White House meddling in college football now too?

posted at 11:14 am on January 31, 2010 by Cassy Fiano

A wise politician knows when they’re reaching too far. They know when it’s time to draw the line. In Obama’s presidency, that wisdom is completely non-existent. Show him a problem, and he’ll get the government involved. It doesn’t matter how much is on his plate or how annoyed Americans are about the expansion of government already, he just doesn’t know how to say no. The president likes to constantly remind everyone just how much he’s juggling — two wars, a skyrocketing deficit, record high unemployment, health care, cap and trade, amnesty — but he wants to add government regulation of college football to that list. Yep, that’s right. The White House is investigating the BCS system so that Obama can force a playoff system onto college football.

The Obama administration is considering several steps that would review the legality of the controversial Bowl Championship Series, the Justice Department said in a letter Friday to a senator who had asked for an antitrust review.

In the letter to Sen. Orrin Hatch, obtained by The Associated Press, Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich wrote that the Justice Department is reviewing Hatch’s request and other materials to determine whether to open an investigation into whether the BCS violates antitrust laws.

… Several lawmakers and many critics want the BCS to switch to a playoff system, rather than the ratings system it uses to determine the teams that play in the championship game.

“The administration shares your belief that the current lack of a college football national championship playoff with respect to the highest division of college football … raises important questions affecting millions of fans, colleges and universities, players and other interested parties,” Weich wrote.

Weich made note of the fact that President Barack Obama, before he was sworn in, had stated his preference for a playoff system. In 2008, Obama said he was going to “to throw my weight around a little bit” to nudge college football toward a playoff system, a point that Hatch stressed when he urged Obama last fall to ask the department to investigate the BCS.

This largely stems from a temper tantrum thrown by Orrin Hatch last year because his team — the University of Utah — didn’t make it to a championship game. And hey, I want a playoff system as much as every other college football fan out there. The BCS system stinks. But what gives the government the right to force it on us? Start interfering with college football and you’re going to start seeing a lot of very angry people. And Americans are fed up already. The government under Democrats has become some kind of monster, trying to slide its tentacles into every facet of our lives. If there’s anything that they think needs to be remedied, the government will be there to take it over. Failing automakers? They’ll bail them out and fire the CEOs for good measure. Some Americans don’t have health care? Well, they’ll nationalize the entire health care system. Economy’s not doing too well and unemployment numbers are rising? They’ll spend massive amounts of money causing the economy to get even worse. And one whiny senator doesn’t like that his team didn’t get to play in a championship game? The government can regulate college football, too.

There comes a point when one needs to simply stop. Many Americans want a playoff system in college football, granted, but they won’t take too kindly to the government deciding how college football is played. Some things the government just needs to leave alone, and this is one of them. Obama has enough to be worrying about as it is, and whether college football champions are determined by a playoff system or the BCS is not exactly a priority. Maybe Obama should be focusing on, I don’t know, our struggling economy? The war in Afghanistan? The fact that a terrorist came very close to murdering hundreds of people on Christmas day? What he’s going to do with the jihadis at Gitmo? He clearly is in over his head already, and now he’s trying to take on college football as well. And I think this is one issue he (and Orrin Hatch) needs to leave alone. As he constantly reminds us, he’s got enough on his plate as it is.

Cross-posted from Cassy’s blog. Stop by for more original commentary, or follow her on Twitter!


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Furthermore, when are these guys supposed to play all these play-off games? During Christmas? During Finals week?

Div1-Championship has a playoff format and it works fine. There are 3 playoff rounds and a final championship game which is played on the weekend before Christmas. BCS could work something like that as well.

My beef with The O is, it’s none of the federal govt’s business how playoffs are handled.

angryed on January 31, 2010 at 1:31 PM

Speaking of Penn State, remember when Obama declared that he’d always been a big fan of the NITTALY lions?

I always thought that was up there with his 57 states comment.

LASue on January 31, 2010 at 1:34 PM

SftSteve,

I wasn’t discounting the win against Oregon. I was pointing out that that was their only win of note prior to
playing against TCU.

How many “wins of note” did Texas have this year?

Texas played Nebraska in a conference championship, which according to the pollsters, adds an additional level of pressure to the contest.

And the point of that statement is what exactly?


“A playoff system will be flawed.”

Yes, but the flaws would be much much smaller than in the current system. I really don’t understand how you can’t see this. How flawed are the NFL playoffs? NCAA MBB tournament is really flawed, isn’t it? No excitement, no one watches, no interest at all.

So why change from one flawed system to another that will reduce the revenues of everyone involved and give people less to talk about in the off season?

1. Revenues would increase not decrease due to several factors, the obvious one being the increased # of games. Also, tv revenues would be much higher given the importance of the playoff games compared to relatively meaningless bowl games.
2. I can’t believe you are basing your preference for the method to determine the national champion on the amount of discussion that occurs in the offseason. If that is your preference (to have more discussion in the offseason even if it is negative publicity and against the current system), then you might as well put in some previous “traditions” such as banning blacks from competing in CFB and going back to the previous bowl system. Because those would generate PLENTY of off season discussion.

Seriously, every other sport at both college and professional level uses a playoff system. Do you hear fans of those sports complaining about it? Why is FBS football different? Are all of those sports wrong? Why aren’t those fans complaining for a system similar to the BCS where the top 2 teams are arbitrarily chosen by secret computer formulas?

truthmattersfa on January 31, 2010 at 1:34 PM

Hey, think about it.

Unlike some former Presidents, B.O. never served in the military, so he managed to screw the military up.

He never was a banker, so he screwed up the banking industry.

He never was an astronaut, so he screwed up the space program.

So it seems more than fitting that since he never played college football, he would meddle with that as well.

Seems the only thing he was before he was President was a lawyer. So maybe that means the local chapters of the Bar Association can breathe a collective sigh of relief.

For now at least.

pilamaye on January 31, 2010 at 1:37 PM

truthmattersfa on January 31, 2010 at 1:22 PM

My exemption of Oregon is my way of saying that, aside from playing the future Pac-10 champs, they played a season of nobodies. Not storied programs having off-years, or average teams who just lost at the wrong times to stay out of the top-25. They played all those programs you pointed out. Is that their fault? No, except that they don’t have to be part of a conference in the first place, and then they could make the schedule they want. Notre Dame does that every year. Though I agree that programs should shift to playing tougher teams in their OOC schedules, but that’s not likely to happen, as many smaller programs get all their money from going to places like Austin, State College and Gainesville to get the snot knocked out of them.

And you’re really getting amped up enough to call someone stupid over a differing opinion about college football, a game neither of us play or are anyway involved in besides being fans? That might not be stupid, but it certainly is petty.

Sgt Steve on January 31, 2010 at 1:38 PM

I understand the concern about “government football”, but this article reads a little like criticism for criticism’s sake. There has been NO indication that Barry wants to “take over” the BCS – from what I understand he simply wants to force a playoff system by disbanding the BCS via antitrust law…

Pretty much all the serious football fans I know (even fans from schools who have benefited the most from the current BCS system – like Ohio State) want a college football system. It is absolutely ludicrous that a national champion is crowned each year based on the results of one game in which contestants are determined by opinion and computer models.

If Barry can give us a college playoff – while taking legislative time away from Healthcare, Cap and Trade, and other terrible initiatives – well… we should be so lucky.

Why rant and rave about it? I personally would be thrilled and happy to call it the one good thing he did for America.

navogel on January 31, 2010 at 1:42 PM

So why change from one flawed system to another that will reduce the revenues of everyone involved and give people less to talk about in the off season?

Sgt Steve on January 31, 2010 at 1:16 PM

I don’t buy that it reduces revenues. Bowl games can be pretty sparsely attended sometimes. If you have a 16 game playoff, you’re talking about having 15 games which will be sellouts in a 16 game playoff – you don’t have to get rid of the bowl system entirely. Bowls can be held regardless, and if teams don’t make the playoffs, you can still have the bowls.

I think you get more revenue with a playoff system, but the BCS definitely deprives some schools (Boise State this year) of a chance to access the most profitable parts of the market, because of the circular logic that they’re not a big time school (which they probably would be if they had a chance to play in big games).

What’s really going on is that the big conferences want to preserve market dominance over the smaller conferences, and that smells a lot like §1 Sherman Act violation.

“Giving people less to talk about in the offseason” is a hilarious rationale. Maybe none of the sports should have championship games! Then we’ll all have tons to talk about!

Proud Rino on January 31, 2010 at 1:49 PM

People are confusing the idea of a playoff system and having the federal government using the power of anti-trust laws to push a political wish of a Senator.
If the playoff system is what the fans want, so be it…let it happen naturally.

Conservative Voice on January 31, 2010 at 1:51 PM

COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFFS ARE NONE OF THE GOVERNMENT’S BUSINESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! STFU BARRY AND FOCUS ON THE ECONOMY FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!!!!!!!!!

huskerdiva on January 31, 2010 at 1:51 PM

People are confusing the idea of a playoff system and having the federal government using the power of anti-trust laws to push a political wish of a Senator.
If the playoff system is what the fans want, so be it…let it happen naturally.

