Can We Just Punt These Jackasses Somewhere?

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The House Energy and Commerce subcommittee has scheduled a hearing this Wednesday on … "Determining a Champion on the Field: A Comprehensive Review of the BCS and Postseason College Football." Go ahead and read that sentence over again, slowly.

From the AP story:

"College football is not just an exhilarating sport, but a billion-dollar business that Congress cannot ignore," said committee Chairman Joe Barton, a Texas Republican. […]

"Too often college football ends in sniping and controversy, rather than winners and losers," Barton said. "The current system of determining who's No. 1 appears deeply flawed."

Last link via Oliver Willis.

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  1. Just keep telling yourself that every hour they spend screwing around with things like this is an hour they’re not screwing up something more important.

  2. If it wasn’t Congress, I wouldn’t believe it.

  3. College football is a billion-dollar industry – one where the labor does not get paid.

    If Congress is really interested in doing something useful, address that issue.

  4. I wonder if Canadian politicians do this with curling.

  5. Looks like I picked the wrong day to stop smoking meth

  6. “Too often college football ends in sniping and controversy, rather than winners and losers,”

    …so you decided to get Congress involved?

  7. Please God, How about a past-the-season hurricane to wipe out the Capitol building in Washington DC? Please?

    And just think, if you do it, you’ll give pause to all the atheists who hang around H&R. It might be enough to convert a few of them.

  8. It’s an important time to ask “is there any activity not subject to they scrunity of Congress?” Obviously not, if our govenment has time to investigate and debate (then legislate on , or threaten to) the merits of a playoff system vs. the BCS.

  9. Congress is now officially as bereft of brains as sports talk radio.

  10. It’s an important time to ask “is there any activity not subject to they scrunity of Congress?” Obviously not, if our govenment has time to investigate and debate (then legislate on , or threaten to) the merits of a playoff system vs. the BCS.

  11. Someday, Congress is going to have hearings on whether I’ve been dating the right women. Looking forward to hearing the testimony on that topic.

    Elect idiots and give them increasingly greater authority, then get idiotic legislation on every conceivable area of life. Lovely formula for our long-term success. And I say this as someone who thinks a college playoff system was divinely ordained five thousand years ago. As an aside, I heard an idiot with the Outback Bowl on the radio today saying how a playoff system is impossible in college football. That must be quite a surprise to every league other than Division IA.

    Oh, to return to topic. Congress is what Congress does.

  12. Someday, Congress is going to have hearings on whether I’ve been dating the right women. Looking forward to hearing the testimony on that topic.

    Elect idiots and give them increasingly greater authority, then get idiotic legislation on every conceivable area of life. Lovely formula for our long-term success. And I say this as someone who thinks a college playoff system was divinely ordained five thousand years ago. As an aside, I heard an idiot with the Outback Bowl on the radio today saying how a playoff system is impossible in college football. That must be quite a surprise to every league other than Division IA.

    Oh, to return to topic. Congress is what Congress does.

  13. If it takes a congressional investigation to figure out why #22 FSU with an 8-4 record is in the Orange Bowl and #5 Oregon with a 10-1 record is in Cheapy McNotBCS Bowl #10, then so be it!

  14. Congress needs to look into this new server setting that repeats my postings without help from me. Grrrr.

  15. “The current system of determining who’s No. 1 appears deeply flawed.”

    So does the current system of determining who’s President.

  16. Rick Barton:

    hey – get your cousin in congress, Rep Joe Barton, under better control there! he’s acting like an Okie… 🙂

  17. Timothy,

    I honestly don’t know why the PAC-10 stays in the BCS. Last year, Cal got screwed out of a BCS bowl, this year Oregon. The PAC-10 and Big-10 should go back to playing in the Rose Bowl and let the media continue to pretend that the Big 12 champion is a national powerhouse.

  18. The arrogance of Congress to interfere in anything it wants to is staggering. Of course the BCS is crap as once again the Pac-10 gets hosed and once again ND will get throttled in a Fiesta Bowl it shouldn’t be in by an OSU. 🙂

  19. College football is not just an exhilarating sport, but a billion-dollar business that Congress cannot ignore

    This has gotten to the point where Congress IS the mob.

    Nice little enterprise you got there, sure wouldn’t want somethin’ legislative to happen to it. Moose, Rocco, help the coach with his checkbook.

