January 9th, 2009
01:03 PM ET
14 years ago

Obama comes down against BCS

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/09/art.gators.gi.jpg caption=" Florida beat Oklahoma in Thursdays BCS Championship game. Obama favors a playoff system instead."]WASHINGTON (CNN) – Details of President-elect Barack Obama’s multi-billion dollar economic stimulus plan might still be murky, but his position on the hottest topic in the world of college football certainly is not.

“We need a playoff,” Obama told reporters after being asked about Florida’s 24-14 victory over Oklahoma in Thursday night’s BCS Championship game. "If I'm Utah, or if I'm USC or if I'm Texas, I might still have some quibbles.”

Florida, Oklahoma and Texas all finished the season with one loss. Texas actually handed Oklahoma its one defeat in October on a neutral field. When the BCS computer system put Florida and Oklahoma in this year’s national championship game, the annual back and forth over whether to have a college football playoff system was reignited. Utah was the only college football team to finish the season undefeated but its conference is considered less competitive and therefore was put at a statistical disadvantage in the BCS.

Friday was not the first time Obama stated his preference for a playoff system.

Related: BCS is a political football in 2009

"It would add three extra weeks to the season," Obama said in a interview on CBS’ 60 Minutes just after the election. "You could trim back on the regular season. I don't know any serious fan of college football who has disagreed with me on this. So, I'm going to throw my weight around a little bit. I think it's the right thing to do."

The night before Election Day both Sen. John McCain and Obama made brief appearances during Monday Night Football. “I'm fed up with these computer rankings and this that and the other. Get eight teams - the top eight teams right at the end. You got a playoff. Decide on a national champion,” he said then.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (90 Responses)
  1. Give me a break!

    GATORS, BABY!! They proved all season why they're #1. Their only loss was by 1 point. Can't get any closer than that (unless you're UTAH). With Tebow...Florida wins against anyone in any type of playoff system.

    January 9, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  2. Rob from Chicago

    On the eve of his inauguration into the presidency during the greatest economic crisis our country has faced since the 30's, the president is more concerned about college football than the figuring out how to get congress to back his vague, trillion dollar, deficit builder.

    As Hillary Clinton asked, who do you want answering the phone at 3am? The football policy wonk?

    January 9, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  3. Steve

    I respectfully ask that the new administration work on issues that affect our lives. College Football or sports in general IS NOT one of those issues!

    January 9, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  4. John

    There should be the same or similar number of teams in each conference, relative to their strength and geographical area. Every team should have to play the same number of games. Each conference should have a winner. Determine if the number of winners are enough to create a playoff bracket. In consecutive weekends, beginning late november or early december, start the playoffs. Match up these games with previous bowl name system. The system may have to reduce each team to playing only 10 (11 or 12) regular games. Win/loss and strength of schedule determines team positioning throughout the season, not AP or coaches poll. All teams start the season unranked. Otherwise it would start off the season unfair for those teams which have made a drastic improvement. But then again in Racing....well I'm sure this small piece of it can be handled appropriately when we get the overhaul.

    January 9, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  5. John Driscoll

    More common sense from Barack!

    January 9, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  6. James L

    The BCS sucks !

    January 9, 2009 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  7. Luke Brown

    I am with Obama on this one, even though will just be another reminder to the country that the SEC is the superior conference.

    When a team wins the SEC title, they've had to work for it. The reason USC, Ohio State, Texas, etc. aren't in the title game is that they play woosie schools for the most part. A playoff system will prove that. The Gators certainly didn't have an easy ride to the championship. They deserved to be there and win.

    Go SEC!

    January 9, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  8. Simmy

    College football is all about the competition for money and right positioning. If you're a school with the best winning streak, but small, and not commercially savvy, too bad, you lose. Such a shame.

    January 9, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  9. Ben Lopez

    Wow, there is something I actually agree with Obama on....a play off system. Thanks for mentioning USC, Mr Obama. As a conservative Republican in Southern California (yes, there are some) and avid SC fan, I appreciate your comments. Probably be the only comments I appreciate of yours the next 4 years.

    January 9, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  10. vet

    think there are more important things going on???

    January 9, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  11. Accountability

    Um....Excuse me.... but USC also finished the season with one loss and then totally dismembered Penn State in the Rose Bowl....C'mon CNN....this is just another example of East Coast bias...:-)

    January 9, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  12. Felonious Monk

    I feel as though America has more pressing issues than that of a college playoff system. In this current critical moment of American/World history, it seems a little silly to speak of college football playoffs. Let's get more people in college! Let's get more jobs! Let's get some infrastructure!
    Oh, nevermind. I forgot, this is football we are talking about.
    Have they worked out who the corporate sponsors will be?

    January 9, 2009 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  13. JT

    I'm glad our president-elect has his priorities straight.

    January 9, 2009 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  14. single mom

    Nice to see PE Obama keeping in-touch. Was that with or without his Blackberry?
    Back to the point – Anyone else want to see Florida play USC?

    January 9, 2009 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  15. Teresa Cleland

    I think it's cute how every still likes to call Dallas, Texas "neutral field". Seriously?

    January 9, 2009 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
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