If John Swofford looks close enough, he might find Roger Clemens sweat stains.
The rage against the BCS machine reached a new level on Wednesday when the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee announced Friday hearings to "examine competitive fairness ... adversely impacted by the ... Bowl Championship Series ..."
There was more in the press release but it was superfluous language and it's been a long day. Hearings have been threatened by Utah Republican Senator Orrin Hatch but this comes from a different direction. The Committee on Energy and Commerce is chaired by Rep. Henry Waxman. You might remember him as the main guy grilling Clemens a while back.
It's not clear who is going to chair the hearings on Friday. Swofford, the BCS coordinator, has been invited as a witness along with Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson, Paul Hoolahan, chairman of the Football Bowl Association and Gene Bleymaier, the Boise State AD.
Swofford, also the ACC commissioner and Thompson are the only two I could find Wednesday night who were committed to appearing. Hoolahan, better known as the Sugar Bowl executive director, told me he would not be there. There will probably be another FBA official there in his place.
"We're prepared for this, this isn't anything that has caught us off guard," said Hoolahan who heads one of the four BCS bowls. "There is such a level naivete on how this thing oeprates. These guys want to get a sound bite and get up on the bully pulpit. More than anything we have to wage an informational campaign. When their constituents hear that they about to shoot the goose that lays the golden egg (they won't like it)."
What do I think will happen? Not much, at least for now. This is a one day hearing and looks to be the work of Texas Rep. Joe Barton. Barton is a ranking member of the Energy and Commerce committee. Late last year he proposed a bill that would keep the BCS from calling it a "national championship game" unless it was part of a playoff.
Thompson and a group of a Mountain West officials visited senior legislative staff earlier this year. Thompson detailed an eight-team playoff proposal by his conference to replace the BCS last week in Pasadena, Calif. during the BCS meetings.
Swofford reiterated during the meetings that he feels the BCS would stand up to any legal challenges. I detailed some of Swofford's confidence earlier this month in a story about anti-trust lawyer Tom Rhodes.