Home
In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Dec. 13, 2009 /26 Kislev 5770

An interference call for college football

By George Will



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Two Saturdays ago, the nation was one tick of a Texas clock away from a cultural crisis. Nebraska led Texas 12-10 in the Big 12 Conference championship football game at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Texas had the ball on Nebraska's 29-yard line when time expired. Or so it seemed.

Texas was unbeaten entering the game and was third in the Bowl Championship Series ranking. But that Saturday, Alabama, which was ranked second, defeated top-ranked Florida. Because, however, 3,600 seconds had elapsed in Arlington, a defeated Texas would not be playing Alabama Jan. 7 in the BCS game to determine the national champion.

But Texas was resuscitated by football's excruciating mania for perfection. A game is 60 minutes of actual football sliced into slivers and scattered among almost that many minutes of officials standing around brooding about whether they called the last play correctly.

A replay official in Cowboys Stadium consulted videotape and decided that when the previous play ended, only 3,599 seconds of the game had elapsed. So one second was put back on the clock, Texas kicked a field goal and will play Alabama after all. And the nation will be spared the culture shock of seeing one of three other teams — Texas Christian, Cincinnati or Boise State — play Alabama. These upstarts are undefeated, which is admirable, but they also are unglamorous, which is unforgivable: It might mean fewer television viewers for the beer and pickup-truck commercials that will be broadcast during replay delays on the Jan. 7 telecast.

Rep. Joe Barton, who considers the BCS part of the axis of evil, is incandescent and prepared. In January, this 13-term Republican, whose district includes Cowboys Stadium and nearly nuzzles TCU in Fort Worth, introduced the College Football Playoff Act of 2009, which says: It shall be unlawful to "promote, market, or advertise" a postseason Division I football game as a national championship game unless it is "the final game of a single elimination post-season playoff system" for which all Division I teams are, at the beginning of the season, equally eligible.



FREE SUBSCRIPTION TO INFLUENTIAL NEWSLETTER

Every weekday NewsAndOpinion.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". HUNDREDS of columnists and cartoonists regularly appear. Sign up for the daily update. It's free. Just click here.

Barton believes in limited government, but not so limited that it cannot right outrageous wrongs, such as the absence of a playoff. Bipartisanship lives: Barack Obama, who wants to fix everythinghealth care, the climate, the pothole on your street, college football — also wants a playoff.

"They keep trying to tinker with the current system," Barton says, "and to me it's like — and I don't mean this directly — it's like communism. You can't fix it." He would toss the BCS into the ashcan of history where, arguably, it belongs. "It is," he says, "simply a cartel, much like OPEC." It uses an "arbitrary computer system" and "complicated algorithms" to determine who gets to play in the "mythical championship game." He has a point.

January's game will be the 12th since the BCS system was created in 1998, and Alabama will be just the 12th different university represented in the decisive game. (Texas won it in 2006.) By giving the winners of six major football conferences automatic bids to one of the four most lucrative bowl games (Rose, Fiesta, Sugar, Orange) plus the national championship game, the BCS virtually guarantees that the rich get richer — and get the television exposure that attracts blue-chip recruits.

Occasionally a declasse team crashes the BCS party: Undefeated Utah was allowed into the 2005 Fiesta Bowl. Then Utah lost its coach, Urban Meyer, to Florida, a school in the Southeastern Conference, whose winner always plays in a BCS bowl.

If congressional pressure leads to, say, a four-team playoff, half a dozen other teams will call that "arbitrary" and will pressure Congress to press for an eight-team playoff. Eventually the season will end when spring practice begins.

The BCS has effectively created a two-tier bowl system — the big four bowls plus the national championship game, with their gigantic television contracts, and the 29 much less profitable bowls — which is unfair. It also is none of Congress's business.

Barton's bill makes the usual perfunctory nod to the Constitution, finding that college teams travel in interstate commerce and college games "involve and affect" such commerce and therefore — the usual non sequitur — it is fine for Congress to meddle.

Barton's bill, which should draw a 15-yard penalty for unnecessary roughness to the idea of limited government, demonstrates how Congress's power to regulate interstate commerce has become an end run around that idea.


Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

George Will's latest book is "With a Happy Eye but: America and the World, 1997-2002" to purchase a copy, click here. Comment on this column by clicking here.

Archives

© 2006 WPWG

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles