Keep the Government Out of College Football

by Mike on December 10, 2009

in Politics,Sports

I’m always amazed at the arrogance of politicians who believe that no aspect of American life can carry on without their guidance.  The latest is example is Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX).  Barton has introduced legislation that would require Division I college football to implement a playoff system or be fined if they call any of the Bowl Games a “National Championship game.

The structure of college football’s method of determining a national champion is a hotly debated topic in the sports world every year.  For the sake of disclosure, I support the Bowl system and have no problem with the concept of some uncertainty over the championship game or even a split national championship.  Under the current system, every game is crucial because a single loss almost certainly destroys any hope of a national championship.  Couple those stakes with the unique rivalries the game provides and you have one of the most exciting sports imaginable.

Many others (probably most) disagree with my position and have reasonable reasons for doing so.  Under the current system, there is a great deal of uncertainty or even subjectivity in determining who plays for a championship and even who wins it.  The fact that AP writers have the power to award half of the national championship should give anyone pause.  There is also a lot to be said about the argument that nothing would top a national championship game between two powerhouses that survived a tournament.

As valid as each opinion is, that isn’t the point.  College football’s playoff system is for college football, its member institutions, and fans to determine.  Fans have shown that they are willing to pay and watch college football under the current system.  The colleges and universities have determined that the current product is best for both their students and their bottom line.  Right or wrong, those are their decisions to make.

The folly of people like Barney Frank determining how football should be played is obvious.  Even more troubling is the fact that there are fewer and fewer activities that Americans can enjoy without elected officials of some kind, in the case a republican Congressman, trying to stick their noses where they don’t belong.  Whatever the motivation, politicians need to leave football alone.

Hat tip:  Red State

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Sal December 10, 2009 at 1:35 pm

It’s really sad that we’ve gotten to the point where most people assume that government has a role in everything, even something so specific as college football. We’ve allowed our federal government, which was supposed to be limited by the Constitution to only do certain things that the state governments themselves could not do, now determine the fate of the economy, private business, jobs, and now, college sports. Is there nothing that is off-limits to the government? I hardly doubt that this is what the framers had in mind when they wrote the interstate commerce clause.


Dee December 10, 2009 at 6:37 pm

I am not sure how you managed to roll Barney Frank into this issue, but Barton and Orrin Hatch have been the driving force behind this one. Hatch is claiming it’s an anti-trust violation, and has asked the DOJ to investigate. What was Barney’s role in all of this? Dee


Mike December 10, 2009 at 7:32 pm

You can figure it out Dee. Think about it.


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