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Golden Nuggets: BCS Trustbustin'

A committee in the House is channeling its inner Teddy Roosevelt by trying to ban the BCS.

A subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee approved a bill that would prohibit the Bowl Championship Series, a collective arrangement of most Division I college football teams, from marketing any merchandise or game as a national championship unless it is the result of a playoff series.

Since its founding in 1998, the bowl system automatically qualifies the best team in each of the six biggest football conferences plus the University of Notre Dame. It uses computer rankings and polls to fill in the remaining slots–a system that critics argue can exclude some of the best teams from smaller conferences.

Rep. Joe Barton (R., Texas), a main sponsor of the legislation, said the bill is designed to send a message to administrators of the bowl series that fans want a more equitable way to determine a national champion and distribute revenue among colleges. And he noted the bill does not dictate exactly how college football arranges its post-season play. "The BCS will eventually get there," Barton said. "You shouldn’t have to hit the mule over the head too many times."

Only one lawmaker, Rep. John Barrow (D., Ga.), registered his opposition when the bill passed on a voice vote. "I don’t like the BCS system any more than anybody else does," Barrow said, "but I think going so far to make it a law is a little bit overboard."

"This is not the nation’s top priority," said Rep. Bobby Rush (D., Ill.). "But I do think there is time in our pursuit of more difficult issues to not overlook the fact that colleges and universities are funded by taxpayer dollars."

The House legislation wouldn’t take effect until the 2012 championship game – but passage is hardly a romp. The House bill must clear the full committee and the chamber, and at this point there is no companion legislation in the Senate.

After the jump we look at how the Poinsettia Bowl is a homecoming for Utah's QB, a list of goodies players will get by playing in the Poinsettia Bowl (as well as other bowls), a list of which Pac-10 juniors should or should not go to the NFL (and who will go anyway), 20 questions with Brandon Smith, and another dominating win for women's volleyball as they advance deep into the NCAA tourney.

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  • The Bears swept the (Baylor) Bears 3-0 en route to their third consecutive NCAA regional final where they will face either No. 1 (34-0) Penn St or No. 14 (25-5) Florida tomorrow at 1pm PST.  It will be televised on ESPNU.