The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Opinion

July 11, 2009

Hatch’s hearing is more BS than BCS

It is comforting to know Congress has our best interests at heart.

With our nation facing a slew of issues, from overhauling health care to bolstering the flagging economy, from dealing with Afghanistan to getting ready for the inevitable return of the swine flu, at least one prominent Congressman has instead turned his attention to more weighty matters.

What it is, is football.

Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, has decided to take on the Bowl Championship Series, the method through which the NCAA’s largest football playing schools decide their national champion.

Hatch said last week the Justice Department needs to step in and consider whether the BCS was violating antitrust laws.

The senator is on his high horse against the BCS because the University of Utah was not invited to last year’s BCS bowl party, despite finishing the regular season undefeated.

The Utes are part of the Mountain West Conference, one of the conferences that does not receive an automatic bid into a BCS game.

Utah went on to pound Alabama 31-17 in the Sugar Bowl, thus finishing 13-0. For their trouble, the Utes finished No. 2 in the final national polls.

During the hearing, Hatch cited the “arrogance about the BCS. An attorney for the Mountain West Conference called the BCS “a self-appointed cartel.” Utah president Michael Young accused the BCS of “perpetuating an unfair system,” and said the BCS has a “stranglehold on college football.”

Granted, the BCS stinks. It is an unfair system and one that annually produces an artificial national champion. There should be a playoff system, like there is at every other level of the game.

But Congress should butt out.

I don’t want my elected representatives spending their time worrying about college football. I want them to tackle real issues, like mounting unemployment and the malaise that still grips our nation’s economy.

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