Conservative Voice on January 31, 2010 at 1:51 PM

No, people are confusing the idea of the DOJ investigating a possible antitrust violation with the President taking over college football.

If the playoff system is what the fans want is irrelevant – the issue is whether the BCS violates the law. What they come up with in place of the BCS is entirely up to them.

Proud Rino on January 31, 2010 at 1:52 PM

navogel on January 31, 2010 at 1:42 PM

He won’t be personally involved…so it doesn’t take away his focus for cap and trade and healthcare.
And its wrong.
Even if the playoff system is a good idea, its a bad idea to use anti-trust laws to get your way. Thats the Chicago Socialist Machine way…using the power of the State ( Police ) to achieve political points.

Conservative Voice on January 31, 2010 at 1:53 PM

First, I am not a big fan of college football.

But really who cares? This is one of those discussion like the DH rule in baseball. Fun to argue, but no real answer.

and why is it the federal governments place to force anything onto college sports. This is really going beyond too far.

They called D’Amato Senator Pot-hole. What we have President Play-off now?

EliTheBean on January 31, 2010 at 1:55 PM

Proud Rino on January 31, 2010 at 1:52 PM

Give me a break, they aren’t breaking the law and you know it. This has everything to do with Hatch throwing a tantrum, and Obama seeing as a way to score points with fans.
Its the same thing with Microsoft and Bill Clinton.

Conservative Voice on January 31, 2010 at 1:56 PM

Give me a break, they aren’t breaking the law and you know it. This has everything to do with Hatch throwing a tantrum, and Obama seeing as a way to score points with fans.
Its the same thing with Microsoft and Bill Clinton.

Conservative Voice on January 31, 2010 at 1:56 PM

Oh, so you think US v. Microsoft was decided incorrectly? Why do you believe that?

Proud Rino on January 31, 2010 at 1:58 PM

Even if the playoff system is a good idea, its a bad idea to use anti-trust laws to get your way. Thats the Chicago Socialist Machine way…using the power of the State ( Police ) to achieve political points.

Conservative Voice on January 31, 2010 at 1:53 PM

And even if a playoff system is a bad idea, it’s a good idea for the DOJ to prosecute violators of antitrust law. Y’know, rule of law and all…kind of the foundation of western jurisprudence…

Proud Rino on January 31, 2010 at 1:59 PM

Conservative Voice – what are your thoughts on the argument that the BCS is exempt from any potential §1 violation because of the Single Entity Doctrine defense? Do you think the 7th Circuit’s opinion on American Needle was correct, and do you think it should be extended to all leagues, or is that a unique situation? I had no idea you were an antitrust expert, so I’m really interested in your opinion here.

Proud Rino on January 31, 2010 at 2:01 PM

truthmattersfa,

Are you talking about the current bowl system? You do realize that almost every playoff idea (+1, Wetzel plan, etc.) INCLUDES the current bowls and many of them incorporate the 4 BCS bowls as part of the playoff games. I have not yet seen a single playoff proposal which eliminates all bowl games and only has 8-16 teams play in Dec/Jan instead of the current 68, but congrats on trying to throw up that straw man argument.

I’m referring to the specific playoff games themselves. I’m assuming that a new playoff system, however its established, will allow the the other bowl games to continue as before. The new proposed playoff system can still call their games a “bowl” game, I suppose. But really, all its accomplishing is setting the location of the game.

So you’re like Bill Hancock. You think it’s more important that a bunch of generally poor kids from the inner city can go jetskiing than we have a system that determines a legitimate national champion on the field. Also, teams arrive AT MOST 1 week before the start of games and for the lesser bowls usually 4-5 days. So your 2 weeks claim is nonsense.

At what point did I mention “inner city” kids by raising my point? Project much? A legitimate national champion was determined this year. To me, the system worked just fine in determining it. Also, teams arrive more than 1 week before the game. This year, Iowa arrived in Miami on Dec 27th – game was played January 5th. It may not be two weeks, but its more than one. Oh, and I have no idea who Bill Hancock is.

I presume you are talking about Montana since they were the only undefeated team at the end of the regular season. They made the championship game and lost to Villanova. So they were in the Title Game in a playoff and they would have been in under a BCS system. So what is the complaint exactly??? That they got to play 3 extra games at home? They didn’t lost anyone significant to injury (as far as I can tell). After they won the semi-final game, I didn’t see the coach complaining about a playoff–“That’s as special as it gets in college football,” Montana coach Bobby Hauck said. “A whiteout blizzard on national TV against a great football team.”

I don’t know what you’re referring to. I believe it was TCU’s coach who mentioned this. Regardless, the coach had experience as a head coach in the playoff system in Div I-AA and had the experience in the current “bowl” system. This coach preferred the current “bowl” system because of the experience his players received – and was perfectly accepting of the BCS bid they received – even though it wasn’t the national championship game. In the end, I found his arguments more persuasive than anything offered by others.

Neo-con Artist on January 31, 2010 at 2:02 PM

That’s nothing compared to what Obooba’s Oranizing For America is doing in high schools.

Akzed on January 31, 2010 at 2:08 PM

Proud Rino on January 31, 2010 at 1:49 PM

When I said that a playoff system would reduce the revenue of everyone involved, I was speaking of the BCS, not the bowl system as a whole. This, ultimately, is why I suspect that no playoff system will ever come to pass; because the guys with the giant checkbooks who are involved in the BCS will only invite teams that they believe will sell out their stadiums.

Even if this inquiry shuts down the BCS under the Sherman Act, the government can’t force, say, FedEx to sell the rights to the Orange Bowl. They will still have the power to invite teams to play on New Years.

At least I hope the government can’t.

Sgt Steve on January 31, 2010 at 2:26 PM

Sports pundits love to argue about which team is the best. How big would a NCAA football tournament need to be, to make everyone happy? They complained when baseball was too small (only four teams, no wildcards) and hockey (includes too MANY teams). The pundits try to look dignified when they argue about the 60-64 basketball seeds and who was left out. Sports teams have repeatedly proven at every level, that the playing level of a team can vary from day to day or week to week. ‘Picking’ one team over another is just as silly as saying that winning a single elimination tournament ensures the best team wins the tournament. A five or seven game series provides a much better assurance of ‘the best team’ winning in the end. Barring multiple game playoffs, leave football as is for college and let everyone argue throughout the off season and have fun. Only Steeler, Lakers, and Yankee fans were happy last year – spread the wealth a little bit at the college level.
The real story here is Obama trying to win ‘popularity’ points – he is bound to mess things up and make it worse than anyone imagined it could be. Besides, Orin Hatch should know better.

jerseyman on January 31, 2010 at 2:38 PM

Proud Rino on January 31, 2010 at 1:58 PM

Because Microsoft has never had a monopoly. They certainly had a large market share at the time, but that doesn’t mean they have a monopoly. THE MARKET is a better force to force fairness in the market….leave government out of it.

Proud Rino on January 31, 2010 at 1:59 PM
I agree that we should prosecute the law. However, this isn’t a “oh what do we have here moment”, its a Senator throwing his weight and Obama picking up the ball because he sees political points. This is the administration who uses the IRS on his political enemies. Fact is the law isn’t being administrated equally, its being used to score political points.

Proud Rino on January 31, 2010 at 2:01 PM
I am not familiar with that case. I am familiar with Microsoft’s case because I am a programmer. But my rule of thumb is, government should stay out of the market. Fact is there are monopolies, real ones, that are all over the place, but are totally ignored by the government…because it suits their interests.

Conservative Voice on January 31, 2010 at 2:47 PM

SgtSteve,

“My exemption of Oregon is my way of saying that, aside from playing the future Pac-10 champs, they played a season of nobodies.”

And like I said, aside from Nebraska, Texas played a season of nobodies. So again, please explain why Texas was the clear #2 team ahead of BSU?

“They played all those programs you pointed out. Is that their fault? No, except that they don’t have to be part of a conference in the first place, and then they could make the schedule they want. Notre Dame does that every year.”

That statement above is exactly why I called you stupid. Instead of suggesting a reasonable, thoughtful, common, well accepted idea to the problem at hand (we have a team that went undefeated yet didn’t get to play for the National Title), i.e. letting them play Alabama, Texas, etc. in a playoff to determine if they are the best team, you now propose that they immediately abandon their conference to become an independent so that they can set their entire schedule (instead of only 4 games) so that they can then play better teams and thus establish a better strength of schedule, etc…First, we’ll ignore the effect that would have on the other 15+ sports who would now be conferenceless (except for wrestling which is already competes in the PAC-10 and thus I guess would be unaffected); something which you obviously didn’t consider before proposing this ridiculous example. Second, they would have to secure a separate agreement with the BCS similar to the one Notre Dame has to ensure they would gain access to a BCS bowl if they were ranked above a certain #. In the WAC, they only have to be ranked in the top 12 to gain an automatic berth to a BCS bowl. So again, on the one hand we have a simple, easy to understand, common idea vs your idea which would be expensive, time-consuming, and way more complicated than it needs to be.

