WASHINGTON (CNN) – It may not top the list of Obama administration priorities, but Hawaii Democratic Congressman Neil Abercrombie is urging the president-elect to take on one more controversial issue - creating a new playoff system for college football.
Obama himself has already waded into the debate. In a 60 Minutes interview on CBS last month, he said he would push for a championship playoff system - adding three weeks to the current college football schedule - to replace the current Bowl Championship Series (BCS). "I'm gonna throw my weight around a little bit. I think it's the right thing to do," Obama said.
Critics of the current BCS model argue that it gives a competitive and financial advantage to schools in the six BCS conferences and excludes schools with equally good or better football records in the other five non- BCS college football conferences. BCS-sponsored bowl games at the end of the season generate hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue for the schools who are selected to play in them.
Seizing on Obama's public support of a new system, Abercrombie wrote a letter to the president-elect last month urging him to have the Department of Justice investigate the issue. “With the prestige of the Presidency and vigorous pursuit by the Department of Justice in support of fairness and equity, we are certain the BCS will be persuaded to resolve the issues to the benefit of the nation’s colleges and their fans.”
New BCS rankings released on Sunday reignited the controversy among college football fans when the University of Oklahoma edged out the University of Texas for a chance to play in the championship game, despite having an identical 11-1 record this season. Abercrombie released a statement on Tuesday, arguing that the current situation "very clearly constitutes a restraint of trade."
"Replacing the Bowl Championship Series with a process that allows the NCAA Division I football National Championship to be decided on the field is a matter of sportsmanship and a matter of equity," Abercrombie said.
Abercrombie, along with Republican Reps. Lynn Westmoreland of Georgia and Mike Simpson of Idaho, and Democrat Jim Matheson of Utah, introduced a non-binding resolution in April directing DOJ to investigate the BCS system and take appropriate step if it found illegal action.
Seriously? Is this really something that the Federal government has any business setting policy? I'd love a playoff system, but let's do it the right way and let Obama focus on some issues that are actually important to the country...
Let's do it!
This is almost as good as when Joe Biden went after pro baseball for steroids... a few years after renewed interest in the game because of the McGuire/ Sosa home run race. The reason that non-bcs teams don't play for the national championship is that they are....in second rate conferences with weak schedules. If Boise State/ Ball State/ BYU/ whoever want to play in the big game, go to a big conference and play that conference schedule. This is a colossal waste of time and taxpayer money.
i hope this will be on the bottom of president elect obamas list.
We want real news!
I agree with Lillian. I'm an huge college football fan but I think there are more important issues to worry about than college football playoffs. I hope he was joking.
While this is perhaps not the most important issue facing the nation, I agree that the BCS system is unfair and needs to be fixed. A playoff system may be better. Fight on you NIU Huskies!!!
also, if the Longhorns were that good, maybe they should have beaten Texas Tech. OU didn't seem to have a problem with that (by 44 points).
Obama also needs to look into standardized arcade scoring. There is NO WAY someone beat my highscore on the Frogger machine, and yet my initials now only occupy the 2nd position! CONGRESS MUST INVESTIGATE.
Bravo Obama, Abercrombie and others! This is part of the change we will so happily embrace! It is inconceivable for the present system to change on its own. With the right push by the DOJ, it may offer them a new opportunity for the playoff system being enjoyed by the other divisions and sports.
Very insensitive to be whining about football when people in this country are hungry and losing jobs. NOT A RELEVANT NEWS STORY.
That would be the only thing I think he could handle.........I bet he would vote present on the rankings
Crush the BCS mafia
Lillian, of course this is last on the priority list, please lighten up and go read a book
Why is this a political ticker? Please move this article to sports. Thank you.
Lillian: Do you truly think this is his only focus? The man is capable of multitasking. Why not give him a chance before insinuating he is incapable of doing his job? That's the real problem here. The election is over, and you still cannot give the man a chance.
Let me get this straight. The middle east is in shambles. India and Pakistan are on the brink of a nuclear war. Our economy is now "officially" in a recession (for the better part of a year). The US will be the target of a bioterrorist attack within the next 4 years. And this bozo is blathering about college football? Who IS this numbnut?
"Life gotta go on" u numbnut urself...
Some people look at football as a time to relax (down time)
I CHOOSE NOT TO HAVE MY LIFE BE TURNED UPSIDE DOWN BEHIND THE GREED OF PEOPLE! SO WITH THAT BEING SAID, I WILL NOT WORRY ABOUT THINGS THAT I CAN NOT CONTROL!
I WATCH FOOTBALL, AND I AM A WOMAN FROM AUSTIN TEXAS AND PROUD OF IT!!!!
Seriously? I feel like he has bigger things to deal with than angry football fans...
Finally the pressing issues of our time...
How about we finish at least one of the two wars we're in, get the economy back on track, and then worry about college foot ball!
LET'S GO METS!!!!
Hey Lillian, Obama can multi-task right? Representitives can have side projects right? Go rant on a blog for an article on ranting.
YOOO, Barack, you were hired to be the President not a sports caster personally, big time collage sports is more professional with the players getting very little and the univercities get a ton of TV money. Lets keep our focus here MR. President, no more time for fun for you its TIME TO PRODUCE RESULTS AND NOT HOT AIR.
Being from Hawaii, I can say this – with all the issues we have to worry about in Hawaii and the rest of the country, if this is all Neil Abercrombie has to worry about then maybe he should come back to Hawaii, resign his position, smoke his pakalolo, and fade away into oblivion where he belongs.
And for any of you wondering "who is this numbnut?" Abercrombie is one of Hawaii's ultra-left, liberal Democrat congressman. Pure moron (and that's being generous).
All that being said, we need a dang playoff!!
Oh yeah – now there's a priority issue if I've ever seen one!!! The PE had better get right on this one, the season's almost over. Oops, sorry it will be by the time he can do anything about it.