Lawmakers make push for playoff

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WASHINGTON --- Tackling an issue sure to rouse sports fans, lawmakers pressed college football officials Friday to switch the Bowl Championship Series to a playoff, with one Texas Republican likening the current system to communism and joking it should be labeled "BS," not "BCS."

John Swofford, the coordinator of the BCS, rejected the idea of switching to a playoff, telling a House panel that it would threaten the existence of celebrated bowl games. Sponsorships and TV revenue that now go to bowl games would instead be spent on playoff games, "meaning that it will be very difficult for any bowl, including the current BCS bowls, which are among the oldest and most established in the game's history, to survive," Swofford said.

Rep. Joe Barton of Texas, who has introduced legislation that would prevent the NCAA from calling a game a national championship unless it's the outcome of a playoff, bluntly warned Swofford: "If we don't see some action in the next two months, on a voluntary switch to a playoff system, then you will see this bill move."

After the hearing of the House Energy and Com-merce Committee commerce, trade and consumer protection subcommittee, Swofford told reporters: "Any time Congress speaks, you take it seriously."

Barton, the top Republican on the committee, said at the hearing that efforts to tinker with the BCS were bound to fail.

"It's like communism," he said. "You can't fix it."

He quipped that the BCS should drop the "C" because it doesn't represent a true championship.

"Call it the 'BS' system," he said to laughter.


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