Fresh off a victory against Major League Baseball and its weak steroid policy, Congress is now taking aim at college football's yearend rankings.
Although Congress rarely unanimously agrees on anything and squabbles frequently, at least one member thinks his congressional subcommittee can encourage discussion that could end the "sniping and controversy" surrounding the Bowl Championship Series.
"College football is not just an exhilarating sport, but a billion-dollar business that Congress cannot ignore," U.S. Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, told the Associated Press. Congress certainly can ignore it - and should. If university presidents and athletic directors can't offer a non-controversial plan, what makes members of Congress think they can?
Why should college football be pressured by a group that doesn't seem to understand the term ""team" and seldom prioritizes anything it does. Barton, who is chairman of the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee that includes regulating the sports industry among its duties, said his group is concerned with how the No. 1 team is chosen. Of course, his idea of fair may have something to do with his home-state, undefeated Texas Longhorns being ranked second behind the undefeated University of Southern California in the BCS standings.
The BCS standings are based on computer and human polls and are used to determine pairing in the various holiday bowl games. There has been controversy because of the millions of dollars doled out to the conferences and schools involved in bowl games. Anytime human judgments are part of the mix there are going to be disagreements - and there usually have been every year since the BCS was established in 1998.
Maybe Barton thinks his committee can use the same type of pressure in football that the House Government Reform Committee used to pressure Major League Baseball into setting stiffer penalties for steroid use.
The BCS standings are not infallible, but Congress should worry more about national security and a rising debt and leave sports changes to the conferences and universities.