Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Now it's getting serious

The United States Supreme Court, in its infinite wisdom (that's a joke), granted organized baseball an exemption from Federal antitrust laws in 1922. Said exemption was affirmed in 1953 and 1972, even noting the oddity of the original claim that baseball did not somehow constitute interstate commerce. But this sweet loophole for monopolistic and unfair practice has never yet been granted to any other sport.

Give it a few years, and we might see a new test case. College football is in the sights of the Utah Attorney General, for violation of the very same laws. Fair enough, too. Undefeated Utah, of the Mountain West Conference, ate Alabama in the Sugar Bowl. Far more convincingly than Florida did in the Southeastern Conference's title game, in fact. But Florida is getting the big bucks and a match against Oklahoma for the BCS Championship. It's hard to tell whether Utah would beat the likes of Texas, Oklahoma, and Florida - their schedules were all different. So why not - and here's the radical part - let them play each other?

Seriously. The President-elect has called for it. Numerous coaches have called for it. Practically every TV commentator not beholden to a particular bowl game slate has called for it. And now, legal action is on the way.

Urban Meyer summed up the argument against a playoff: I think it would be hard. I don’t know how you do it. Very convincing. Especially since basketball, soccer, hockey, and every other team sport manages to get a playoff working. And Division I-AA and II and III seem to manage a playoff just fine, too.

The real objection is money. So much is tied up in the bowl games. Big deal. Make the big bowl games part of the playoff, and the lesser ones a consolation prize, just like they are now. If you really think interest in the Poinsettia Bowl would be decreased by a playoff elsewhere, you're crazy.

Playoff. 2009-10. Make. It. Happen.

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