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Thread: Hatch challenges Obama to walk the walk

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    Et tu, Brutus? Brutus's Avatar
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    Hatch challenges Obama to walk the walk

    Senator Orrin Hatch, Utah, has written a 10-page letter to the White House and the Justice Department, reminding Barack Obama of his intent to "throw his weight around" to change the BCS. He also is claiming the BCS is a violation of the Sherman Trust Act.

    Hatch Asking Obama to order Justice Department to probe BCS

    While he might have a point about being a violate of the anti-trust laws, generally I've always despised elected officials for butting into sports. As much as I'd love to rid of the BCS in favor of an actual playoff system of some sort, I don't really want the government intruding to do so. And while I'm not an Obama fan, which obviously is not the point for this forum, I am happy he wants to 'throw his weight around' to change things (pun intended). Still, I am not a fan of big government, and I don't support this.

    Nonetheless, if they're going to do it anyways, I hope they succeed.

    --------------------------------------

    Updated: October 21, 2009, 2:30 PM ET
    Hatch seeks Justice probe of BCS
    Associated Press

    WASHINGTON -- Shortly after winning last year's presidential election, Barack Obama said he was going to "to throw my weight around a little bit" to nudge college football's Bowl Championship Series to move to a playoff system.

    On Wednesday, Sen. Orrin Hatch took him up on that.

    Hatch asked the president to launch a Justice Department investigation into the way the BCS -- a complex system of computer rankings and polls that often draws criticism -- crowns its national champion.

    "Mr. President, as you have publicly stated on multiple occasions, the BCS system is in dire need of reform," Hatch, R-Utah, wrote in a 10-page letter, obtained by The Associated Press.

    Hatch, who held a hearing on the BCS in July, told Obama that a "strong case" can be made that the BCS violates antitrust laws.

    Under the BCS system, some conferences get automatic bids to participate in top-tier bowls while others don't, and the automatic bid conferences also get far more of the revenue. Hatch's home state school, the University of Utah, is from the Mountain West Conference, which does not get an automatic bid. The school qualified for a bid last season but was bypassed for the national championship despite going undefeated.

    The system "has been designed to limit the number of teams from non-privileged conferences that will play in BCS games," he wrote.

    Hatch said that the BCS arrangement likely violates the Sherman Antitrust Act, because, he argued, it constitutes a "contract, combination in the form of trust or otherwise, or conspiracy, in restraint of trade or commerce," quoting from the law.

    He said that the system "artificially limits the number of nationally-relevant bowl games to five. The result is reduced access to revenues and visibility which creates disadvantages to schools in the non-privileged conferences." Hatch is the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary's subcommittee on antitrust, competition policy and consumer rights.

    The senator said that the hundreds of millions generated by college football "are hardly trivial sums," given that many schools use such revenue to fund things like other athletic programs.

    The White House declined to comment. The Justice Department and BCS officials had no immediate comment.

    Hatch's letter comes a few days after the BCS released its first standings of the year. And on Monday, a group of college football fans launched the Playoff PAC, with the hope of electing more lawmakers who will pressure the BCS to switch to a playoff system. Several lawmakers have introduced bills this year aimed at forcing a playoff system, but none of the bills has moved.


    Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press
    "No matter how good you are, you're going to lose one-third of your games. No matter how bad you are you're going to win one-third of your games. It's the other third that makes the difference." ~Tommy Lasorda

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    Tired of talk. Win! Joseph's Avatar
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    Re: Hatch challenges Obama to walk the walk

    I thought I was going to have to lock this one.

    I agree that politicians need to butt out of this kind of thing. It is not a good system at all, but I'd rather them focus on other things than college football right now.

    Truth be told I don't care a lot about college football so I don't really care if it ever changes.

    Championships for MY teams in my lifetime:
    Cincinnati Reds - 75, 76, 90
    Chicago Blackhawks - 10, 13
    University of Kentucky - 78, 96, 98, 12
    Cincinnati Bengals - None
    Chicago Bulls - 91, 92, 93, 96, 97, 98

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    Viva la Rolen kaldaniels's Avatar
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    Re: Hatch challenges Obama to walk the walk

    Count me as one that is disgusted in Congress meddling in the college football arena.

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    C-A-T-S CATS! CATS! CATS! WVRed's Avatar
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    Re: Hatch challenges Obama to walk the walk

    Going to a playoff will never happen. The NCAA has way too many sponsorships lined up for these bowl games that pump all kinds of revenue into the schools.

    The only way a playoff might work would be to take the BCS teams and put them into a playoff system each week through December until the championship.
    Quote Originally Posted by savafan View Post
    I've read books about sparkling vampires who walk around in the daylight that were written better than a John Fay article.

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    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Hatch challenges Obama to walk the walk

    How could it possibly take 10 pages to make that point? Even it writing Senators love to hear themselves talk.
    Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.

