Blog Entry

Bobby Rush to chair BCS hearings

Posted on: April 30, 2009 11:56 am
Edited on: April 30, 2009 12:31 pm

Friday's BCS hearings will be chaired by Illinois Rep. Bobby Rush. It's not clear if Rush has an agenda regarding this issue. It seems that everyone else gathering in D.C. certainly does.

Fellow Energy and Commerce Subcommittee member Joe Barton of Texas is a ranking member of the Energy and Commerce Committee. Barton proposed a bill late last year that would keep the BCS from calling a "national championship game" unless it was part of a playoff. Barton's agenda, obviously, is supporting Texas which lost that confusing tiebreaker in the Big 12 and essentially eliminated from the national title game.

Rush? All we (me, actually) know is that he represents Chicago and South Chicago. He has the highest percentage of African-Americans in his district than any Congressman. He was arrested in 2004 outside the Sudanese embassy in Washington, D.C. protesting genocide.

His son, Jeffrey, was fired from his job with the Illinois prison system in 2007 for allegedly having sex with female inmates. According to reports, Jeffrey Rush was hired by then-governor Rod Blagojevich's administration in 2003.

Bobby Rush supported Blagojevich's appointment of Rolad Burris to take over Barack Obama's vacated Illinois Senate seat. Here is a bunch of stuff from his past, none of it really relavant to the BCS.  

I talked to committee's press office on Thursday and was reminded that Congress is not in session. We're not sure how many subcommittee members will be in attendance. All we know for sure is that Rush and Barton will be there. One bowl source told me the hearings were for "fact finding." 

The rage against the BCS machine reached a new level on Wednesday when the subcommittee announced the Friday hearings to "examine competitive fairness ... adversely impacted by the ... Bowl Championship Series ..."

Hearings have been threatened by Utah Republican Senator Orrin Hatch but this comes from a different direction.

ACC commissioner John 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.

Only Hoolahan won't be attending. Past FBA chairman Derrick Fox, CEO of the Alamo Bowl, will take 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. It's hard to imagine Congress will move on this while the country deals with a swine flu epidemic, two wars and the economy.

Thompson and a group of a Mountain West officials visited senior legislative staff earlier this year. Last week, 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.



Since: Mar 18, 2009
Posted on: May 1, 2009 3:58 pm

Bobby Rush to chair BCS hearings

yep the bowl system makes money, an eight or sixteem team playoff system would lose money? Whats your point? If anything, I would think an expanded playoff system would make MORE money! Always a reason to keep the bcs system intact.

Since: Jul 15, 2008
Posted on: May 1, 2009 10:31 am

Bobby Rush to chair BCS hearings

I guess it would be futile to point out that we already have a playoff system? Granted, it's a two-team playoff...but technically still a playoff. Surely there has to be some realization that the system is the way it is because of the economics involved? Oh, that's right, it's not OK to make money in America anymore. Hey, at least the BCS hasn't had to ask for a bailout.

Since: Feb 17, 2008
Posted on: May 1, 2009 8:44 am

Bobby Rush to chair BCS hearings

Don,t these morons have anything better to do? This is where my tax dollars are going? More importrant issue going on than college football.

Since: Mar 7, 2007
Posted on: April 30, 2009 11:21 pm

Bobby Rush to chair BCS hearings

If Utah really wanted football respect, they would have asked/demanded to replace Arkansas in Texas' 2009 schedule.
Texas is playing Wyoming instead.  It's gonna be bad for them.  I figure Texas will try to score at least 70 points, because of the computers.

Since: Mar 18, 2009
Posted on: April 30, 2009 6:27 pm

Bobby Rush to chair BCS hearings

I agree automatic conference champions should not be in the mix because some conferences are weaker then others. Sure the 9th and 10th teams will bitch, but its still better then what we have now. Div 2 has a 16 team playoff system, that would idea and it IS DOABLE, but for NOW, i would be happy with an 8 team playoff.......hell even a 4 team playoff is better then what we have now. I would also like to add one more qualifier to your list (no automatic bids for conference champions). I think preseason polls should be done away with! It isnt fair to the utahs' of the world to end up at #25 in the preseason and have to inch their way up during the season because some biased east coast or west coast sports writer predetermines that they should be way down the list. Hell i dont know why a poll even has to exist until a month of so into the season.

Since: Jan 18, 2007
Posted on: April 30, 2009 5:34 pm

Bobby Rush to chair BCS hearings

Dodd, I don't think it's very appropriate to include the Rush family history on a football blog.  You said yourself it's irrelevant, so why bother?

In regards to the football postseason, I wholeheartedly support a 16-team playoff.  8 team is not enough and the first team left out will still have a worthwhile case.  With 16 teams, there's almost no excuse for not making it.  The bottom line is that the corrupt BCS system MUST GO.  It's screwing all of us out of great potential football games, and for what?  Money-hungry dinosaurs.

Since: Sep 19, 2006
Posted on: April 30, 2009 2:19 pm

Bobby Rush to chair BCS hearings

OK, so they are going to have a hearing with Thompson proposing an 8 team playoff.  Unless he, or someone, comes forth with how the 8 teams will be chosen it means nothing.  Conference champions comprising the 8 is out because there are more than 8 conferences involved which brings us back to some sort of selection system similar to the BCS rankings.  There will still be teams crying because the selection process placed them at 9 or 10 and, thus, is grossly unfair.  I wouldn't oppose an 8 team playoff but only if strength of schedule is brought into play for the ranking/seeding, much like basketball's RPI.  Playing in a weak conference and ending up with an undefeated record would be scrutinized for is total worth.  I'm not picking on Utah because I think they would definitely be a worthy team if they performed in the regular season as they did this past year.  With 11 conferences plus independents (Notre Dame mainly) there will still be people complaing that they didn't get a shot after winning their conference.  Tough!  Let them contact their congressmen who will readily give them a phony shoulder to cry on and reinvent the wheel once more.  Personally I think the BCS should be scrapped with football returning to a mythical/co-mythical national champion as in years past.  Last year it would have been Utah and maybe Texas and/or Florida, and half the bowl participants would have ended their season on a winning note.  I would much rather see that than all the whining that's going on now.

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