Government Bytes


College Football Playoff Act of 2011 - Taxpayer's Tab Supplement

by Dan Barrett / /

This week's Taxpayer's Tab focused on H.R. 3638, Act for the 99%, which left us with some additional material that we're highlighting here.  This week's "Wildcard Bill" is H.R. 3696, the College Football Playoff Act of 2011.

The Bowl Championship Series is a collection of five collegefootball bowl games for NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) programswith the top two teams playing in a championship game.  The goal of the BCS, which began with the1998 season, is to pit the two best FBS teams against each other in an attemptto avoid a split national championship.  Theselection of the top two teams is based on a combination of computer algorithmsand polls.  The winner of the championshipgame is recognized by the conferences that participate in the BCS as the BCSNational Champion.  Despite tweaks to thesystem over the years, the BCS has not been without controversy. 

That controversy – the failure to produce a champion via atrue playoff system – has lead Congressman Joe Barton (R-TX) to introduce H.R.3696, College Football Playoff Act of 2011. H.R. 3696 would make it unlawful to promote, market, or advertise anyFBS game as a championship game unless the game is the result of a post-season,single elimination system.  The sameprohibition would apply to any merchandising associated with a championshipgame.  The Federal Trade Commission wouldbe charged with enforcing the legislation under its powers dealing unfair ordeceptive advertising. 

The College Football Playoff Act is a regulatory measure anddoes not authorize any new spending. However, it is unclear how the act would affectFTC spending or how federal education spending might be affected by a change incollege sports programs.