    Paul

  20. I renew my proposal. Pay those boobs in Washington twice as much to just stay home and do nothing.

    Please.

  21. Dog:

    the fucking Big East is in the BCS. that’s why.

  22. I agree with Umbriel – Congress is welcome to pursue all the trivial nonsense they want. This might keep them out of my checking account for a few days. These idiots dispatch themselves on these fools’ errands. The only shameful aspect is that they get paid with our tax dollars.

  23. Nice little enterprise you got there, sure wouldn’t want somethin’ legislative to happen to it. Moose, Rocco, help the coach with his checkbook.

    Bwaaaah ha ha. Paul you jerk, you made juice come out my nose.

  24. Somehow, I’m guessing that Chairman Joe is planning to introduce legislation that will allow the University of Texas to have 12 men on the field and will require non-Texas teams to have all-girl defensive lines. Non-Texas teams play like girls anyway, right? So what’s the difference?

  25. It’s official: Make a buck and you’re Congress’s biotch.

  26. I would rather have them legislating something harmless like college football games than have Congress looking at serious issues where they can do real damage.

  27. Gimme Back My Dog: This is the second time the BCS has screwed Oregon. A couple years back, when I was a sophomore in college (so 2002, me thinks) we finished #2 in the nation after beating the stuffing out of Texas in the Fiesta Bowl. That was the same year Miami made a total joke of Nebraska. We definitely should’ve been playing Miami for the championship, but no no, Oregon is on the west coast, can’t have them in a championship game and leave out Nebraska!

  28. I tried to post this an hour ago, but here goes:

    at least there is some actual interstate commerce going on here to justify Congressional interference

  29. Last year Cal got “screwed” out of a BCS bowl and got their tails handed to them in lesser bowl by the Big 12 #4 team. If I were Oregon I would wait until I took care of business against OU before I made too much ruckus about not getting into a BCS bowl.

  30. You’re dreaming Brian. Giving Charlie Weis 4 weeks to plan for an opponent is not going to make a lot of OSU fans happy. If you can manage to avoid crying in your beer during the game, I’ll be the brown speck in the middle of the Irish-Catholic student section laughing as OSU gets embarrassed on the field.

  31. I smell McCain.

  32. I would rather have them legislating something harmless like college football games than have Congress looking at serious issues where they can do real damage.

    But the more they stick their noses into trivia like this, the more they reinforce the idea that everything, and I mean everything, is their business.

    Besides, its not like this is a zero sum game they are playing. If you think they are doing this instead of expanding controls on political speech or instead of passing another pork-laden spending bill, you aren’t paying attention.

    at least there is some actual interstate commerce going on here to justify Congressional interference.

    I’m not so sure about that. Just because money crosses state lines doesn’t give Congress a blank check to “regulate” the fuck out of whatever caused said money to move.

  33. According to the supreme court, we and everything we do are interstate commerce, hence regulatable. With this kind of Keynesian verdict declared on our society, it’s no surprise we have the equivalent of legislative hyperinflation.

  34. Timothy,

    Oregon beat up on Colorado that year, not Texas.

    Cal wasn’t that good last year, just like Oregon isn’t that good this year.

  35. Last year Cal got “screwed” out of a BCS bowl and got their tails handed to them in lesser bowl…

    Yeah, but ND gets their tails handed to them every time they’re in a bowl game and they keep getting invited. You don’t think they’d be howling if they ever got left out?

    …laughing as OSU gets embarrassed on the field.

    And Mo, you mean the Buckeyes will be embarrassed just like ND has “embarrassed” it’s last seven consecutive bowl opponents by an average of 17 points per game? Oh wait, I forgot, that was ND on the losing or “embarrassee” end of those games… oops. No Mo, thanks to coaches and writers giving ND more credit than it deserves year after year, I look for ND to make it eight straight bowl losses by a comparably large margin.

  36. “I look for ND to make it eight straight bowl losses by a comparably large margin.”

    my gawd i fucking hope so.

    ND is the only downside about living in chicago. beforehand, i was completely agnostic about ND. it never made the radar screen in life before.

    but here in chicago. mein gott! get those fucking cultists to shut up!

    someone was explaining to me how “ND is the most famous university in the world”. and shit like that. these asshole subway fans actually believe the “scholar athlete” and “tough schedule” bullcrap.

    the only thing worse, i’ll tell ya, is listening to a bunch of neocons scramble to keep the war justified!!!