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    Et tu, Brutus? Brutus's Avatar
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    Re: Hatch challenges Obama to walk the walk

    Quote Originally Posted by WVRed View Post
    Going to a playoff will never happen. The NCAA has way too many sponsorships lined up for these bowl games that pump all kinds of revenue into the schools.

    The only way a playoff might work would be to take the BCS teams and put them into a playoff system each week through December until the championship.
    It would be very easy to set up a playoff system that retained sponsorship and incorporate the BCS bowls within the playoffs themselves. Heck, it doesn't take much creativity. I have, and I'm sure hundreds if not thousands of others have crafted such a scenario that takes into account a lot of their concerns in less than a day.
    "No matter how good you are, you're going to lose one-third of your games. No matter how bad you are you're going to win one-third of your games. It's the other third that makes the difference." ~Tommy Lasorda

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    Re: Hatch challenges Obama to walk the walk

    When I first started reading the 1st post I couldn't help but laugh. A politician wanting to force the BCS into a playoff. What's next. The argument about a possible anti-trust violation is interesting though. I'm not getting my hopes up but if they do nudge the BCS towards a playoff that would be fine with me.
    "Now that's a real shame when folks be throwin' away a perfectly good white boy like that."

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    I hate the Cubs LoganBuck's Avatar
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    Re: Hatch challenges Obama to walk the walk

    Man imagine if the new contract for the BCS was to be broadcast on FOX. Obama would be all over that.

    I wish Alabama hadn't been so crippled last year when Utah faced them.
    The Sox traded Bullfrog the only player they've got for Shottenhoffen. Four-eyes Shottenhoffen a utility infielder. They've got a whole team of utility infielders.

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    Re: Hatch challenges Obama to walk the walk

    Quote Originally Posted by kaldaniels View Post
    Count me as one that is disgusted in Congress meddling in the college football arena.
    Seeing as how their performance has been for quite some time, would you rather them be working on anythign else?

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    Re: Hatch challenges Obama to walk the walk

    Hatch is certainly doing his job. I'm guessing that a great deal of his constituents in Utah are very, very interested in this issue.

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    Waitin til next year bucksfan2's Avatar
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    Re: Hatch challenges Obama to walk the walk

    Quote Originally Posted by Boston Red View Post
    Hatch is certainly doing his job. I'm guessing that a great deal of his constituents in Utah are very, very interested in this issue.
    Yep. I would imagine that BYU and Utah are two of the largest employers in the state of Utah.

    I am always mixed on politics getting mixed up with athletics. Part of me says that sports play such a large part in the American society that politics needs to get involved at time to time. But another part of me says lets keep sports out of the political arena.

    While I though Congress bringing up steroids in baseball was a good thing, I think the President and Congress has more pressing matters to worry about than the college football playoff or lack there of.

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    Charlie Brown All-Star IslandRed's Avatar
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    Re: Hatch challenges Obama to walk the walk

    Quote Originally Posted by Brutus the Pimp View Post
    It would be very easy to set up a playoff system that retained sponsorship and incorporate the BCS bowls within the playoffs themselves. Heck, it doesn't take much creativity. I have, and I'm sure hundreds if not thousands of others have crafted such a scenario that takes into account a lot of their concerns in less than a day.
    The problem with most solutions that attempt to incorporate the bowl games is, they brush off the reason the bowl games exist in the first place: tourism. Bowl committees are unabashed civic booster organizations. There's a reason the traditional bowl games started playing on New Year's Day rather than right after the end of the season; they know the slow week between Christmas and New Year's is the best time to lure football fans to their town to party for several days. The TV money is nice, but local economic impact is what they're after. With a playoff, instead of fans focusing on one trip at the perfect time to get away for several days, they'll be looking at possible multiple weekend trips. Wherever they go, they won't stay as long or spend as much. It may not matter to us, but it matters a great deal to the people who run the bowls.
    Not all who wander are lost

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    Et tu, Brutus? Brutus's Avatar
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    Re: Hatch challenges Obama to walk the walk

    Quote Originally Posted by IslandRed View Post
    The problem with most solutions that attempt to incorporate the bowl games is, they brush off the reason the bowl games exist in the first place: tourism. Bowl committees are unabashed civic booster organizations. There's a reason the traditional bowl games started playing on New Year's Day rather than right after the end of the season; they know the slow week between Christmas and New Year's is the best time to lure football fans to their town to party for several days. The TV money is nice, but local economic impact is what they're after. With a playoff, instead of fans focusing on one trip at the perfect time to get away for several days, they'll be looking at possible multiple weekend trips. Wherever they go, they won't stay as long or spend as much. It may not matter to us, but it matters a great deal to the people who run the bowls.
    The system I've advocated takes this into account already.

