The state House — a known hangout of some prominent football fans — voted 151-9 Friday to urge the NCAA to create a playoff system for college football, adopting a resolution that calls the current system "dysfunctional." There was no debate.
"The only major sporting event without a playoff system to identify its true champion that I know of is NCAA Division I football," said state Rep. Quincy Murphy, D-Augusta.
Georgia was ranked fourth in the BCS entering the last week of the season, behind Missouri, West Virginia and Ohio State. When Missouri and West Virginia lost, Georgia did not rise to second behind Ohio State but dropped to fifth in the BCS. Southeastern Conference champion LSU vaulted from seventh to second.
The Bulldogs went on to rout previously undefeated Hawaii 41-10 in the Sugar Bowl.
The resolution, which now goes to the Senate, calls the BCS system "the greatest disappointment of the 2007 college football season."
"The only sensible way to determine a national champion in any sport is to develop a playoff system that allows teams to meet on the field," the resolution reads. "The fans of college football deserve a true national champion to be crowned after winning the title on the field of play and not in a popularity poll."
House lawmakers had expected the resolution would inspire more discussion.
"When you think about the economic impact of collegiate sports, we’re talking about multimillion dollars," said state Rep. Joe Wilkinson, a Sandy Springs Republican. "And from that standpoint, it’s worth 10 minutes."
There has been growing momentum here for a playoff system since Georgia’s football season ended with its convincing victory over Hawaii.
Michael Adams, the president of the University of Georgia, days later proposed an eight-team playoff system to determine the NCAA’s national football champion. He said the current system is "undercutting the sportsmanship and integrity of the game."
So would a die-hard Georgia Tech fan vote on the proposition as well?
"I think it’s something that needs to be done," said state Rep. Tommy Benton, who attended the University of West Georgia but proudly wears a sticker of Tech’s mascot on his name tag.
He paused, perhaps recalling Tech’s 40-28 loss to Fresno State in the Humanitarian Bowl.
"And someday, I hope we’ll be able to say we deserve to play for the national championship."