The Corner

Re Bcs

Folks, I don’t follow college football nearly enough to have anything intelligent to say about this BCS business. Here are a few emails from readers on the subject. For the record, I’m not really looking for more.

Jonah,

It is interesting to me that the subject of College Football came up in the corner. I think the proper conservative position is to be against the BCS ranking system and against the troubling tendency toward a league of giant programs with an eventual playoff system ala the NFL. I hate this trend because to me the greatest thing that can happen in College Football is an upset especially an upset of a giant, semi-pro school by a smaller program, especially a small program where there might at least be a modicum of academic rigor. It is rare. KSU is not exactly Vanderbilt but still upsets do happen and its the chance of a lifetime if you play at a small school. Traditionally there has almost always been an argument in favor of more than one school for bragging rights to the National Championship, so what, this is not the same as basketball, to go to any sort of playoff or really any farther down that road than we already are will lock all the smaller schools off the big school schedules.

And…

Jonah,

To the reader who feels USC was robbed: While I agree it seems fairly odd to have a team that didn’t win its conference playing for the national championship, there is no reason to reward USC for playing in a weak conference. The next time a USC fan complains, remind him that if they had beaten perennial powerhouse Cal, none of this would be an issue.

And…

Jonah,

I agree with the e-mail you posted that we need a college football playoff, but your reader is all wet in complaining about USC getting robbed. With three really good teams vying for the National Championship, someone was going to be left out, and USC is probably the best candidate for this. But given the awful situation, things have probably turned out as well as possible for all involved. USC is ranked #1 in both polls, so if they can beat #4 Michigan in the Rose Bowl, they will more than likely be awarded the NC by the AP (writers’) poll. The winner of the LSU-Oklahoma game, meanwhile, will automatically get the NC in the coaches’ poll. So everyone is happy. If USC loses to Michigan, then they will have lost their standing to complain.

And….

Jonah,

What if state legislatures around the country passed resolutions instructing their own state-sponsored institutions to support a college football playoff?

Sounds heavy-handed, but hear me out. When members of Congress started barking about forcing an NCAA playoff, they were rightfully criticized for threatening to regulate something they have no business touching. This is different. No state can or should mandate how the NCAA handles its football post-season. But the position that each state’s school takes on the matter seems a reasonable concern for the state’s officials.

Put another way, right now there are a lot of state-sponsored schools already at the table, bearing their state’s name and tax resources, and advocating the wrong policy. I propose a movement among state legislatures to pass resolutions instructing their own institutions to adopt a position supporting a playoff. There would be no mandate involved, except for the respective states’ subordinate education officials.

It couldn’t hurt. Is there something wrong or unprinciped I don’t see.

[Name withheld]

P.S. I’m writing to you because I’m seriously considering sponsoring this resolution, and encouraging my colleagues in other states to do likewise. But I’m wary of the likely criticism about big government intruding in sports. Maybe Corner readers would have good insight into whether its good or bad idea.

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