And you’re really getting amped up enough to call someone stupid over a differing opinion about college football, a game neither of us play or are anyway involved in besides being fans? That might not be stupid, but it certainly is petty.

No, I’m calling you stupid because you have dismissed facts that don’t fit your argument (BSU beating Oregon), brought up arguments that have already been proven false (playoff would interfere w/ finals, playoff would have more flaws than BCS, playoff would raise less revenue), suggested fantastically ridiculous arguments to solve simple problems (BSU leave WAC to become independent), raised questions that constructed the majority of your arguments not on facts but on opinion (playoff would give same flawed results as BCS, Texas was better than BSU b/c SOS was much better, BSU did not deserve to play in title game b/c they were one of 2 best teams) and finally, you can’t seem to grasp simple ideas (such as that #9 team complaining about being left out of a 8 tm playoff would be much smaller than amount under current system where there were 5 undfeated teams before BCS Title Game, playoff system would determine on the field who best teams are–”I still maintain that a playoff system isn’t going to do anything that the current regular season doesn’t already do in shaking out who the best teams are.”)

truthmattersfa on January 31, 2010 at 2:53 PM

At what point did I mention “inner city” kids by raising my point? Project much?

You didn’t. I’m just pointing out that if you look at most of the top level programs a large % of the rosters are poor kids from inner city, who probably have never even seen a jetski. SO my point is, why is it so important for them to go to the beach or go jetskiing instead of letting an undefeated teams play on the team to determine the TRUE national champion.

A legitimate national champion was determined this year.

Says who? Who says Alabama is better than Boise State?

To me, the system worked just fine in determining it.

Oh, you said it. So your opinion is all that matters and it doesn’t matter if other teams end the year undefeated or beat the same # of AQ conf champs as Alabama, as long as you think the system worked, then it did (just like Napolitano right–The system worked?)

I don’t know what you’re referring to. I believe it was TCU’s coach who mentioned this. Regardless, the coach had experience as a head coach in the playoff system in Div I-AA

Gary Patterson has never been a head coach of a college team before he took over TCU in 2000. So you are wrong. It was not Patterson.

and had the experience in the current “bowl” system. This coach preferred the current “bowl” system because of the experience his players received – and was perfectly accepting of the BCS bid they received – even though it wasn’t the national championship game. In the end, I found his arguments more persuasive than anything offered by others.

I can’t really respond to this because
1. You don’t correctly identify the coach
2. You don’t give the actual argument cited by the coach
3. You don’t provide any type of citation/link/reference to this supposed mystery coach and his argument.

truthmattersfa on January 31, 2010 at 3:02 PM

Mr. President, stay out of college football and focus on jobs and the economy, focus!!!

yoda on January 31, 2010 at 3:05 PM

SgtSteve,

When I said that a playoff system would reduce the revenue of everyone involved, I was speaking of the BCS, not the bowl system as a whole. This, ultimately, is why I suspect that no playoff system will ever come to pass; because the guys with the giant checkbooks who are involved in the BCS will only invite teams that they believe will sell out their stadiums.

It has absolutely nothing to do with selling out stadiums Steve. This again points to the fact that you are either unfamiliar with CFB or extremely ignorant. The 2 things preventing a playoff are as follows

1) Under the current system, the AQ conferences get 80-85% of the BCS revenue. For example, if BSU played UF in a bowl game, BSU would only take home ~ $9 million while UF would take home ~$17 million (regardless of the outcome of the game)–Note: that is money for the conference not the individual team. So AQ teams have 6 guaranteed BCS slots which results in (6 * $17 million) $102 million in guaranteed revenues regardless of how bad their conferences are. And if they play a nonAQ team in a bowl game, they essentially get twice as much money. Note: this can be skewed slightly if conferences get multiple teams in BCS b/c the additonal team only brings in an additional $4.5 million not another $17 million. With a playoff teams would have to be paid equally and/or be paid based on results. There is no way that Boise State would get half as much as UF if they beat them in the 1st round and made it to the final game, whereas under the current system they do.

2) A playoff would general tons of more $$$, mostly from TV revenue, but some from ticket sales. Once the money gets to a certain level (in the billions–current BCS contract for ESPN starting next year is rumored to be $450-$500 million for 4 years), then the players will start demanding some additional form of compensation (in addition to scholarship, room & board, etc). THat is the other giant albatross that Universities do NOT want to deal with.

truthmattersfa on January 31, 2010 at 3:12 PM

Because Microsoft has never had a monopoly. They certainly had a large market share at the time, but that doesn’t mean they have a monopoly. THE MARKET is a better force to force fairness in the market….leave government out of it.

Well, they did, but that wasn’t the accusation, the accusation was that they had an illegal combination in restraint of trade. They tied Internet Explorer to Windows, preventing other kinds of web browsers from being used as the default browsers and making the OS impossible to operate without IE for no perceivable pro-competitive reason. They wanted to prevent other browser developers from ever entering the operating system market by preventing the browsers from becoming more popular. When Apple made Netscape the default browser, Gates called Apple and threatened to discontinue licensing MS Office unless they used Internet Explorer.

Since you obviously know nothing about antitrust, I’ll just tell you: You can’t do that stuff.

Proud Rino on January 31, 2010 at 3:13 PM

That’s irrelevant if the BCS violates the law, which is why the DOJ is investigating.

Proud Rino on January 31, 2010 at 12:52 PM

Clearly this is going over your head. We’re not talking about phone or cable customers. This is a league. One set of rules and rewards all of NCAA Division I schools buy into. What the Boise States of the world need to do is lobby the NCAA to alter season schedules so they have a chance to play University of Texas and Ohio State and USC and prove themselves and not just beat up on Caca Community College year after year. Perhaps even petition the Big 12 to become the Big 13. Perhaps move to a relegation system so that the last place team in every conference is replaced with another. Baylor has gotten last place every year since the Big 12′s inception…why not replace them with TCU?

Are the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, or MLS monopolies? This is a Trojan horse aimed at distracting populous priorities. Making big government bigger.

Let their be sport and drink!

selias on January 31, 2010 at 3:16 PM

Jerseyman,

How big would a NCAA football tournament need to be, to make everyone happy?

minimum 8, maximum 16

They complained when baseball was too small (only four teams, no wildcards)

Yes, and baseball actually listened to the majority of fans and expanded. Do you hear anyone complaining these days for further expansion??? Thank you for citing an example which supports our argument of changing a postseason system due to fan complaints/pressure which has worked out well.

Barring multiple game playoffs, leave football as is for college and let everyone argue throughout the off season and have fun.

You think Boise State fans are having fun with the fact that they were not allowed to play for the title despite NEVER losing?

truthmattersfa on January 31, 2010 at 3:16 PM

I am not familiar with that case. I am familiar with Microsoft’s case because I am a programmer. But my rule of thumb is, government should stay out of the market. Fact is there are monopolies, real ones, that are all over the place, but are totally ignored by the government…because it suits their interests.

Conservative Voice on January 31, 2010 at 2:47 PM

No, some monopolies are ignored because monopolies themselves are not illegal. Agreements in restraint of trade are illegal. Monopolization (ie doing things to ensure your monopoly not through your own ability but by harming the ability of others to compete) is illegal. And sometimes you have organizations that have antitrust exemptions, like baseball, the insurance industry, and labor.

The other problem is that antitrust cases are extremely hard to prove, usually. BCS is not hard to prove, the entire issue is whether the BCS restrains trade or inhibits economic competition.

You can dance around it all you like, but any kind of agreement that prevents teams who win all their games from having access to the market (guaranteeing that the most popular schools are the only ones that have access to the most profitable games) absolutely inhibits economic competition (athletic competition is not germane to any antitrust analysis).

Proud Rino on January 31, 2010 at 3:18 PM

selias,

“Are the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, or MLS monopolies?”

Do NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL & MLS teams receive public taxpayer dollars? If so, they should be investigate just like NCAA. If not, your analogy is useless.

truthmattersfa on January 31, 2010 at 3:18 PM

Are the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, or MLS monopolies? This is a Trojan horse aimed at distracting populous priorities. Making big government bigger.

Let there be sport and drink!

selias on January 31, 2010 at 3:16 PM

Fixed.

Yes, they have elements of monopolies – all sports leagues have to be like that in order to work. But that’s irrelevant – those restraints are ancillary restraints that have to exist in order for the product of NFL/NCAA football to exist. The BCS does not have to exist in order for there to be a national championship or any of the other bowl games, so they don’t get the protection of being an ancillary restraint.

Proud Rino on January 31, 2010 at 3:23 PM

Once again, the ignorant and arrogant Obama administration prove themselves to be historically ignorant, as do NFL fans who want a similar playoff system, which if established, they will subsequently ignore.

College football has a long history of the regular season being paramount. Not some idiotic “playoff” system, like NCAA basketball has, where a team that finishes 5th in their conference becomes “national champion” (e.g. Arizona a number of years ago).

