Brown Dismisses BCS Legislation

Mack Brown (Photo: Will Gallagher)

Head coach Mack Brown quickly dismissed a bill filed Tuesday in the Texas Senate that would prohibit the Longhorns from playing in BCS Bowl games. Senate Bill 1790 is intended to expedite the move toward a 16-team playoff system in D-I college football.

If enacted, the measure would limit post-season play for Texas universities to some sort of NCAA Tournament elimination format not unlike the current system used in college hoops. But the passage of the bill would, in effect, bar so-called football schools from participating in the BCS if four of 12 other states considering similar legislation ratify the measure by December 2. Those states are Oklahoma, Alabama, California, Arizona, Florida, Colorado, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, South Carolina, Oregon and Washington.

Not gonna happen, according to Brown.

"That legislation is not going to pass," he said. "I don't think anybody has thought about pulling out of the NCAA. I think the point is let's look at this thing closely and try to find a better way to help teams have a chance to compete to win it all in the end and make it more fair, to try to take the human element out of it as much as we can."

Sen. Jeff Wentworth (R-San Antonio) filed the bill Tuesday after Rep. Corbin Van Arsdale (R-Tomball) filed a similar message in the Texas House in February. (I happened to have listened to Van Arsdale in a local radio interview last month. He received both his undergraduate and law degree from The University and considers himself no more than a casual fan of college football. However, his measure is more indicative of the growing public frustration with the BCS system for selecting both a national champion and teams to its lucrative, high profile bowl games. His measure applies only to public universities. In short, Baylor could qualify for a BCS game but not Texas, Texas Tech or Texas A&M.)

"I'd like to see an eight-team tournament, of some kind, at the end (of the season)," Brown said. "The basketball system solidifies any thoughts that you'd like to have something competitive for a team that slipped in some game, or had an injury early, to come back, compete and have a chance to win it at the end. It's something I hope we can continue to look at."

Initially, Brown opposed a playoff system for college football but has favored the eight-team post-season format since arriving at Texas. Prior to last season's Rose Bowl win over Michigan, Texas was the only program listed in every final BCS rating not to have been selected for a BCS Bowl. Before the trip to Pasadena, Texas had seen its BCS chances virtually torpedoed by a single loss (to you-know-who) the second Saturday in October with most of the conference season still on the slate. And don't think Brown isn't already anticipating his first road game of the season on September 10.

"If Ohio State and Texas are two of the best teams in the country next year, one of them is going to be in trouble after the game to have a chance to get themselves back in the mix," Brown said. "Hopefully a playoff, at some point in our life time, will be feasible."

No legislator had conferred with Brown before filing the bills.

"I wouldn't have anything to say about it if they did because it's not my place," Brown said. "I don't think (AD) DeLoss (Dodds), myself, President (Larry) Faulkner or The University of Texas has any interest in pulling out of what the NCAA is trying to do. The BCS is a better system than what we've had. It has some components that we'd all like to see, so I don't think we're helping anything by throwing everything out. I'd like to see us build on what we've got."

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