BCS = communism?

1. a theory or system of social organization based on the holding of all property in common, actual ownership being ascribed to the community as a whole or to the state.

2. (often initial capital letter ) a system of social organization in which all economic and social activity is controlled by a totalitarian state dominated by a single and self-perpetuating political party.

If the above definition sounds familiar, Republican Rep. Joe Barton of Texas says that it’s probably because you’ve been watching college football and are familiar with the BCS.

A congressman who wants to see college football adopt a playoff system is comparing the Bowl Championship Series to communism.

Republican Rep. Joe Barton of Texas said Friday that efforts to tinker with the BCS are bound to fail. He told a House hearing that the BCS is like communism and can’t be fixed.

Barton has introduced legislation that would prevent the NCAA from labeling a game a national championship unless it’s the outcome of a playoff system.

The coordinator of the Bowl Championship Series told the panel that a playoff system would threaten the existence of celebrated bowl games. Fans, President Barack Obama and some lawmakers favor a playoff system.

While I agree that there is a massive need for a playoff to be implemented into college football, I wouldn’t go as far to compare the BCS to communism. Fascism? Maybe. Communism? Not so much.

Does anyone else find it ironic that Barton is a Republican representative of Texas and is comparing the BCS to communism after the Long Horns didn’t get a shot to play for the national championship last year?

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Peter Schrager makes me laugh

Peter Schrager of FoxSports.com recently put together a list of 10 “un-truths” in the NFL and his No. 8 is a real doozy:

8. The BCS is an “unfair” system. Want to talk “unfair”? How about the Patriots — who finished with 11 wins — sitting home in January while the 8-8 Chargers, 9-6-1 Eagles, and 9-7 Arizona Cardinals all play in the postseason. My guy Kevin Hench can talk (er, whine, kick, and scream) about this far more passionately, but in the same year everyone cried about the BCS, the NFL’s postseason system left an 11-5 team out in the cold. The Texas Longhorns weren’t the only ones who got a raw deal this year.

The Texas Longhorns weren’t the only ones who got a raw deal this year.

No sh*t – so were the Utah Utes.

Yeah, the Patriots were jobbed big-time this year and the Browns were screwed last year. But those are just two teams – one team per season – over the past two seasons. The BCS continuously bends multiple teams over on a yearly basis and people still defend it.

Schrager’s comparison is freaking laughable and when you consider the Chargers made it to the divisional round, the Eagles made it to the NFC Championship and the Cardinals made it to the Super Bowl, it weakens his point even more.

2008 Year-End Sports Review: What We Think Might Happen

It’s time to look ahead to 2009 and play a little Nostradamus.

Last year, we predicted that God would anoint the “Devil-free” Rays World Series Champions (ding!), that Brett Favre would play another year or two (ding! – sort of), that Isiah Thomas would be canned (ding!), and that Kobe would be playing for a new team by the trade deadline…

Granted, that last one didn’t come true, but how were we supposed to know that the Grizzlies would trade Pau Gasol to the Lakers for an unproven rookie and a bag of peanuts? Our occasional inaccuracy isn’t going to keep us from rolling out another set of predictions – some serious and some farcical – for 2009 and beyond, including President Obama’s plan for a college football playoff, Donovan McNabb’s new home and the baseball club most likely to be 2009’s version of the Tampa Bay Rays.

Read on, and in a year, we guarantee* you’ll be amazed.

*This is not an actual guarantee, mind you.

Don’t miss the other two parts of our 2008 Year-End Sports Review: “What We Learned” and “What We Already Knew.”

Michael Vick will play for the Oakland Raiders next season.

Once NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell allows suspended quarterback Michael Vick to re-enter the league, let’s be honest, there’s really only one team that will take a shot on the convict: the Oakland Raiders. Sure, the Raiders would have to possibly give up a draft pick because Vick will still technically be property of the Falcons, but with Matt Ryan on board, Atlanta would probably be willing to give Mikey up for a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos…snack size. With Vick on board, JaMarcus Russell could shift to tight end or full back or offensive tackle or something. Or, Vick could play wide receiver! Or running back! Think of the possibilities! The Oakland Raiders will be the most unstoppable team in the league! That is, of course, until Vick gets the itch for his old hobby. – Anthony Stalter

The Nationals and Pirates become the official AAAA teams of their respective divisions.

After finishing at or near the bottom of the division since the franchise’s move from Montreal, Major League Baseball executives analyze the entire Washington Nationals player system and conclude that they have no chance of fielding a competitive team in the near future. In the boldest decision of his tenure, Commissioner Bud Selig demotes the team’s Major League roster to AAAA status, a phrase long used by baseball personnel to describe players that are too good for the minors but not good enough for the majors. In an added twist, Selig designates that the team’s assets are fair game for all four remaining teams in the National League East, as a means of creating parity. In order to keep the number of teams even in each league, Selig also downgrades the Pittsburgh Pirates, losers of 94 or more games since 2005, to AAAA status as well. It will be six weeks into the regular season before an NL East team claims any of these former Pirates or Nationals. – David Medsker

Barack Obama will have a plan in place for a college football playoff by 2016.

