BCS: Barack’s Championship System?
Any diehard college football fan knows that the season does not get started until late October or early November, when the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) controversy takes center stage, and fans throughout the country debate who the best teams are in the NCAA.
Fans of the Southeastern Conference (SEC) will argue that they have the best conference and therefore should almost be guaranteed a representative in the BCS championship game. Fans of teams on the West Coast will argue that there is an East Coast bias when it comes to college sports, and that one of the Pac-10 teams should be considered. Furthermore, fans of non-BCS teams such as Boise State and TCU will argue that their teams are not given a fair chance because of a failed system that favors the big money conferences instead of the product on the field.
However, the BCS controversy has reached epic proportions as politicians from Congressman Joe Barton of Texas to even President Barack Obama have expressed their determination to implement a playoff system amongst NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) schools, ending the BCS controversy for good.
“If you’ve got a bunch of teams who play throughout the season, and many of them have one loss or two losses, there’s no clear decisive winner,” Obama said in a 2008 interview. “We should be creating a playoff system.”
Obama’s playoff system would include the top eight teams playing for the national championship over a three-week period. “It would add three weeks to the season. You could trim back the regular season. I don’t know any serious college football fan 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,” Obama added.
Despite applauding the president’s efforts to find a solution to the BCS controversy, I honestly believe the right thing for the president, and other politicians like Rep. Joe Barton of Texas, to do is fix the problems that confront everyday American citizens, not end the BCS controversy.
We live in an era where politicians must find answers to life-changing dilemmas such as climate change. Today’s society must deal with soaring health care prices and two deadly wars in the Middle East, so Washington would be extremely more effective if they dealt with the issues that will affect people around the world for generations to come, than to fix something that is pure entertainment and holds no real significance to American life.
When I speak at career days throughout the Houston area, I find it extremely difficult to express to students that extracurricular activities such as sports are just that, extracurricular, and more emphasis should be placed on their education, because it will ensure a brighter future. However, that message will seem hollow if the president and members of congress are spending as much time arguing over the BCS controversy and the merits of a playoff system instead of debating climate change or ways to end two wars in the Middle East.
While I applaud President Obama and Rep. Barton’s efforts to find a solution the BCS controversy, I think that debate should be reserved for the water coolers and bars throughout America, and they should spend more time on issues that will truly have an effect on American life and realize that the real issues affecting Americans are more than just a game.
Smith is publisher of Regal Black Men’s Magazine.