.

Just do it, Mr. President.

Seriously, this is completely insane.

If this were basketball we were talking about, you’d have it done by the weekend.

So, on top of being just plain stupid, Reilly’s no trying to bait Obama into changing college football by quasi-insulting him. Awesome. That’ll work.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. January 6, 2011 12:27 pm

    Sorry to say but Rick Reilly’s been the gutterball of sportswriters the last few years. And it’s not just because he wants our Bowler-in-Chief to do the 7-10 split that is the BCS fix (which is hard to do when your best is a 26). It’s because Reilly’s long had one helluva crush on the sitting president — we all know it — and some of us can’t get past that. There was a time when sportswriters wrote columns without shoving their politics down our throats — or in Rick’s case, establish the track record he has for fawning over Obama. That’s what stops me from enjoying his work — I’d rather fish and use it to roll my catch-of-the-day in. Maybe it was Jim Murray who said sports is the toy section of life. Of Reilly, he’d be disappointed. The sports world has been assaulted enough lately with “crime and punishment.” Some of us think Obama is both. It’s too bad reading Reilly reminds us of that.


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