U.S. House hails Gators, slams BCS

Published: Friday, January 23, 2009 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 22, 2009 at 11:24 p.m.

WASHINGTON - A handful of lawmakers used a resolution commending the University of Florida's national football championship Thursday to protest college football's much-maligned BCS system.

A dozen House members voted "no" or "present" on the resolution, the latest signal from the nation's capital that many people aren't happy about the way the NCAA chooses its football champion. Many of the dissenters were from Utah and Texas, both of which have schools that made a case to play for this year's national championship but were passed over.

"A fine school with a great team deserves better than a national championship that was decided inside somebody's computer," said Rep. Joe Barton, a Texas Republican who has introduced legislation to force a playoff system. "The Gators certainly could have won it on the field, but they didn't get the chance any more than Utah, Texas and USC."

Florida beat Oklahoma 24-14 in the championship game.

But the game was under scrutiny even before it began. Several schools that played in lesser bowls claimed they deserved a shot at the championship.

A spokesman for Rep. Bobby Bright, an Alabama Democrat, said his reasons for not supporting the measure were simpler: He couldn't bring himself to support a school that is such a bitter rival of his state's schools.

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