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Could Federal BCS Probe Lead to College Football Playoff?

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By Laura Strachan, Esq. on November 09, 2010 6:02 AM

Could it be ... a college football playoff? Perhaps. A federal probe into the BCS system may bring about the changes so many college football fans and schools have been arguing for. Utah's attorney general recently met with members of the Justice Department to discuss their concerns and the possibility for a much larger investigation, according to the Associated Press.

Attorney General Mark Shurtleff is investigating the BCS for some potential antitrust issues. What does this mean for college football fans? The possibility for a long-awaited college football playoff.

Lawmakers are football fans too, and many have urged the BCS to create a college football playoff to determine which teams play in BCS championship bowls. Under the current system, the champions of six conferences have automatic bids to play in a BCS bowl game -- an honor that also comes with a lot of money going to the conference and schools. Unfortunately, schools from other conferences do not have that same chance. An antitrust investigation could lead to the change fans have been hoping for.

The basic premise behind antitrust laws is to inspire fair competition by placing restrictions on monopolies, price-fixing, and other unlawful restraints. Applied to the BCS, the antitrust allegations rest in the nature of the BCS bowl itself. Certain teams from lesser-known conferences are unable to have a fair shot at playing in a BCS bowl, goes the argument.

In the end, Schurtleff believes the Department of Justice is the key here. "You get the DOJ behind one and the BCS will finally say, OK we'll go to a playoff."

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