College Football: 'Give us playoffs or else,' says Rep. Barton

August 12, 2009 

WASHINGTON — Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, issued a warning to college football officials Wednesday, saying that unless they take action toward creating a true playoff system, Congress will move on his legislation to force such a reorganization.

But in the three months since he introduced his bill, Barton's legislation has languished. So it seems unlikely Congress will actually act. It's not hard to figure out why.

The college bowl system features a championship game between the two top teams in the BCS standings, based on two polls and six computer rankings. After the title game, eight other schools fill Orange, Sugar, Fiesta and Rose bowls.

Six conferences get automatic bids — ACC, Big East, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-10 and SEC. Those conferences get far more money than conferences without automatic bids.

"There are just too many senators and congressmen who represent districts where major BCS schools have a very dominant influence," said Gary Roberts, dean of the Indiana University School of Law, and a sports law expert.

"So you're not going to get any senators from Louisiana or Alabama or Florida or Georgia or Tennessee or Ohio — those are all states with major state universities that are major BCS powerhouses."

Barton's bill has only four co-sponsors and there's no companion bill in the Senate. California Republican Gary Miller has three co-sponsors for his bill to deny federal funds to schools in Division I unless a playoff system is installed.

USC QB HURT — Southern California quarterback Aaron Corp has a small crack in his bruised left knee and will be out about two weeks. An MRI revealed the crack on the left fibula. The redshirt sophomore was rolled onto by a lineman during Monday's practice.

FRESHMAN CLEARED — Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez says cornerback J.T. Turner has been academically cleared to play.

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