College football has a playoff already – it’s called the regular season. Obama knows more about college football than he does about health care, but as usual, his narrow bit of knowledge is painfully insufficient to the task.

NoDonkey on January 31, 2010 at 3:29 PM

Do NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL & MLS teams receive public taxpayer dollars? If so, they should be investigate just like NCAA. If not, your analogy is useless.

truthmattersfa on January 31, 2010 at 3:18 PM

NCAA is a non-profit…not a government entity. Any entity whether corporate or non-profit can benefit from taxpayer dollars in one form or another. Taxpayers fund stadiums, owners are offered tax incentives to lure teams, etc. Your point is irrelevant, unless you charge those leagues should not benefit from taxpayer dollars, in any form.

selias on January 31, 2010 at 3:32 PM

Once again, the ignorant and arrogant Obama administration prove themselves to be historically ignorant, as do NFL fans who want a similar playoff system, which if established, they will subsequently ignore.

College football has a long history of the regular season being paramount. Not some idiotic “playoff” system, like NCAA basketball has, where a team that finishes 5th in their conference becomes “national champion” (e.g. Arizona a number of years ago).

College football has a playoff already – it’s called the regular season. Obama knows more about college football than he does about health care, but as usual, his narrow bit of knowledge is painfully insufficient to the task.

NoDonkey on January 31, 2010 at 3:29 PM

Whether or not the current system is better than the NFL playoffs is not relevant to whether it’s an antitrust violation, but if that were true, then presumably NFL regular season games would be extremely unpopular, and that’s definitely borne out by the data, which states that NFL regular season games are the most popular TV sports in the United States by far, outpacing baseball, basketball, hockey, and soccer, and whatever the WNBA purports to be.

What?!?! It doesn’t make any sense! Why would anyone care about watching football if you have a playoff system!?!

Proud Rino on January 31, 2010 at 3:33 PM

College football has a long history of the regular season being paramount. Not some idiotic “playoff” system, like NCAA basketball has, where a team that finishes 5th in their conference becomes “national champion” (e.g. Arizona a number of years ago).

And yeah, aren’t those cinderella teams in NCAA basketball the worst? Remember when George Mason made it to the Final Four, how angry everyone was? That was awful – the computers said Connecticut was better! Who would want to watch some boring underdog play when we could have the team all the sportswriters agree are the best, since sportswriters are obviously really smart and always well-informed about sports?

Proud Rino on January 31, 2010 at 3:39 PM

Fixed.

Yes, they have elements of monopolies – all sports leagues have to be like that in order to work. But that’s irrelevant – those restraints are ancillary restraints that have to exist in order for the product of NFL/NCAA football to exist. The BCS does not have to exist in order for there to be a national championship or any of the other bowl games, so they don’t get the protection of being an ancillary restraint.

Proud Rino on January 31, 2010 at 3:23 PM

In that case, the NFL doesn’t need to exist to allow 32 owners to meet to discuss rules, and who will play whom. Decide which markets will have a game blacked out on TV. Have licensing ownership over a player’s likeness or a team’s logo. MLB doesn’t need to exist in order to tell StubHub that only Ticketmaster may sell tickets to see a Dodgers/Red Sox game. Etc.

selias on January 31, 2010 at 3:41 PM

Each NCAA Division has 1 private school member – USC, Northwestern, Vanderbilt, Baylor, etc. so that they can have their meetings in private.
Does Big Brother think he will be allowed to horn in on business conducted at private schools? I don’t think so.
Get your hands off of my football, Mr. President!

redwhiteblue on January 31, 2010 at 3:43 PM

In that case, the NFL doesn’t need to exist to allow 32 owners to meet to discuss rules, and who will play whom. Decide which markets will have a game blacked out on TV. Have licensing ownership over a player’s likeness or a team’s logo. MLB doesn’t need to exist in order to tell StubHub that only Ticketmaster may sell tickets to see a Dodgers/Red Sox game. Etc.

selias on January 31, 2010 at 3:41 PM

Wrong, yes it does have to exist- it doesn’t have to be the NFL necessarily, but it has to be some league which imposes restraints. Even if you don’t call it the NFL, you still have to have an agreement amongst the owners in order for the product to exist.

The BCS is different in that sense – the bowls existed long before the BCS, and the only product created by the BCS is a single game – the National Championship game. Could a national championship game exist without the BCS? Obviously, yes. It’s essentially one more bowl game.

Proud Rino on January 31, 2010 at 3:47 PM

Does Big Brother think he will be allowed to horn in on business conducted at private schools? I don’t think so.
Get your hands off of my football, Mr. President!

redwhiteblue on January 31, 2010 at 3:43 PM

It can horn in on business conducted at private business if those businesses are involved in Sherman Act violations, so I don’t see why private schools are any different.

Proud Rino on January 31, 2010 at 3:48 PM

Wrong, yes it does have to exist- it doesn’t have to be the NFL necessarily, but it has to be some league which imposes restraints. Even if you don’t call it the NFL, you still have to have an agreement amongst the owners in order for the product to exist.

The BCS is different in that sense – the bowls existed long before the BCS, and the only product created by the BCS is a single game – the National Championship game. Could a national championship game exist without the BCS? Obviously, yes. It’s essentially one more bowl game.

Proud Rino on January 31, 2010 at 3:47 PM

Arguing over semantics. Would you feel better with it being renamed the NCAA Bowl Series because that’s exactly what you just argued? BCS, NCAA, doesn’t matter. It is the punctuation to the season the majority of the NCAA division I schools bought into. Hello, McFly?!

There are many other avenues to take before the government ever needs to get involved if some of the smaller schools feel they’re getting a raw deal. Start other leagues…claim their own National Championship game, convince conferences such as the SEC or Big 12 which many consider the powerhouse conferences to take on larger membership, etc.

selias on January 31, 2010 at 3:57 PM

Arguing over semantics. Would you feel better with it being renamed the NCAA Bowl Series because that’s exactly what you just argued? BCS, NCAA, doesn’t matter. It is the punctuation to the season the majority of the NCAA division I schools bought into. Hello, McFly?!

Not responsive to my argument. You have to have some restraints in order to have a league in the first place – agreements on rules, teams, etc. You don’t have to have a BCS in order to have college football. You don’t have to have a BCS in order to have a national championship game.

There are many other avenues to take before the government ever needs to get involved if some of the smaller schools feel they’re getting a raw deal. Start other leagues…claim their own National Championship game, convince conferences such as the SEC or Big 12 which many consider the powerhouse conferences to take on larger membership, etc.

selias on January 31, 2010 at 3:57 PM

Another league would be fine, I think that’s one way to solve the problem. But the NCAA and the BCS invite these other teams to be a part of the BCS, and then they say, “…but you can’t have access to the most profitable games,” and the only rational economic reason they can use is the circular logic of “Well we want to have the most popular teams in the big games,” but of course, the only reason why those schools are the most popular schools are because they’re in the big games.

Making the bigger conferences have larger membership doesn’t solve the problem. Maybe it solves Boise State’s problem, but it doesn’t solve Utah’s problem in 2 years. OR TCU’s problem next year. And it doesn’t change the fact that it’s illegal.

Proud Rino on January 31, 2010 at 4:07 PM

I think it’s funny when Obama pretends to be interested in sports. Or women. Or what’s best for America.

boko fittleworth on January 31, 2010 at 4:09 PM

truthmattersfa,

Says who? Who says Alabama is better than Boise State?

The BCS, and both the USA Today and AP final coaches’ polls – which Alabama unanimously received all the first place votes.

Oh, you said it. So your opinion is all that matters and it doesn’t matter if other teams end the year undefeated or beat the same # of AQ conf champs as Alabama, as long as you think the system worked, then it did (just like Napolitano right–The system worked?)

No, but apparently, only your opinion matters. See the aforementioned information about the coaches voting. Also, Alabama beat 6 ranked opponents (at the time of the game) – 4 of which were Top-10, 2 of which were Top-2. By contrast, your beloved Boise State beat 2 ranked opponents, 1 of which was Top-5. Boise State’s #4 opponent, TCU, only beat 3 ranked opponents, none in the Top-5. You’ll be happy to know that I had absolutely no determination in the crowning of the national champion. But, I agree with their conclusion. And by all means – keep comparing the system to determine a national champion in college football to the system of preventing “man-caused disasters” from killing US civilians. You’ll win a lot of points there.

Gary Patterson has never been a head coach of a college team before he took over TCU in 2000. So you are wrong. It was not Patterson.

Ok. It may have been Brian Kelly then. But, I don’t really care. Thank you for pointing out that I was wrong with the coach. I am so much the better for it. If I find a link, I’ll add it. I heard it on ESPN one morning on the drive into work, and thought it was a valid point – and one that I hadn’t heard in all the discussions surrounding suggested changes to the current system.