    For instance (this is one variation I've always supported):

    8 team playoff with two play-in games (total of 10 teams)

    * 4 highest conference winners (regardless of conference) in the BCS standings receive automatic bids with the 4 highest receiving the top 4 seeds

    * Next four (4) conference winners meet in the two play-in games at the highest-ranked team's home field the second week in December and given seeds 7 & 8

    * The two highest teams to not win their conference receive at-large bids and shall be given seeds 5 & 6

    Then, the third Saturday in December shall be the first round. All four games shall be held on the higher seed's home field, allowing an extra gate (more $) and less travel. Each game shall have a corporate sponsor of one of the four existing BCS bowls, and each bowl shall receive a portion of the revenue from that first round game.

    The semifinals shall be on New Year's Day in rotating fashion. For instance, the Orange Bowl and Sugar Bowl might host the two Final Four games. These games still retain their bowl and sponsorship names. "Florida vs. Ohio State in the FedEx Orange Bowl" as part of one semifinal. A third BCS bowl out of the rotation will receive a BCS game on New Year's day (or the day after) of the top two teams of their choosing that did not make the playoffs. Finally, one week from New Year's (January 8), the National Championship shall be in the fourth bowl game.

    This keeps sponsorship and BCS bowl affiliations alive, with still basically the same 10 teams that would make the BCS now getting in in this new scenario, but also a chance for the other conferences to have a shot at playing for a title - or at least more of a shot.

    This also keeps travel to a minimum for fans. Obviously it would not be easy to have a team travel four weeks in a row, but since the first round and play-in games would be at a home site, not many tickets would be available for the opposing teams anyhow. Only two teams would have to travel two weeks in a row on a neutral site.

    Third, this still keeps some time during the holidays, allows a little bit of time to make travel accommodations, and keeps the tourist aspect of the bowl games intact.

    There are many ways to do this, and this is not by any means perfect. But it does take into account many of the 'obstacles' mentioned by detractors of a playoff.
    "No matter how good you are, you're going to lose one-third of your games. No matter how bad you are you're going to win one-third of your games. It's the other third that makes the difference." ~Tommy Lasorda

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    Waitin til next year bucksfan2's Avatar
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    Re: Hatch challenges Obama to walk the walk

    Quote Originally Posted by Brutus the Pimp View Post
    The semifinals shall be on New Year's Day in rotating fashion. For instance, the Orange Bowl and Sugar Bowl might host the two Final Four games. These games still retain their bowl and sponsorship names. "Florida vs. Ohio State in the FedEx Orange Bowl" as part of one semifinal. A third BCS bowl out of the rotation will receive a BCS game on New Year's day (or the day after) of the top two teams of their choosing that did not make the playoffs. Finally, one week from New Year's (January 8), the National Championship shall be in the fourth bowl game.

    This keeps sponsorship and BCS bowl affiliations alive, with still basically the same 10 teams that would make the BCS now getting in in this new scenario, but also a chance for the other conferences to have a shot at playing for a title - or at least more of a shot.

    This also keeps travel to a minimum for fans. Obviously it would not be easy to have a team travel four weeks in a row, but since the first round and play-in games would be at a home site, not many tickets would be available for the opposing teams anyhow. Only two teams would have to travel two weeks in a row on a neutral site.

    Third, this still keeps some time during the holidays, allows a little bit of time to make travel accommodations, and keeps the tourist aspect of the bowl games intact.

    There are many ways to do this, and this is not by any means perfect. But it does take into account many of the 'obstacles' mentioned by detractors of a playoff.

    If a playoff is instituted, I just don't think there will be a whole lot of luster for using the bowl names anymore. I think if started it may work for a year or two, but no bowl or sponsor would want to have the final four game, but not the championship game. I just don't think the sponsor money will continue to come in for those games.

    I am all for a playoff if it is done like the NFL. I want the best teams to have the best opportunity to win a bowl game. I would love to see a southern team come up to Columbus in the dead of winter to play a playoff game. I would have no problem with a southernly located championship game, but let home field determine everything before that.

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    I hate the Cubs LoganBuck's Avatar
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    Re: Hatch challenges Obama to walk the walk

    Quote Originally Posted by bucksfan2 View Post

    I am all for a playoff if it is done like the NFL. I want the best teams to have the best opportunity to win a bowl game. I would love to see a southern team come up to Columbus in the dead of winter to play a playoff game. I would have no problem with a southernly located championship game, but let home field determine everything before that.
    Exactly or go to a regional setup with games in the North South East and West. It is only fair that southern teams should have to put up with the cold weather. Imagine if they had a regional game at PBS, or Soldier Field and Florida had to play in the snow versus an Ohio State, Michigan, Louisville or Cincinnati. Fans in the south would hate it, but man that would be fun.
    The Sox traded Bullfrog the only player they've got for Shottenhoffen. Four-eyes Shottenhoffen a utility infielder. They've got a whole team of utility infielders.


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