  37. Oregon beat up on Colorado that year, not Texas.

    You’re right, but Colorado was #3 in the country that year. It was 2000 when an unranked UO team beat #12 Texas.

    …just like Oregon isn’t that good this year.

    Who knows, but they have a higher ranked strength of schedule and a better record than ND. By that criterion ND isn’t very good this year either… But then we know they are never as good as the hype so I guess that isn’t saying much.

  38. better for the congresscunts to be wasting time on this than, say, mandatory healthcare [see: Taxachusetts]

    /tangent/

    It still boggles my goddamned mind that nobody, nobody, has raised a stink about that goddamned massachussets “all individuals MUST buy healthcare and all employers MUST provide it” horseshit. Was there some kinda moratorium set up by the government on bloggers? Why has nobody said anything about it? Jeeezus.

  39. Alan Vanneman:

    Barton is an Aggie. They hate the Longhorns. He’s much more likely to sponsor legislation requiring UT to have only Phi Beta Kappa Chemistry and Latin majors on the team than your suggestion. Beyond that, the only reason Congress would even consider this nonsense is to extort tickets out of campaign contributors.

  40. rc dean:

    I was being at least three-quarters facetious.

  41. Damn it, the sniping and controversy are why I watch sports!

  42. Gimme back my dog;

    “Cal got screwed out of a BCS bowl”

    Yes, the poor Bruins had to play the lowly Texas Tech Red Raiders and got exposed as a crappy team.

    Texas Tech 45, California 24.

    When the gnashing of teeth and wailing of voices start about how someone got screwed out of a BCS bid I say, SCOREBOARD! Play the game you’re given and win it or quit yer bitchin’.

  43. Based on recent events (looking at you, Duke Cunningham), I’d suggest a Find-Replace of “politics” for “college football”.

  44. Rep Joe Barton:

    College football is not just an exhilarating sport, but a billion-dollar business that Congress cannot ignore,

    Viking Moose (the commenter formerly known as drf):

    Rick Barton:

    hey – get your cousin in congress, Rep Joe Barton, under better control there!

    Well Viking Moose, if he really was a relative of mine, I’d hope he’d be in favor of Congress ignoring almost everything.

  45. I spaced sone italicizing! Shoulda been:

    Rep Joe Barton:

    College football is not just an exhilarating sport, but a billion-dollar business that Congress cannot ignore,

    Viking Moose (the commenter formerly known as drf):

    Rick Barton

    hey – get your cousin in congress, Rep Joe Barton, under better control there!

    Well Viking Moose, if he really was a relative of mine, I’d hope he’d be in favor of Congress ignoring almost everything!

  46. a billion-dollar business that Congress cannot ignore.

    That’s so emblematic of the attitude of the government gangsters: “It’s big money, so it’s ours'”

  47. 1.) Congress are idiots.

    2.) ND Domers are annoying, but those hatin’ on the Foightin’ Oirish can be just as. Many a midwestern university or cow college is populated by ND-haters who applied there and were turned down. For the record, I got into ND, but decided against going there. My alma mater, Marquette, gave up on football at the end of the 50s, so I’ve got no dog in this hunt, but I do follow Robinson’s Rules for Rooting in collegiate sports:

    I.) Always root for the private school over the government edumacational institution.

    II.) When two private schools, one secular and the other religious meet, root for the secular one. (This rule not in force when Marquette plays.)

    III.) When two gubmint schools meet, and one is from My Team’s conference, I’ll give that one the nod.

    IV.) All else being equal, rooting for more obscure schools is more fun.

    V.) AEB=, root for the school with the more original nickname – Coastal Carolina University Chanticleers, frex.

    VI.) None of these rules are to be taken as betting advice.

    I dunno if Notre Dame will be useless in the bowls this year. They came closest to beating USC, after all.

    Kevin

  48. I object to rule V:

    V.) AEB=, root for the school with the more original nickname – Coastal Carolina University Chanticleers, frex.

    See, the government schools thing would normally have me rootin’ against ’em, but the original nickname rule could conceivably compel me to root for the Banana Slugs, and–damn it–I just can’t do that.