He has already spoken out twice in favor of an eight-team playoff format for college football. Granted, there are more pressing concerns for the President-elect – the economy, the war in Iraq and a forward-thinking energy policy, just to name a few – but there’s no reason that Obama can’t appoint a “Playoff Czar” to get the conference presidents and the bowl organizers together to hash out a system that works for everyone. Are the bowls worried about losing money? Rotate the semifinals and the final amongst the four bowl cities. Are the conferences worried about losing money? They shouldn’t be – the ratings for an eight-team playoff would dwarf the ratings the current system is getting. And better ratings means more money. This is something that 85%-90% of the population can agree on, and that doesn’t happen often. Mark our words – President Obama will make it happen, especially if he gets a second term. – John Paulsen

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2009 BCS Bowl Preview and Predictions

The 2009 BCS Bowl Season is quickly approaching – not that anyone should care.

I’m not trying to sound bitter, but if the BCS doesn’t care about any of its five bowl games outside of the national championship game, then why should we? All the BCS essentially cares about is figuring out who the top team teams are in college football – and they can’t even do that right.

But I digress. I’m not going to burn another 1,200 words on why college football needs a playoff because it’ll just fall upon deaf ears. Instead, I’ll get into the bowl season spirit and break down the five BCS bowls, as well as hand out predictions for each game.

Predictions are essentially meaningless, but they’re fun so make sure you throw out your picks in the comment section below.

Daryll ClarkRose Bowl: Penn State vs. USC
The Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California, January 1, 4:30PM ET ABC
Some college football pundits believe that this one will be over with by halftime, but if Penn State uses Oregon State’s victory over USC as a blueprint for success, the Nittany Lions could make this a tighter game than most expect. PSU tailback Evan Royster has been a playmaker this year and if the Lions can employ him the same way the Beavers’ used Jacquizz Rodgers to beat the Trojans earlier this season, then maybe they can exploit USC’s quick defense. Then again, the Trojans’ D is one of the fastest and most talented units in the country and it won’t be easy for PSU to spread the field on them like they did against Big Ten opponents this season. USC has the most talented linebacker corps in the country and their secondary features two safeties in Taylor Mays and Kevin Ellison that blanket the field in both coverage and run support. In order for the Lions to claim victory, quarterback Daryll Clark will have to play mistake free and not try to force action in the passing game. Offensively for USC, quarterback Mark Sanchez has been outstanding, but he will make mistakes. He threw at least one interception in seven games this year and if PSU’s defense can generate some pressure, they could force Sanchez into some turnovers and capitalize on some prime field position. But outside of getting pressure on Sanchez, Penn State needs to tackle well and limit the yards-after-catch opportunities that USC’s receivers thrive upon. Sounds basic enough, but the Trojans have one of the fastest offenses in the league and Sanchez has excelled at taking what defenses give him and in getting the ball into the hands of his playmakers. The Lions would be wise to get 11 defenders around the ball at all times, especially when USC tailback Stafon Johnson gets the opportunity to make plays.
Rose Bowl Prediction: USC 30, Penn State 17.

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Doyel: Quit your bitching Texas and USC

Gregg Doyel of CBS Sports writes that both Texas and USC should stop bitching about not having a chance to play for a national championship.

Mark SanchezDidn’t make it into the BCS title game? Boo-fricking-hoo. The system might not have worked in your favor this season, but it will one day. And that’s the thing about being Texas or Southern California, and about being Florida or Oklahoma, for that matter: The even larger system — the college football system — is designed to funnel you into the BCS title game as smoothly as possible.

So Texas and USC didn’t get there this season. So what. You will soon enough, maybe even next season. And if not next season, then the next. That’s almost a sure thing. By the year 2011, both Texas and USC will have played again for the national championship — and if it hasn’t happened for either school by then, Mack Brown or Pete Carroll has screwed up.

You’re supposed to succeed, Texas. You too, USC. That’s why I can’t muster up a speck of sympathy for either of you. It’s not like Iowa State or Ole Miss has been left out of the BCS equation despite a worthy résumé. That would be a heartbreak, because Iowa State and Ole Miss might never pass this way again.

But Texas and USC? You’ll pass this way again, and when you do, you’ll be riding first class. Feeling badly that Texas or USC didn’t make it into the BCS title game with 11-1 records — while Florida and Oklahoma did, at 12-1 — is like feeling badly that Donald Trump didn’t get a Christmas bonus. The man has enough advantages already.

Put it all together. Texas and USC have better access to better talent than anyone. They have better resources to hire better coaches than anyone. They have better facilities to develop that talent.
They have to win, and win big. Every season.

So don’t expect sympathy from anyone outside your fan base because you missed out on the BCS title game, Texas. Or you, USC. Not even if you have the same number of losses as Florida and Oklahoma. And not even if, in Texas’ case, you have beaten the Sooners already this season.

If perfection is what it takes to make it into the BCS title game, well, so be it. There are very few college football programs equipped to produce a perfect season.

Well said. But in defense for those of us college football fans who aren’t loyal to Texas or USC, we’re bitching because the system sucks. Texas and USC are just used as props this year for proving a point – the BCS isn’t the best way to determine who the best teams are in college football. But again, Doyel is right that Texas and USC don’t have anything to complain about in the long run.

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