Neo-con Artist on January 31, 2010 at 4:16 PM

Not responsive to my argument. You have to have some restraints in order to have a league in the first place – agreements on rules, teams, etc. You don’t have to have a BCS in order to have college football. You don’t have to have a BCS in order to have a national championship game.

Dude…are you really that obtuse? The NFL doesn’t need to own the rights to the Super Bowl for all 32 teams and the governing body to declare that the Super Bowl will be the final punctuation of the season. Even if Pepsi bought the rights to it and claimed it as the Fritos Mega Galactic Championship.

Another league would be fine, I think that’s one way to solve the problem. But the NCAA and the BCS invite these other teams to be a part of the BCS, and then they say, “…but you can’t have access to the most profitable games,” and the only rational economic reason they can use is the circular logic of “Well we want to have the most popular teams in the big games,” but of course, the only reason why those schools are the most popular schools are because they’re in the big games.

Making the bigger conferences have larger membership doesn’t solve the problem. Maybe it solves Boise State’s problem, but it doesn’t solve Utah’s problem in 2 years. OR TCU’s problem next year. And it doesn’t change the fact that it’s illegal.

Proud Rino on January 31, 2010 at 4:07 PM

It also doesn’t solve Louisiana Tech’s chances of having a 1/10000 chance of beating Texas or Florida. But even though they’re not in the Big 12 or SEC, they somehow get the chance to play those teams every year to prove otherwise. Last time I checked, TCU, Boise, and Utah weren’t making the case that they want to play 4 or 5 non-conference games against Top 25 teams every season in an effort to prove themselves. Just that they expect to make the big show at the end of the season when they’ve maybe played 1 top 25 team all season, but Texas or USC or Ohio State have every other game against a top 25 team.

Since we’re forcing the spread of bowl game wealth around, should we also spread the wealth around of great players? Force big schools to only have 5 scholarship players and the rest of their top recruits must be dispersed to other schools?

selias on January 31, 2010 at 4:29 PM

No, some monopolies are ignored because monopolies themselves are not illegal. Agreements in restraint of trade are illegal. Monopolization (ie doing things to ensure your monopoly not through your own ability but by harming the ability of others to compete) is illegal. And sometimes you have organizations that have antitrust exemptions, like baseball, the insurance industry, and labor.

You mean like the government run educational systems? Or Banks ( the Fed and now Fannie Mae ), Busing, Trains, Utilities, Postal Service? None of those things NEED to be managed by government, and absolutely none of those things NEED to be solely managed by government. ( And yes I know that there is some competition is each of those things mentioned…but the monopoly ( aka government ) makes it extremely difficult to run against their business harming their ability to compete. The only business that I mentioned that government is obligated to have is the Postal System.

Here is the thing, Football is a sport, so in reality its competing for attention from other sports. Hardly does college football have a monopoly over sports. Changing it to a certain way of how they do their games hardly changes their “monopoly” status even if there was one.

Conservative Voice on January 31, 2010 at 4:30 PM

NoDonkey,

College football has a playoff already – it’s called the regular season.

Could you do me a favor and let me know in which week Boise State was eliminated from this “playoff”?

Thanks.

truthmattersfa on January 31, 2010 at 4:43 PM

Have be become so pathetic a nation that we need the government to step in and “solve” our BCS problem?

No.

Obama, the whining roster-filler, is the last person whose opinion I want to hear on this matter. Isn’t destroying our work, home values, IRA’s and education system enough for this guy, does he have to meddle in our free time too?

batterup on January 31, 2010 at 4:44 PM

selias,

” Taxpayers fund stadiums, owners are offered tax incentives to lure teams, etc.”

Those are all local or state tax funds. We are talking about FEDERAL tax funds. If you find a team from one of those leagues which has accepted FEDERAL tax dollars, let me know. Otherwise, nice try.

truthmattersfa on January 31, 2010 at 4:45 PM

You mean like the government run educational systems?

Er, no. What I mean is, it’s not illegal to be good at what you do. If you become a monopolist through making a great product, that’s fine. If you become a monopolist (or, more likely, stay a monopolist) by buying the means of production and then selling at a price to your competitors for which they cannot compete, then we have a problem.

Example: If you owned all the coal mines in the United States, and you sell to coal refineries at higher prices than you sell to your own refineries so that you can prevent competition in the refining industry, that’s probably going to be an antitrust violation. Just owning all the coal is not.

Here is the thing, Football is a sport, so in reality its competing for attention from other sports. Hardly does college football have a monopoly over sports. Changing it to a certain way of how they do their games hardly changes their “monopoly” status even if there was one.

Conservative Voice on January 31, 2010 at 4:30 PM

Right, but that’s not the only way to define the market. The college teams compete with each other economically as well.

Dude…are you really that obtuse? The NFL doesn’t need to own the rights to the Super Bowl for all 32 teams and the governing body to declare that the Super Bowl will be the final punctuation of the season. Even if Pepsi bought the rights to it and claimed it as the Fritos Mega Galactic Championship.

I don’t think you know what you’re arguing. I’m saying you have to have some restraints in order to have a product exist at all, and those restraints are exempt from antitrust law. The BCS provides exactly one additional bowl game which could just as easily exist under some other structure.

Last time I checked, TCU, Boise, and Utah weren’t making the case that they want to play 4 or 5 non-conference games against Top 25 teams every season in an effort to prove themselves. Just that they expect to make the big show at the end of the season when they’ve maybe played 1 top 25 team all season, but Texas or USC or Ohio State have every other game against a top 25 team.

Well, I imagine in order to belong to the conference, you have to agree to play a certain number of conference teams. That’s a restraint on competition, but a perfectly legal one since the conference wouldn’t really exist if teams didn’t have to play each other in it.

Since we’re forcing the spread of bowl game wealth around, should we also spread the wealth around of great players? Force big schools to only have 5 scholarship players and the rest of their top recruits must be dispersed to other schools?

selias on January 31, 2010 at 4:29 PM

No one is advocating spreading the wealth around, I’m saying that under the current system some economic competitors are not privy to the most profitable parts of a market because their economic competitors do not want them there, and that’s illegal. The players don’t apply in an antitrust case because labor has an antitrust exemption, but there’s a great antitrust case about all that – Clarett v. NFL – if you’re interested.

Proud Rino on January 31, 2010 at 4:48 PM

I liked it when the Pac 10 Champion would play the Big 10 Champion in the Rose Bowl. As a student in a Pac 10 school, the Rose Bowl was always the goal. Winning that game was as important as a national championship, as far as any Pac 10 or Big 10 student was concerned. Now it is a consolation prize. Only losers play in the Rose Bowl.

Screw the national championship. There is no way to make it work. Whatever system is in place, it will be arbitrary. With a playoff starting with a round of 16, there will be 16 injustices, instead of just two. It is just not workable to pick a bracket of two, four, eight, sixteen or whatever out of the college football system, which has varied schedules and arbitrary criteria.

Just drop kick the whole mess. Forget it was ever done. Go back to the system of bowls between divisions, and let the students argue about which team was better between non-competing conferences, without pretending there is a real answer to that question.

And make the Rose Bowl mean something again.

Haiku Guy on January 31, 2010 at 4:52 PM

Proud Rino on January 31, 2010 at 3:33 PM

The last thing we need are lawyers involved in football. Next thing you know the entire sport will be sued out of existence because injuries are part of the game.

“which week Boise State was eliminated from this “playoff”?”

Boise State won their conference, congratulations. That’s all they are owed, a chance to win their conference.

Historically, bowl games were a reward for a good regular season and had nothing to do with the national championship.

Get lawyers involved and once they figure out they can sue the NCAA each and every time a player breaks a fingernail, there won’t be any playoffs or a regular season.

NoDonkey on January 31, 2010 at 4:55 PM

The last thing we need are lawyers involved in football. Next thing you know the entire sport will be sued out of existence because injuries are part of the game.

Yeah you’re right, what place do lawyers have in this potential violation of the law?

Proud Rino on January 31, 2010 at 4:57 PM

“Also, Alabama beat 6 ranked opponents (at the time of the game)”

First, ranking at time of game is generally meaningless–unless there was some type of significant injury or other circumstance which affected a team. Final season ranking is what matters. BTW, I’m not saying that Boise State is better than Alabama or would beat Alabama. What I am saying is that I think they should have had a shot to play Alabama.

Also, Alabama beat 6 ranked opponents (at the time of the game) – 4 of which were Top-10, 2 of which were Top-2. By contrast, your beloved Boise State beat 2 ranked opponents, 1 of which was Top-5. Boise State’s #4 opponent, TCU, only beat 3 ranked opponents, none in the Top-5.

This is all opinion. And frankly, if we had a playoff, it would not exist. The results would have been determined on the field and would have spoken for themselves. Is that why you like the current system, because it keeps alive arguments which are extremely easy to settle?

And by all means – keep comparing the system to determine a national champion in college football to the system of preventing “man-caused disasters” from killing US civilians. You’ll win a lot of points there.

