Quick Slants: Barack and Roll, BCS
Barack Obama's fighting for a CFB playoff, and it's fun to see the BCS on its heels
This Washington-Washington State dual might be the worst college game, ever
Notre Dame fans, the RehireBobDavie.com domain is still available for purchase
A word to the wise: If a stranger from Nigeria drops you a random e-mail and says he'll pay you $20.5 million for assisting a long-lost relative, he's probably less credible than George Costanza as a marine biologist. Same goes for BCS coordinator John Swofford when he says most people think the current BCS system is "the best system yet to determine a national champion." Yeah, sure.
Swofford, the respected ACC commissioner, released his statement in response to President Elect Barack Obama's comments on 60 Minutes this Sunday, which underscored Obama's belief that there should be an eight-team playoff to decide college football's national champion. Obviously, an eight-team playoff isn't a new concept, but this is the first time the world's most powerful man-to-be has applied such direct pressure to one of sport's more stubborn institutions. Political affiliations aside, it's fascinating to watch.
The argument over whether a man in Obama's position should care about such a topic is irrelevant in this space. The real headline, at least in my opinion, is the way American government can make the BCS squirm without having any real control over how it operates. There's a certain level of satisfaction in this for those of us that favor a playoff. There's something special about watching someone powerful call out the BCS for it's logic (or lack thereof). At the end of the day, Congress won't pass any anti-BCS laws or seize any formula-wielding computers, but if we've learned anything through public debates about performance-enhancing drugs, it's that image problems can prove far worse for organizations than the threat of any scandal. And well, it's kind of fun to see the BCS acting more defensive than the Big Ten.
In all likelihood, the president elect will be dealing with much more important issues when he eventually takes office in January; however, it should be noted that symbols and credibility carry a whole lot of weight in American culture. Obama doesn't need to make a college football playoff an agenda item in his administration, because the mere fact that he referenced it twice on national television -- first on Monday Night Football, then on 60 Minutes -- is enough to give the debate a little more momentum. It's already started, as sports stations around the country have been aflutter with renewed playoff talk, and coaches like Bob Stoops have joined the cause.
So it will be interesting to watch how the BCS reacts to rekindled criticism. While changes are far from imminent, something tells me we're inching closer to postseason reform. It could just be that we're one more BCS controversy away from insufferable public scrutiny and a revised system.
THERE WILL BE NO WINNERS IN THIS GAME
Outside of Texas Tech-Oklahoma, the second most interesting game of the week is Washington-Washington State. And by "interesting," I of course mean "potentially the worst game in the history of college football." Neither team has beaten an FBS opponent all season, Washington's coach is on his way out and at this point, Washington State has to consider it a moral victory to merely beat the point spread. In the media business, we say a game like this has a "face for radio."
If you plan on attending this game or watching it on television, please e-mail the Quick Slants inbox and share your experience. For all the cheap jokes I've thrown around in this space, I truly feel for you. It seems like working disaster relief in a third-world country would be a more cheerful experience.
WHO CARES ABOUT OREGON?
While much of the media was busy focusing on the Tinkerbell-ish wings on Oregon's shoulder pads Saturday night, I was busy wondering about another uniform on the other side of the country. Tell me why Maryland sports those crusty old helmets that say "Terps" when it has one of the top collegiate logos at its disposal. Would anybody at Maryland be opposed to putting the ferocious turtle on the helmet instead of some cursive text? Anybody? Who is in charge of things like this?
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