Utah's Orrin Hatch, the ranking member of the Senate Antitrust Subcommittee, has scheduled a hearing Tuesday to examine antitrust violations by the Bowl Championship Series, a multi-billion dollar industry that attempts to exclude teams from non-BCS leagues in big-money bowl games.
Hatch's quest to bring a playoff system to big-time college football is a Herculean task. Consider comments made by Harvey Perlman, left, the chancellor at the University of Nebraska who was recently appointed as chairman of the BCS Presidential Oversight Committee. He was asked by Husker Locker why a playoff is not a viable alternative. Here is Perlman's response:
"It would diminish the bowl structure and it would reduce the number of opportunities for student-athletes to play in the postseason and that's not a good thing. If you look at college football now, it’s the greatest sporting event spread over September, October, November, December and a little bit of January that the country has. A playoff would seriously diminish the regular season, as it has in college basketball.
"I don't think it's good for college football, I don't think it's good for student-athletes and I don't think it's good for fans. I don't see fans traveling around the country three weeks in succession between December and January following their team. So you're either going to have to play at home sites – which I'm sure everybody will want to play in Nebraska in December and January — or you're gonna have to travel, which means that bowls will cease being intercollegiate events, but will become corporate events, where everybody in, you name the city, will be there except the fans of the teams.
"This isn't basketball. This isn't March Madness. Football's a different game, different environment. We have different traditions. It's hard to see why a playoff is good idea."
We ran Perlman's quotes through our recently acquired B.S. detector and this is what he actual said: "Yes, a playoff format works in all other levels of college football and March Madness makes tons of money, but what other system allows 50% of the teams to keep 98% of the profits?"