I just found it funny that you (Napolitano) in defending a clearly broken system with many flaws BCS (airline security/no-fly lists) used the exact same phrase “the system worked”. Because the system clearly didn’t work in either case. And anyone who looks at either situation for more than 5 minutes can clearly see that. By the way, did the system work last year when Oklahoma got to play for the title over Texas even though Texas beat Oklahoma? That an example of the “the system worked”?

“I heard it on ESPN one morning on the drive into work, and thought it was a valid point “

What was a valid point? You never described what the point was? All you said was that a coach who had coached in a system which had a playoff preferred the BCS to it. You never gave the reasons why and why he thinks the BCS is better than a playoff.

truthmattersfa on January 31, 2010 at 4:57 PM

Go back to the system of bowls between divisions, and let the students argue about which team was better between non-competing conferences, without pretending there is a real answer to that question.

Haiku Guy on January 31, 2010 at 4:52 PM

Or we could have the teams play each other and actually have a real answer, like they do in just about every other sport. We should get rid of all playoffs in all sports because it’s more fun to argue about who was better than actually having them play the games and find out.

Proud Rino on January 31, 2010 at 4:58 PM

NoDonkey,

You didn’t answer my question, so I will ask it again.

Since

“College football has a playoff already – it’s called the regular season.

“in which week Boise State was eliminated from this “playoff”?”

Or if that is too difficult for you, you can instead tell me in which week Utah was eliminated during the 2008 “Playoff” (i.e. regular season).

truthmattersfa on January 31, 2010 at 5:01 PM

truthmattersfa on January 31, 2010 at 5:01 PM

What’s your issue? There is no college football playoff, nor should there be. And I’m glad.

You want playoffs, go watch the NFL, the NBA, the NHL.

All of them have interminable playoffs.

NoDonkey on January 31, 2010 at 5:06 PM

President – 12th man on the field.

yoda on January 31, 2010 at 5:08 PM

What’s your issue? There is no college football playoff, nor should there be. And I’m glad.

You want playoffs, go watch the NFL, the NBA, the NHL.

All of them have interminable playoffs.

NoDonkey on January 31, 2010 at 5:06 PM

I thought you said they regular season was the playoff? How is the College Football playoffs (which is the regular season extending from August until December) more interminable than all the other sports’ playoffs, which are all shorter than 3 months?

Proud Rino on January 31, 2010 at 5:08 PM

Yeah you’re right, what place do lawyers have in this potential violation of the law?

Proud Rino on January 31, 2010 at 4:57 PM

Yeah, you’re right, once lawyers get involved and suck the living blood out of anything they get their fangs into, the lifeless shell they leave is ALWAYS an improvement.

NoDonkey on January 31, 2010 at 5:09 PM

Yeah, you’re right, once lawyers get involved and suck the living blood out of anything they get their fangs into, the lifeless shell they leave is ALWAYS an improvement.

NoDonkey on January 31, 2010 at 5:09 PM

I didn’t say it’d be an improvement. Lots of things are arguably better if you just let people break the laws, and that especially applies with antitrust laws. If you have a problem with the Sherman Act, take it up with your Congressman/Senators.

And technically, I prefer to call the people I sink my fangs into “undead,” not “lifeless.”

Proud Rino on January 31, 2010 at 5:13 PM

Proud Rino on January 31, 2010 at 5:13 PM

Once the lawyers start tinkering underneath the hood, who knows what direction it will lead to or what they will find.

The concussion issue in the NFL might lead to a nightmare scenario where football is either banned entirely or sued out of existence.

Even if I were in favor of a playoff, the last thing in the world I would want is the lawyers in the White House or the Justice Department getting involved. Everything they touch turns into a turd sandwich.

NoDonkey on January 31, 2010 at 5:17 PM

Once the lawyers start tinkering underneath the hood, who knows what direction it will lead to or what they will find.

Take it up with your Congressman/Senators to change the Sherman Act.

The concussion issue in the NFL might lead to a nightmare scenario where football is either banned entirely or sued out of existence.

That’s not what we’re discussing here, no one has proposed that, so nice straw man there.

Even if I were in favor of a playoff, the last thing in the world I would want is the lawyers in the White House or the Justice Department getting involved. Everything they touch turns into a turd sandwich.

NoDonkey on January 31, 2010 at 5:17 PM

As a general rule, if you don’t want the DOJ bothering you, don’t break the law.

Proud Rino on January 31, 2010 at 5:24 PM

Guys, setting up a playoff system in college football is very feasible. Setup a 16 team, 4 round, 4 week tournament. Have the games start after the D-1AA championship game (around December 18th-20th) and end mid-January. To determine the playoff teams and seeding number, you look at quality wins (beat a +.500 team) – bad losses (lost to an under .500 team) first, and then conference record, and then overall record.

Should the Federal government/Obama get involved? No way. BCS is a private manner, and quite frankly Orrin Hatch and Obama have better things to worry about.

Frank T.J Mackey on January 31, 2010 at 5:28 PM

Those are all local or state tax funds. We are talking about FEDERAL tax funds. If you find a team from one of those leagues which has accepted FEDERAL tax dollars, let me know. Otherwise, nice try.

truthmattersfa on January 31, 2010 at 4:45 PM

Well just off the top of my head…the mayor of Phoenix spent $35 million on the 2009 NBA All-Star game then asked the Federal Gov for over $100 million in stimulus money. The NFL regularly uses Federal Marshals for security at big events. The city of Los Angeles is trying to divert stimulus money towards their $163 million dollar renovation of the Rose Bowl in an effort to get an NFL team. The NFL, a non-profit, is currently in negotiations with the Federal Gov, to be exempt from showing their books.

Those are just a few instances without having to Google anything, and assuming all the leagues and owners are on the up-and-up and not lobbying/have government officials in their back-pockets for God knows what.

selias on January 31, 2010 at 5:29 PM

This is where the States tell Obama and his butt wipes, to F— off!

Cybergeezer on January 31, 2010 at 5:43 PM

Well, I imagine in order to belong to the conference, you have to agree to play a certain number of conference teams. That’s a restraint on competition, but a perfectly legal one since the conference wouldn’t really exist if teams didn’t have to play each other in it.

Proud Rino on January 31, 2010 at 4:48 PM

The first half of the college football season is dedicated to playing non-conference games. Are you aware of that? Boise, TCU, etc. would have their problems solved by appealing to the league to schedule other top 25 games allotted for what would otherwise be non-conference games against Neverheardof University. Boise and the like are upset that after having played only a single top 25 team, they be given the same recognition as a Florida that had to play 5 or 6 top 25 teams, and still remain undefeated.

Take it up with your Congressman/Senators to change the Sherman Act.

Proud Rino on January 31, 2010 at 5:24 PM

Typical. Have the law changed. Get government involved. Not take your own advice and tell Boise, etc. they’re barking up the wrong tree…take it up with the NCAA.

Case law over Constitution, right?

selias on January 31, 2010 at 5:44 PM

The first half of the college football season is dedicated to playing non-conference games. Are you aware of that? Boise, TCU, etc. would have their problems solved by appealing to the league to schedule other top 25 games allotted for what would otherwise be non-conference games against Neverheardof University. Boise and the like are upset that after having played only a single top 25 team, they be given the same recognition as a Florida that had to play 5 or 6 top 25 teams, and still remain undefeated.

Super. Not responsive to my argument.

Typical. Have the law changed. Get government involved. Not take your own advice and tell Boise, etc. they’re barking up the wrong tree…take it up with the NCAA.

Case law over Constitution, right?

selias on January 31, 2010 at 5:44 PM

LOL. If you don’t like the law, then you should try to have your elected officials change the law. That’s their job. That’s what you elect Congress to do. That’s not “case law,” those are statutes.

Proud Rino on January 31, 2010 at 5:51 PM

What’s your issue?

The fraud that is the BCS. I thought this was quite clear from my previous posts.

There is no college football playoff, nor should there be.

Good thing that a majority of fans in every poll taken agree with you. Oh wait. They don’t. http://www.collegefootballcafeteria.com/bcs/fans-want-a-playoff-according-to-quinnipiac/

You want playoffs, go watch the NFL, the NBA, the NHL. All of them have interminable playoffs.

From the first NFL playoff game to the Super Bowl is 29 days (1 month). The CFB regular season (which you labeled as a “playoff”) is 3.5 months long. 1 month = interminable. 3.5 months = what exactly?

It would have been much funnier and even more intellectually honest to just have responded with Jim Mora’s quote “Playoffs?!!? Don’t talk about Playoffs!”

truthmattersfa on January 31, 2010 at 6:02 PM

Super. Not responsive to my argument.

/sigh

Geez.

LOL. If you don’t like the law, then you should try to have your elected officials change the law. That’s their job. That’s what you elect Congress to do. That’s not “case law,” those are statutes.

Proud Rino on January 31, 2010 at 5:51 PM

LOL at your enlightenment. Forest through the trees.

(note to self: when communicating with Proud RINO, only refer to latest comment, he/she forgets all previous.)

selias on January 31, 2010 at 6:03 PM

NoDonkey,

One more time…

Since

“College football has a playoff already – it’s called the regular season.“

in which week Boise State was eliminated from this “playoff”?”

