House members call for football playoff

May 1, 2009 at 9:44 PM
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WASHINGTON, May 1 (UPI) -- Members of a U.S. House subcommittee Friday told the head of the Bowl Championship Series they favor a playoff to determine the No. 1 team in college football.

John Swofford, coordinator of the BCS and commissioner of the Atlantic Coast Conference, appeared before hearings called by the Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection.

He told the House members that while the current method of selecting a national champion is not perfect, the NCAA could not expect fans to travel across the country multiple times for post-season games.

"Our fans do not have the time, and most do not have the financial resources, to do so," Swofford said. "Moreover, I am not aware of any football playoff in this country at any level in which all games are played at predetermined neutral sites that may be thousands of miles from the homes of the participating teams."

A combination of polls and computer rankings determine the top two teams in the country at the end of the regular season and those teams play for the national title.

Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, has introduced legislation that would prohibit marketing, promotion and advertising of a game as a "national championship" game unless it was part of a playoff system.

"This system is patently unfair," Barton said. "Before the first game, half the teams in the country don't have a prayer at winning or even playing for a national championship. You could have a playoff system that makes just as much money, but has the added benefit of determining the championship on the field."

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