Thursday, December 15, 2011

Great News: Congress gets bill requiring college football playoff

avatar118_8 This is just WONDERFUL news. US Representative Steve Cohen (D-TN) has submitted a bill entitled the College Football Playoff Act.

It is identical to legislation submitted in the last Congress by Representative Joe Barton (R-TX). Barton is a cosponsor for Cohen’s bill. That bill would have  “prohibited, as an unfair and deceptive act or practice, the promotion, marketing, and advertising of any post-season NCAA Division I football game as a national championship game unless such game is the culmination of a fair and equitable playoff system.”

Anytime you hear a politician talking about making something “fair,” it’s a safe bet that whatever they’ve got in mind won’t be.

According to the non-partisan Congressional Research Service summary of the 2009 legislation, the bill

Prohibits promoting, marketing, or advertising a post-season National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) game as a championship or national championship game (or any merchandise that refers to the game as a championship or national championship game) unless such game is the final game of a single elimination post-season playoff system for which all NCAA Division I FBS conferences and unaffiliated Division I FBS teams are eligible. Treats a violation as an unfair or deceptive act or practice under the Federal Trade Commission Act.

What should concern fans is that Cohen (and Barton before him) plans to use the same argument for forcing college football into instituting a playoff as they did with that colossal assault on personal liberty called Healthcare Reform. If they can get away with requiring Americans to participate in a marketplace they ordinarily might choose to avoid, then they can get away with ramming an untenable, bureaucratically established playoff that lets Sun Belt, Mountain West and Middle American Conference Champions compete in the same multi-round bracketed playoff with Southeastern Conference, Big 10 and Big 12 teams.

That’s not gonna happen. If something like this passes, you’ll see the Rose Bowl married up forever with the Pac-12 and Big 10 and the Sugar Bowl return to SEC vs. at-large. Goodbye, market-induced college football championship reform.

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