Or if that is too difficult for you, you can instead tell me in which week Utah was eliminated during the 2008 “Playoff” (i.e. regular season).

truthmattersfa on January 31, 2010 at 6:07 PM

selias,

The first half of the college football season is dedicated to playing non-conference games. Are you aware of that?

Not entirely true. There are non-conference games which take place in the 2nd half of the season.

Boise, TCU, etc. would have their problems solved by appealing to the league to schedule other top 25 games allotted for what would otherwise be non-conference games against Neverheardof University.

I don’t understand what you are saying. You are proposing that Boise & TCU convince other members of the WAC & MWC to play top-25 teams, or more accurately get beat quite easily by top-25 teams (since most of the other teams in those conferences are quite weak). And this helps, Boise & TCU how exactly??

Boise and the like are upset that after having played only a single top 25 team, they be given the same recognition as a Florida that had to play 5 or 6 top 25 teams, and still remain undefeated.

Wow. You really don’t follow CFB much do you. UF beat 1 (yes 1!!) top-25 team during the regular season: LSU (#4 when the game was played, ended the yr at #17). Where did you get your 5 or 6 claim from? Boise State beat 1 top-25 team during the regular season: Oregon (#16 when game was played, finished at #11). So not only are you completely wrong on the facts (shocker!), you actually made an argument that supports Boise > UF. Thank you for helping to bolster my case.

truthmattersfa on January 31, 2010 at 6:15 PM

BTW, I’m not saying that Boise State is better than Alabama or would beat Alabama. What I am saying is that I think they should have had a shot to play Alabama.

They do. It’s called a non-conference schedule.

Is that why you like the current system, because it keeps alive arguments which are extremely easy to settle?

No. I like the system because it allows the #1 and #2 teams, as determined by the BCS formula – which these colleges ascribe to, determine the national champion. If the colleges don’t like it, then allow them to modify it.

I just found it funny that you (Napolitano) in defending a clearly broken system with many flaws BCS (airline security/no-fly lists) used the exact same phrase “the system worked”. Because the system clearly didn’t work in either case. And anyone who looks at either situation for more than 5 minutes can clearly see that. By the way, did the system work last year when Oklahoma got to play for the title over Texas even though Texas beat Oklahoma? That an example of the “the system worked”?

No. The BCS system worked exactly as intended, based on the inputs to the BCS formula. You disagree with the result of the system, and you equate that to the system failing. It didn’t fail. #1 and #2, as determined by the BCS formula, met for one final game to determine the national champion. The system designed to keep explosives off planes clearly failed – clearly evidenced by the fact that explosives made it on an airline.

What was a valid point? You never described what the point was? All you said was that a coach who had coached in a system which had a playoff preferred the BCS to it. You never gave the reasons why and why he thinks the BCS is better than a playoff.

In my first post, I mentioned that a coach, who coached in both the 1-AA playoff system and the current BCS system, preferred the BCS because of the experience the players receive with the various festivities, etc., that come with the bowl game. Because of this, he preferred the BCS system. Again, I see discussion points relating to increased revenue and letting the players determine it on the field, but no discussion on what would be lost in developing this playoff system. The coach provided a perspective which I had not seen mentioned before. The current system allows for tremendous revenue development and sharing, provides a championship game with continued importance on all regular season games, and provides the players with a terrific experience around the holidays.

Neo-con Artist on January 31, 2010 at 6:20 PM

The government under Democrats has become some kind of monster, trying to slide its tentacles into every facet of our lives.

There are not many facets of our lives left that are not already controlled/regulated/taxed by the government. Think about your typical day. What do you do that has no government control on it?

I’m sorry but our goal shouldn’t be to stop further intrusions but to roll back decades of questionable encroachment into our lives.

Wine_N_Dine on January 31, 2010 at 6:30 PM

The BCS system isn’t competitive, I actually agree with Obama on this one.

Cr4sh Dummy on January 31, 2010 at 6:32 PM

Not entirely true. There are non-conference games which take place in the 2nd half of the season.

You are correct. But the majority of conferences reserve the first few games of the season as non-conference. There are of course, outliers and traditional rivalries which do not follow this practice.

I don’t understand what you are saying. You are proposing that Boise & TCU convince other members of the WAC & MWC to play top-25 teams, or more accurately get beat quite easily by top-25 teams (since most of the other teams in those conferences are quite weak). And this helps, Boise & TCU how exactly??

No. Teams like Boise State need to appeal for their own schedules. Not the rest of their conference.

Wow. You really don’t follow CFB much do you. UF beat 1 (yes 1!!) top-25 team during the regular season: LSU (#4 when the game was played, ended the yr at #17). Where did you get your 5 or 6 claim from? Boise State beat 1 top-25 team during the regular season: Oregon (#16 when game was played, finished at #11). So not only are you completely wrong on the facts (shocker!), you actually made an argument that supports Boise > UF. Thank you for helping to bolster my case.

Again. Sorry, forgot the Oregon game. However, what were the strength of schedule for the two teams which finished higher than Boise, TCU, etc? How many teams did Boise play which started the season in top 25 contention. And what about those other two pesky teams that finished higher again?

selias on January 31, 2010 at 6:34 PM

There are not many facets of our lives left that are not already controlled/regulated/taxed by the government. Think about your typical day. What do you do that has no government control on it?

I’m sorry but our goal shouldn’t be to stop further intrusions but to roll back decades of questionable encroachment into our lives.

Wine_N_Dine on January 31, 2010 at 6:30 PM

Hear-hear!

selias on January 31, 2010 at 6:38 PM

I say let Obama in on a game of . . . uh . . . touch football with some of his friends on the Cambridge Police Department. If he leaves the game on his own two spindly legs, he gets to make the call on college football. This proposition sounds better to me than it does to Obama, I`m thinking.

I despise Obama.

Sherman1864 on January 31, 2010 at 7:34 PM

I don’t seem to recall reading anything in the Constitution concerning college sports. Why Americans tolerate this is beyond me.

Send_Me on January 31, 2010 at 8:10 PM

I don’t seem to recall reading anything in the Constitution concerning college sports. Why Americans tolerate this is beyond me.

Send_Me on January 31, 2010 at 8:10 PM

Doesn’t say anything about an Air Force, either.

Proud Rino on January 31, 2010 at 8:29 PM

NeoCon Artist,

BTW, I’m not saying that Boise State is better than Alabama or would beat Alabama. What I am saying is that I think they should have had a shot to play Alabama.

They do. It’s called a non-conference schedule.

That doesn’t make any sense. Are you trying to say that because Boise didn’t schedule to play Alabama this year, they forfeit any right to play in the BCS Title Game? Well, Texas didn’t schedule Alabama and yet they got to play in it? I honestly have no idea what you are talking about…

No. I like the system because it allows the #1 and #2 teams, as determined by the BCS formula –

Yes, you like a system which arbitrarily picks 2 teams as the best due to secret and unpublished formulas instead of having the “best” teams being determined by on-field performance. Like I asked one of the earlier people, you in favor of this system for politics as well? So instead of primaries, we just use a bunch of secret formulas to determine who the best candidates are rather than having them run actual campaigns against each other. Great idea, right?

because of the experience the players receive with the various festivities, etc., that come with the bowl game.

Those would not disappear. Almost every playoff proposal incorporates the 4 main BCS bowls into it at some stage (some have it at the start, some at the end). So your argument that these festivities would go away in a playoff system is wrong.

“The current system allows for tremendous revenue development and sharing,”

85% of the revenue goes to 54% (65/120) of the teams. That’s a great system of sharing.

“and provides the players with a terrific experience around the holidays.”

I already covered this. Players would still get to jetski to their little hearts’ content under a playoff.

truthmattersfa on January 31, 2010 at 8:44 PM

No. Teams like Boise State need to appeal for their own schedules. Not the rest of their conference.

Again, I have no idea what you are talking about. Are you saying that Boise State needs to schedule tougher OOC teams? Because they scheduled more AQ conf champs (1) in their OOC than Alabama, Texas, & Florida combined. Also, they have 1 open game left for 2011–a road game. And AQ teams are REFUSING to play them. They’re not even requesting a home and home. They’re asking to come to a team’s home stadium to play 1 game and 10 AQ teams have turned them down. So what the hell are they supposed to do??

How many teams did Boise play which started the season in top 25 contention.

I already covered this in the previous post. They played 2 teams and beat two teams last year that finished (starting position is irrelevant) in top-25 (Oregon, TCU). Same with UF. Same with Texas (only if you include Ok State from Coaches Poll). Obvioulsy their overall SOS is weak b/c their conference is weak. But their OOC schedule was 10X tougher than either Texas or Florida.

truthmattersfa on January 31, 2010 at 8:51 PM

2008 college postseason and 2009 postseason are prime examples of why the current system is bad. In 2008, Alabama won 12/13 regular season games. Their only regular season loss was to Florida (the 2009 NC winner). For the Sugar Bowl, they faced off against Utah, the only undefeated team in D1-A football. What happened? Utah defeated Alabama by two touchdowns. So why was Utah ineligible for the National Championship game? They were denied because the pollsters didn’t think they were worthy of winning a championship. That’s right. In college football, you’re not automatically eligible to win a National Championship, if you win all your games. How is that right, let alone fair?

