Wiedmer: Call your congressman about BCS

Wiedmer: Call your congressman about BCS

October 28th, 2013 by Mark Wiedmer in Sports - Columns

According to an ABC News/Washington Post poll conducted a little more than a week ago, 89 percent of the American public disapproves of the job Congress is doing.

If our national politicians are truly concerned with improving that opinion of their job performances, here's a problem they can fix that has nothing to do with Obamacare, the Middle East or global warming.

My suggestion -- and this would really help the elected federal officials of Florida and Ohio this week -- is to force at least a four-team college football playoff for this season. Not next year, which is already on the books, but this year. Now, before the very real prospect of two undefeated teams missing a shot at a national championship becomes an embarrassing reality.

If you're a fan of Alabama or Oregon this morning, you probably think the BCS is working just fine. The two-time defending national champion Crimson Tide rightfully remains No. 1 as it heads into a bye week before facing LSU on Nov. 9.

Oregon -- on the strength of its impressive demolition of UCLA -- leapfrogged Florida State for No. 2, much as the Seminoles previously zipped past the Ducks after their road rout of Clemson on Oct. 19.

But what to do with those 'Noles and Ohio State, now ranked numbers 3 and 4 in the newest Harris poll? Any FSU fan would have every reason to believe that this past weekend's 49-17 win over North Carolina State was enough to keep it at No. 2 for a second straight week. And whatever anyone thinks of the Big Ten, OSU's 63-14 victory over Penn State was arguably the most impressive performance of the season.

Yet Ohio State -- which hasn't lost since Urban Meyer took over the Buckeyes before the start of the 2012 season -- is struggling so much to secure BCS love that some believe unbeaten but No. 6 Baylor (once-beaten Stanford is No. 5) might soon threaten OSU.

So what to do? Call your congressman, of course. And the White House. Tell them your future support rests on whether or not they can make this happen sooner than later. Four teams. Three games. This season. Period.

Sure, contracts have been signed, and the Rose Bowl -- the stadium not the game -- is already booked for Monday. Jan. 6, 2014, the current date for the title game. That doesn't have to change. That can still be the title game, Pasadena, Calif., still the epicenter of college football.

They just need to use two of the remaining four BCS bowls -- the Fiesta and Rose make the most sense because they're already scheduled for New Year's Day -- as semifinal games to determine the BCS title game.

You say it can't happen if for no other reason than five days between the semifinals and final isn't enough preparation time?

Well, the NFL occasionally pits teams that played on Sunday against each other on Thursday. That's a four-day turnaround. Maybe five's not ideal, but it's for this season only.

Here's also guessing that the coaching staffs of both Florida State and Ohio State would unanimously vote today for such an inconvenience as opposed to being left out of the mix altogether.

As for the rest of it, including all those existing television contracts, an act of Congress is supposed to be able to make anything happen as long as the President also signs off on it. And in an election year, what better decision could President Obama make to erase hurt feelings in Florida and Ohio -- two of his favorite campaign states, by the way -- than to attempt to force a four-team playoff right away instead of two months after those 2014 mid-term elections?

As he discussed the latest BCS rankings Sunday evening, ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit said he believes the current rankings don't reflect his view of the top two teams.

"As much as I love Oregon," he said, "I would say Alabama and Florida State (should be 1 and 2). I just think they're more complete teams."

The simple fact that if the playoffs were held today FSU would be on the outside looking in is why something needs to be done now. Besides, this might be the only problem on the planet that Congress couldn't possibly make worse than it already is.

Contact Mark Wiedmer at mwiedmer@timesfreepress.com