One member of the US House of Representatives rarely has enough pull to get anything done. If he can find a few like-minded representatives from other parts of the country and perhaps the opposing party, he might make enough noise to get legislation altered or get favors in exchange for their votes. Get enough like minded people together and form a congressional caucus, and you can start making things happen.
US Representatives Steve Cohen of Tennessee and Joe Barton of Texas have formed the Collegiate Sports Caucus on Capitol Hill, in an effort to make a playoff happen. News of the reintroduction of the College Football Playoff Act came yesterday.
But there was more to that news story than the simple introduction of a bill that seems headed for nowhere. These knuckleheads are forming a caucus. I’m sure Utah Senator Orrin Hatch approves.
Members of Congress don’t win office by being ranked the top candidates by pollsters and computers, so why should the NCAA’s Division I football title be decided that way?
That’s the message Reps. Joe Barton (R-Texas) and Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) had for big-time college football on Thursday as they announced the formation of the Congressional Collegiate Sports Caucus, which they’ll chair together. And the caucus's first action is to introduce a bill calling for a playoff system in college football, similar to a 2008 Barton bill.
The two lawmakers are noted college football fans – Barton cheering for Texas A&M and Cohen an Alabama backer, showing his commitment to a playoff considering the Crimson Tide is taking on Louisiana State in the 2012 title game.
Asked the expected question of why Congress would want to tinker with sports while there were so many pressing fiscal issues, Barton said it’s a matter of interstate commerce, with millions of dollars changing hands every year in a bowl system he believes is broken. And Cohen said he doesn’t understand why football is allowed to have an entirely different title system than every other collegiate sport.
The “interstate commerce” clause in the US Constitution has been used by Congress throughout history to screw America through burdensome regulations that hamper free enterprise and restrict personal liberty. Now, a Republican and a Democrat (who also happens to be a Bama fan) want to use that clause to screw up college football.
Like most sane college football fans, I want a playoff to decide the national championship. But like most sane Americans, I also recognize that a federally mandated playoff would represent the single biggest cluster fuck since Roy Kramer invented the BCS.