Orrin Hatch and friends turn BCS fight ugly; WAC, MWC may make it worse

Utah Senator Orrin Hatch took it to an antitrust subcommittee yesterday to present his case against the evil, corrupt, unfair BCS. College football experts everywhere have weighed in with their opinions. WAC and Mountain West school presidents are considering not renewing their contract to participate in the BCS starting in 2010.

And the sun still came up this morning.

The efforts of Hatch, BSU president Bob Kustra, BSU AD Gene Bleymaier and others over the past couple months have been admirable, and they have raised the public outcry over the situation. But they haven't exactly affected change.

If anything, we now stand on the precipice of disaster.

Let's begin with Hatch's Legally-Blonde-ish march on Washington. According to some, the hearings were a rather wordy waste of time, with BCS representatives not being nearly the boobs everyone expected and Hatch not having such an easy time debating against people who openly disagree with him. In fact, it sounds like the hearing had a feeling similar to Matlock vs. Jim Carrey's character in Liar, Liar, prior to the part where Carrey pulls his act together and wins.

In the words of Yahoo's Dr. Saturday, "little was accomplished." I wouldn't be surprised if politicians consider that to be a good day. At the very least, Hatch's post-hearing rating doesn't sound nearly as good as the one that Bleymaier received when he took on Washington. Maybe Hatch should have left well enough alone.

(Note: Perhaps it's time to skip over all this committee nonsense and go straight to the man who promised a playoff: Obama. It's not like this economy thing won't be waiting for him when he gets back.)

If Hatch failed in his attempt to make clear the wrong and right with the BCS/playoff debate, at least the members of the media and the millions of college football fans have been vocal. Much of the press yesterday and today has been targeted toward dragging the BCS through the mud. John Feinstein let the BCS have it. Some guy on the FOX Sports website got all huffy. Even Brian Murphy weighed in with his opinion (in a debate column ... with himself?).

But the prize for hyperbole goes to CBS' Spencer Tillman.

Is college football better off under the thumb of an oligarchy or deciding a national champion in an atmosphere of fairness and competition? I choose the American way.

The good news is that so many people are on the "American way" side of the debate. The bad news: the good vibes of public support have meant absolutely nothing for the past five years. It's nice to know that there are people out there who share your opinion that the BCS is the devil, but democracy doesn't really do much good when you're dealing with college football.

In lieu of democracy, then, it appears that non-BCS schools have turned to ... self-imposed anarchy? Now maybe that's worth a shot.

The Mountain West and WAC sure seem to be giving it a good thought. With the BCS contract set to be renewed tomorrow, MWC and WAC presidents are considering not signing the deal, thereby voiding their affiliation with BCS bowls, losing millions of dollars through bowl payouts, officially ending any chance at a mythical national championship, and hopefully maybe sending a message to The Man.

The thinking is that with 18 universities - spread from Louisiana to Hawaii and from Idaho to Texas - taking a stand on the issue of access, Congress or the Justice Department would be forced to act.

Or it might even prompt the BCS to do something.

Or it might set their football programs back a decade. They'll never know until they try.

WAC presidents are conference-calling it this morning in hopes of coming to a consensus for tomorrow's 3:00pm deadline. Their decision, which they promise will match the MWC in the spirit of small conference unity, has the potential to set the college football world on its ear and make a huge statement about the seriousness of the BCS issue.

I believe this is what Senator Hatch had in mind for his senator meeting.

And we all know how that turned out.

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