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One Small Step for Texas

April 3, 2005  |  By Benjamin Miraski

A state representative from Texas has proposed legislation which would forbid Texas state universities from participating in any post-season football that is not part of a play-off. The legislation has an interesting twist.

In order for the bill to become a law and be enforced, the same bill would need to be passed in the state legislatures of at least four other states. These states include some of the top football programs in the country, among them California, Alabama, Florida, Michigan, and Oklahoma. Several other states are named in the bill, but these are the important ones.

This plays right into the hands of the BCS, despite the thought that it totally thwarts the system. Back in January, after the withdrawl of the AP poll from the BCS system, the BCS organizers bounced around an idea to copy the selection committee of the NCAA basketball tournament. True, they were thinking of using the committee to just pick the teams which would play in the four BCS games, with the idea of a fifth game still up in the air. But think for a second about the path that this begins to tread.

With the final game still left to play, we may have just watched one of the most exciting NCAA tournaments on record. The organizers of the BCS are most likely sitting at home or at their local bar like the rest of us, watching in awe as game after game goes down to the wire, and watching the nation react over and over again in frenzy. Imagine now that somehow, California, Texas, Florida, Oklahoma, and Michigan pass this bill. You have just selected what will most likely be 6 or 7 of the top teams in the country and taken them out of the BCS picture. Unless...

Boom, the BCS committee is formed. A playoff is in place. This is where we have hoped it will go. 16 teams fighting it out over 4 weekends with the goal of a national champion.

Ok, back to reality for a moment. The realists among us know that this bill will not be passed. Sure, one, two of the states may go out on a limb, but to get five states to pull together, especially five of the biggest football states in the country, you are asking a lot. These states and their universities would be giving up the opportunity to play in the championship probably for the next two years while this whole thing would be sorted out. No school is going to let their state take away that potential source of income for the next two season, or the glory and recognition that comes along with the BCS games.

The last time that college football teams broke away from the status quo led to the game we see today. Before the last break, there was a rule how many times a team could appear on television during the season. That all changed and the game has never been the same since, growing into the multi-million dollar contracts and industry that we see today. It may only be a matter of time before we see this change come to pass.

That revolution was led by the schools themselves, and chances are that it will take the same dedication and forward thinking in order to get the same revolutionary type of change to happen again. Senator Jeff Wentworth, your heart is in the right place, but the country isn't ready for a law like this yet. It may never be. The schools need to lead this fight, not the politicians. So to you I say, thanks, but no thanks.


Posted April 3, 2005 5:36 PM