  49. Hi Mr. Robinson!

    good rules! love it! next time i’m at the store, i’m gonna pick up a four of sprecher in your honor! Ken – that’s why no set of rules is perfect – even with a set of cast-iron rules, you still have to make choices! it’s the perfect individualistic list! it’s brilliant! 🙂

    not being around catholics, i don’t know, nor have i ever known (AND being from the midwest, living here most of my life) “ND Haters”. So that might be true. I’ve just never seen ’em. just as i never saw ND subway lovers ‘ere coming to chicago. but this is essentially a catholic town……. (like i said, its only drawback – goddammit i hate it when people try to put on that fake irish accent shit)

    this is also recognizing how ESPN has been instrumental in the ND construct that’s arisen over the past few years. Mike&Mike have been big for this, for obvious reasons. And I do happen to believe, based on the ND grads i’ve been around, that Ty W.’s removal *was* racial. Otherwise, i’d have no opinion, nor would i have cared. it’s just thrown in your face. Hell – the U of M and OSU fans weren’t this much in-yo-face in their daily lives. (shudder)

    coming from a D-3 college with a cool name, i like the Chanticleers – i always wanted an obnoxious, thesaurus-rock band called “Chanticleer”. A tribute to Henry Rollins, of course 🙂

    Are you up in Milwaukee? c’mon down to the chicago H&R holiday extravaganza! Akira might be there, too – he’s a cheese head.

    (my mom went to County hospital nursing. she’s from dodge county. love it there! and up north! awesome! Wisc has more beauty than all of NE put together.)

    cheers!
    VM

  50. Most ‘private schools’ accept funds from the government.

  51. “Sucking cock is not just an exhilarating sport, but a billion-dollar business that Congress cannot ignore,” said committee Chairman Joe Blobon, a Republic Texican. […]
    “Too often getting a hummer ends in spitting and spewing, rather than chinners and blowers,” Blobon said. “The current system of determining who’s No. 1 appears deeply flawed.”

    My only question is does he hum Wankey Noodle Dandy when spouting for his losing team?

  52. Given that NCAA I-A football is the only organization more corrupt than Congress, I don’t see how this can hurt.

  53. As an ND grad student (I fucking hate those goodie two-shoes, prep school undergrads) I can understand why we get hated on. However, this doesn’t mean this year is a repeat of last year. Far more than pro, college football is about coach and Weis is a far superior coach than Ty (and I think Ty got a raw deal last year). OSU would be best served not to take us lightly. This ain’t last year’s (or the last 7 years’) ND team. Besides, who else am I going to root for since the MIT Beavers haven’t gotten within sniffing distance of the Div III playoffs. 🙂

    UO fans that complain about our ranking and strength of sked. It’s not our fault the ranked teams we scheduled (2 in the top 5) crashed and burned. UO lost to USC by an order of magnitude more than the Domers.

  54. “I dunno if Notre Dame will be useless in the bowls this year. They came closest to beating USC, after all.”

    That’s true….but look at Fresno St. After almost upsetting USC they lost to Nevada and LA Tech. Oops. Besides Michigan, ND has not really beaten anyone of consequence this year. As an Alabama fan it pains me to say this, but Auburn or LSU would both be more deserving 2-loss teams, IMHO.

  55. I should note, all the difficult teams we scheduled, with the exception of USC, have crashed and burned. That MSU game still kills me though. Gawd!

  56. …UO lost to USC by an order of magnitude more than the Domers.

    True, but then I could point out that UO beat Stanford by 24 while ND almost lost to Stanford and UO beat Washington by 24 to ND’s 19. So by differential scores against common opponents, that’s 2-1 in UO’s favor… and that’s before we even get to the fact that ND lost to an unranked team at home. 🙂

    Anyway, I have nothing against ND, I’ve never lived in the Midwest and don’t really know any Domers. I just find it somewhat annoying that for the last decade they get consistently over-rated to detriment of other teams.

  57. Those kids should be inside studying, anyway.

  58. I have nothing to say about football, but I have to respond to something Mo said about grad school:

    As an ND grad student (I fucking hate those goodie two-shoes, prep school undergrads)

    There isn’t a university on the planet where the grad students have a high opinion of the undergrads. Sometimes they’re “goodie two-shoes, prep school” kids. Other times they’re “stupid, drunk, lazy, slackers” that we have to TA for. Other times they’re “a bunch of annoying kids who aren’t half as clever as they think they are.” And so forth.

    Hating on the undergrads is part of being a grad student.

