Fans don't want Congress poking in

Updated: December 29, 2009, 3:43 PM ET
Associated Press

HAMDEN, Conn. -- A majority of college football fans want to scrap the current Bowl Championship Series and replace it with a playoff system that's similar to college basketball, according to a new national poll released Tuesday.

The Quinnipiac University survey shows 63 percent favor getting rid of the current system, while 26 percent want to keep it. When asked how much they liked the bowl game process, the poll showed fans are mixed.

"College football fans are not in love with the current system in which two teams that play for the national championship are picked by computers, sportswriters and coaches," said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "Settle the question on the field, voters say more than two-to-one."

While more fans may favor a playoff system, they don't necessarily want Congress to get involved. The poll shows 48 percent believe it is a bad idea if federal lawmakers force college football to start a playoff system; 45 percent say it's a good idea.

Earlier this month, a House subcommittee approved legislation aimed at forcing college football to switch to a playoff system to determine its national champion. The bill, which goes to the full committee, would make it illegal to promote a national championship game "or make a similar representation," unless it results from a playoff.

There is no Senate version of the bill.

Shortly after his election last year, President Barack Obama said there should be a playoff system.

Bill Hancock, executive director of the Bowl Championship Series, said a playoff system is easier said than done.

"It's easy to support a hypothetical playoff on paper, but no one has come up with a viable way to actually create one without diminishing the value of the regular season and ending the bowl games as we know them," he said. "Yes, a playoff could be created, but at a tremendous loss to the unique game that we love."

The survey of 1,849 adults, 948 of whom consider themselves to be very interested or somewhat interested in college football, was conducted Dec. 15-20. The overall poll has a 2.3 percent margin of error. Questions asked of fans have a 3.2 percent margin of error.


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press