Now lets turn to 2009. In 2009, we had 5 undefeated teams in the regular season. So how did they decide who was worthy of going to the National Championship game? Was it based on who beat the better teams? No. Texas beat a 3 loss team, and a 4 loss team. Cincy beat two 3 loss teams. Boise State beat a 2 loss team. TCU beat two 2 loss teams. Alabama beat a 1 loss team. If we go by who beat the better of opponents, then the National Championship game should have been Alabama Vs. TCU. How was it decided? It was decided through pollsters, not statistics, and not based on anything, any team did wrong.

Now for those of you who believe the current system is fair, please why teams like Utah, TCU, Boise State, and Cincinnati should be denied the opportunity to win a National Championship? Why should polls decide who is the better team? Why should we have 5 different champions in college football, instead of 1?

Frank T.J Mackey on January 31, 2010 at 8:53 PM

I humbly disagree with the majority here. I think Obama shouldgo after college football with all his focus and energy; and the sooner the better.

Yeah, sure he’ll screw it up beyod hope. But hear me out.We really needfor him to have something to do besides continue to work on the economy and jobs, cuae we don’t have enough of either left to sustatin any more damage from his goofy schemes and plans. And we needfor him to turn hisfocusaway from the military or he’s gonna get usall killed.

Anything this moron gets hishands on gets worse, fast. At least football is a realtivly benign place for him to spend the next three years without killing people or ruining what’s left of commerce.

Maybe they can let him go out on the field and give speeches at games and get him a funny hat that looks like cheese or something. Whatever. Just keep him busy for a couple of months and I’ll bet we’ll see 2 million jobs really get created.

MikeA on January 31, 2010 at 9:02 PM

Doesn’t say anything about an Air Force, either.
Proud Rino on January 31, 2010 at 8:29 PM

“The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence…
“To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;
“To provide and maintain a Navy;
“To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces”
The USAF originated under the Army. Then, over time, it split off for managerial reasons. It still falls in line with the concept of “provid[ing] for the national defence.” As does the Marine Corps.

Send_Me on January 31, 2010 at 9:06 PM

Are you trying to say that because Boise didn’t schedule to play Alabama this year, they forfeit any right to play in the BCS Title Game? Well, Texas didn’t schedule Alabama and yet they got to play in it? I honestly have no idea what you are talking about…

No, I’m not saying that. But if they want their shot at Alabama (or a Championship game), Boise State can do more to bolster their strength of schedule by scheduling tougher schools. Sorry to rain on your parade, but playing Oregon at home the first game of the year was the only significant win on Boise State’s schedule. Their non-conference schedule was, other than Oregon, was garbage. Miami (OH) finished 1-11. Bowling Green 7-6. UCDavis 1-AA school 6-5. Tulsa 5-7. Doesn’t inspire confidence when combined with their conference schedule.

Yes, you like a system which arbitrarily picks 2 teams as the best due to secret and unpublished formulas instead of having the “best” teams being determined by on-field performance.

It’s not arbitrary. It’s formulaic. It’s not secret. Your beginning to sound like a Gore supporter in 2000. (They stole the election!!!) But, I’m sure its a conspiracy to keep the little guy down.

Those would not disappear. Almost every playoff proposal incorporates the 4 main BCS bowls into it at some stage (some have it at the start, some at the end). So your argument that these festivities would go away in a playoff system is wrong.

The festivities absolutely would disappear when teams show up on Thursday for their Saturday game. Then travel back home Sunday, in order to prepare for their next opponent the next week, assuming they win. The Rose Bowl simply becomes the BCS semi-final playoff game in Pasadena, CA (formerly known as the Rose Bowl). Awesome.

85% of the revenue goes to 54% (65/120) of the teams. That’s a great system of sharing.

Yes it is, unless you’re suggesting 100% of the revenue gets divided equally among 120 teams – aka Obama’s dream for redistribution of wealth. Actually, I’m surprised the revenue share is that generous.

Neo-con Artist on January 31, 2010 at 11:32 PM

Hmmmm.

College football?

This is an example of incompetence really. The big problems are so far beyond Obama’s grasp that he must involve himself in smaller issues because they are the only ones that he -can- handle.

You see it all the time in offices. An executive has to figure out a way of improving the books and instead of creating more sales or actually improving productivity and production … he/she/it concentrates on restricting the number of rubber bands people can get out of the supply cabinet.

memomachine on January 31, 2010 at 11:33 PM

That picture of 0bama holding a football reminds me of Michael Dukakis wearing that tank helmet. There’s something just… wrong about it. Is the ball overinflated? I never realized just how small that guy really is… figuratively and literally.

ronnyraygun on February 1, 2010 at 12:53 AM

This is nothing more the Obama’s ham-handed attempt to extend an olive branch to Hatch. What’s particularly pathetic is that Obama doesn’t realize how power-hunger this makes him look. But from my perspective, anything that gets this guy out of office after one-term is fine with me.

olesparkie on February 1, 2010 at 7:55 AM

I want to see President Obama dribble that football. Because, such an idea shows why government has no right to meddle in this and many other places.

MSGTAS on February 1, 2010 at 8:55 AM

If the govmint gets involved in college football and creates the rules for the post season, what’s next? NFL, MLB, hockey, soccer. Screw ‘um, they should stay the hell away. The BCS hasn’t been around that long, it has been tweaked and could be changed again if needed. Do you want the same people who gave us tarp and porkulus fixing college football? Didn’t think so.

Kissmygrits on February 1, 2010 at 9:13 AM

NeoCon Artist

Boise State can do more to bolster their strength of schedule by scheduling tougher schools. Sorry to rain on your parade, but playing Oregon at home the first game of the year was the only significant win on Boise State’s schedule. Their non-conference schedule was, other than Oregon, was garbage. Miami (OH) finished 1-11. Bowling Green 7-6. UCDavis 1-AA school 6-5. Tulsa 5-7. Doesn’t inspire confidence when combined with their conference schedule.

Texas OOC schedule – ULM 6-6, Wyoming 7-6, UTEP 4-8, UCF 8-5. And that group of teams is better than Boise’s how exactly?

UF OOC schedule – Charleston Southern I-AA 6-5, Troy 9-4, FIU 3-9, FSU 7-6. Again, that group of teams is better than Boise’s how exactly?

Also, OOC schedules are often done 3-7 years in advance. So how exactly is Boise supposed to know back in 2004 that in 2009 they would have a very good championship caliber team and schedule accordingly?

And also, teams are refusing to schedule Boise now that they are good. Boise offered to go on the road to play 1 game–in other words, not even requesting a home and home–and 10 teams have declined.

“It’s not arbitrary. It’s formulaic. It’s not secret.”

So if it is not secret, then perhaps you can tell me where the methodology and formulas for the 6 computer rankings have been published. I’m waiting……Obviously, the formula for the rankings themselves is known. It is the formulas for the individual components which are not known.

The festivities absolutely would disappear when teams show up on Thursday for their Saturday game. Then travel back home Sunday, in order to prepare for their next opponent the next week, assuming they win. The Rose Bowl simply becomes the BCS semi-final playoff game in Pasadena, CA (formerly known as the Rose Bowl). Awesome.

Arriving on Thursday and leaving on Saturday would only happen for the first 2 (or 3 depending on whether it is 8 team or 16 team) rounds. The final round would still have a week long break/travel for it. My plan would be to have 8 teams play out in both directions (winners/losers) and then the final round would end up with 1vs2, 3v4, 5v6, 7v8 and those 4 games would be the 4 BCS bowl games.

Also, since you seem to be so concerned about kids spending a week jetskiing and going to parades, we could give any team the option to opt out of the playoffs and instead go to a meaningless bowl game where they can prepare for a week. Would that be an acceptable compromise?

Yes it is, unless you’re suggesting 100% of the revenue gets divided equally among 120 teams – aka Obama’s dream for redistribution of wealth. Actually, I’m surprised the revenue share is that generous.

No, I’m suggesting that revenues be split equally AMONG all BCS participants or be based on results.

1) Baylor has played in 0 bowl games over the past 10 years. TCU has played in 10. Yet Baylor has earned more BCS $$$ than TCU. Good example of sharing?

2) Utah got $1.6 million (the school not the conference) when they beat Alabama in Sugar Bowl in Jan 2009, while ND played in the Hawaii bowl and got $1.3. Good example of sharing?

3) Boise beats Oklahoma in 2007 Fiesta Bowl. Boise got $18 million to split among 55 teams (5 conferences). Oklahoma got $17 to split among 12 teams (1 conference). Good example of sharing?

truthmattersfa on February 1, 2010 at 12:24 PM

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