  59. BTW, in my current gig, we postdocs complain about having to supervise grad students.

  60. The bowls only care about which team’s fans will travel. Apparently Oregon fans don’t. As for a federally mandated playoff, hell yes! Despite crashing and burning, the Tide was headed into the same SEC spiting as poor Auburn got last year. I’m not saying the SEC is any good, but not giving them a chance on the field is criminal.

  61. Mo, Thoreau: GOOD CALL ABOUT THE UNDERGRADS.

    Mo – how are finals coming along?

    Thoreau – but your supervisory efforts are appreciated and much respected.

  62. Brian,
    I can see your point about ND being overranked. I don’t think it’s that simple. At the start of the year, no one thought we would do anything. Lee Corso had us pegged to start the season 0-6 or 1-5 at best. We far surpassed those expectations and between that and the start of the Charlie Weis era, there’s going to be a lot of hype. Anyways, I’m rooting for an ND win and a great game.

  63. thoreau:

    Did you mean to say “hating on the undergrads, or “hitting on the undergrads”?

    ‘Cause I know in my grad school days, we were a lot more involved in the latter than the former.

  64. I’m not saying the SEC is any good….

    Dude, are you serious? The Big Ten is probably the best conference this year, but I don’t think the SEC was that far behind. Year in and year out they are traditionally one of the deepest conferences as well.

  65. Oops. First line should be a quote from James.

  66. After the assholes in Washignton got involved in the steroids issue did you really think they would stop there?

  67. What’s funny is that if you follow the link to the committee’s website, there’s another link for reporting “waste, fraud and abuse”. I think I found some.

  68. Perhaps we should give the Congresscritters some crayons and have them spend their time demonstrating their School Spirit.

    My main complaint about college football: the cheerleaders are overdressed.

  69. Hating on the undergrads is part of being a grad student.

    Not me, baby. I was too busy ridin’ the gravy train! Awwwww yeeeeeaaaahhhhh!! 🙂

  70. Did you mean to say “hating on the undergrads, or “hitting on the undergrads”?

    ‘Cause I know in my grad school days, we were a lot more involved in the latter than the former.

    Unfortunately if you’re a EE (or Physics as I’m sure thoreau can attest) grad student there just aren’t many undergrads of the opposite sex to hit on. In fact I saw a study recently that showed, nationwide, Electrical Engineering and Physics were tied for the lowest percentage of female undergrads at 7%.

  71. Matt, I shouldn’t have implied that the SEC isn’t any good, I should have said “may not be any better”. Despite this year’s poor non-conference record, year in year out we’re stronger than the other conferences. Thanks for standing up for the SEC and ROLL TIDE.

  72. James:

    Well, we’ll see how they handle Texas Tech. Talk about two different teams….

  73. Ken S.:

    Rule 5 depends on “all else being equal.” If something puts you off UC Santa Cruz*, well, I’m not saying my rules can’t be customized for each user.

    * http://www.goslugs.com/

    watters:

    Private schools do get gubmint cash, but aside from outliers such as Harvard, they get by on less of it as a percentage of their total budgets. Much of federal and state aid to private higher ed is aid to the student, for which the school is merely a conduit. Here in Wisconsin the state university system is a gold-plated money pit, with ridiculous pension and health benefits for the featherbedded staff. Students scream about the annual tuition increases that outpace the inflation rate and more and higher fees. That each of them, regardless of need or merit, is receiving a hefty scholarship compared to an “out-of-state” student is somehow forgotten, but I guess they expect that as a consequence of the vampiric taxes they and their parents pay here. The local papers have been filled with scandals about profs and administrators canoodling with students, getting dismissed from their posts only to be installed in “back-up jobs” that keep them on the payroll, pensions intact, and other such nonsense – last year’s Ward Churchill flap, frex.

    Moose:

    Thanks for the props on the RRRs. I am indeed in the Cream City. I don’t know if I can make the Chi-town bash, as I’m in scrimp and save mode right now, but I’ll think about it.

    Kevin

  74. Thanks for standing up for the SEC and ROLL TIDE.

    It’s rollin’ baby, it’s rollin’!

  75. This is far from unprecedented. We have state boxing & racing commissions, and bans on competitive pro wrestling and pro combat sports not fitting the boxing & wrestling model. Other countries typically have agencies that promote and/or regulate pro & amateur sports.

    Robert

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