Friday, December 09, 2005

Congress And The BCS
Two failures For A Metaphor

At long last Congress has decided to live up to its responsibilities to the American people. It finally has taken up a matter of utmost importance to the maintenance of our society. Of course I refer to straightening out the quagmire we know as the BCS, Bowl Championship Series.

Here is a brief summary of the intricacies of this pressing problem. First the BCS is one of two ways of determining the yearly champion of Division 1 NCAA college football. It involves polls, computers, algorithms, and a championship game. The other way is a poll of sportswriters taken by the AP at the end of the season. One of the problems is these two ways do not always coincide; in fact they haven’t on two separate occasions since the BCS and its precursor, the Bowl Alliance, have been in effect(1995). There were co-champions in 1997 and 2003.

Another problem is that despite all the computers and algorithms there have been questions practically every year, save 2005, as to whether the best teams are even playing in the BCS Championship Game. Still another problem is that of monopoly. There are 4 bowl games in the BCS. They pay $12,000,000 to $14,000,000 to each of the 8 teams that play in those 4 games. The 4 BCS games have been dominated by 6 conferences (SEC, Big 10, Big 12, ACC, Big East, & PAC 10) plus Notre Dame, an independent with no conference affiliation. This makes for a total of 66 schools. There are 119 schools in NCAA Division 1. Of the total 41 BCS games played (counting this year) since 1995, schools from the elite 66 have made up a total of 81 teams selected. That leaves a grand total of 1 to have been selected from the other 53 Division 1 teams. They want a bigger slice of the pie. So you see the dire situation in which the nation now finds itself.

You shouldn’t jump to the conclusion that other problems such as the war in Iraq, no health care for 45 million Americans, the outsourcing of jobs, the Katrina aftermath, or any one of the myriad of problems facing us has been solved. It is just a matter of prioritizing for the Republican dominated Congress. It is not unlike the Donald Rumsfeld approach to problems; go after what is easy and available instead of the difficult and true, re: going after Iraq rather than Osama bin Laden. Besides there are a lot of voters, er, fans who are clamoring for a solution.

Now while Congress is trying to tackle this problem people are still being killed in Iraq, dying in America for want of medical care, waving goodbye to their jobs, and are still homeless in New Orleans. But looking on the bright side if Congress gets to work we may have a true Division 1 Football Champion in a few years.

The Bush Credo - No Sacrifice Is Too Great For Others To

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