The federal government is asking the same question many college football fans have been asking for years: Why is there no playoff in college football?
Perhaps the bigger question up for debate is whether the federal government should get involved in matters of college football, what with unemployment concerns, sky-high debt and multiple wars raging. So we ask you, the fan, whether you think the federal government should keep digging or mind its own business.
I have mixed feelings on the topic. It should not be up to the Department of Justice to force the issue. It should be up to the many presidents out there whose schools are getting totally hosed in the Bowl Championship Series. As it stands now, nearly half of the schools that compete on the FBS level are essentially eliminated from national championship contention when the first ball of the season is snapped in September. No non-AQ team has ever made it into a BCS championship game.
I understand the contention that the non-AQs are better off in this system because they do have access to a BCS game, as opposed to zero in the old system. I understand when Gary Patterson says his team would have no guarantees of even making it into a playoff, either. But is it fair that the Mountain West got $9 million from the BCS last season with undefeated TCU in the Rose Bowl, and the Big East got $21 million with four-loss Connecticut in the Fiesta Bowl?
Any team that wins all its games deserves a shot on the field to play for a national championship. It is the financial disparity that is continuing to drive the gap between the haves and the have-nots, pushing the non-AQs back even further. Schools like Fresno State, for example, must go out and play difficult nonconference games for the guaranteed payday. The same thing happens in the Sun Belt, MAC, WAC and Conference USA. Have you seen the schedules for Nevada and Tulsa? Two teams that finished last season ranked in the Top 25 in one poll?
That makes it even more difficult to go undefeated, and even then there are no guarantees of a spot in a BCS game, let alone the national championship. There are those who contend that schools in the AQ conferences need cupcakes on their schedule because of the rigors of league play, and schools like Boise State deserve no shot at a championship because they are in a subpar league. But the truth is, all we are doing is guessing right now because there is no fair way to settle the arguments on the field.
If university presidents are going to sit on their hands and do nothing, then somebody else should do the digging and investigate why this is the only postseason the NCAA does not control, and why this is the only NCAA sport without a playoff. Perhaps government involvement is the only way to spur change.
So vote in our poll, leave your comments, and I will discuss the results in a future post.