“All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” Words made famous in “Animal Farm” by George Orwell; and no truer words can be spoken of the state of affairs in both politics and college football.
For those who aren’t avid college football fans, let me first explain the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) and then make the obvious comparison to ballot access.
The BCS was formed in 1998 in order to ensure the #1 & #2 ranked NCAA 1-A college football teams play in a “legitimate” National Championship Game, the BCS also picks the teams that compete in four other Bowl Games, those being the Rose, Sugar, Orange & Fiesta bowls. However, the BCS is only required to select teams using the following criteria:
The top two teams are given automatic berths in the BCS National Championship Game.
The champion of a BCS conference (ACC, Big 12, Big East, Big Ten, Pac-10, and SEC) is guaranteed an automatic BCS bowl bid.
The highest ranked champion of a non-BCS conference will receive an automatic berth if:
It is ranked in the top twelve, or
Ranked in the top sixteen and higher than at least one BCS Conference champion.
No more than one such team from Conference USA, the Mid-American Conference, the Mountain West Conference, the Sun Belt Conference, and the Western Athletic Conference shall earn an automatic berth in any year.
A special case is made for independent Notre Dame, which receives an automatic berth if it finishes in the top eight.
The teams are ranked using a system of biased “human polls” (Coaches Poll & Harris Interactive College Football Poll ) and unbiased “computer polls”, with the two “human polls” counting twice as much as the six “computer polls”. Six times, since the creation of the BCS, a “non-BCS” team has gone undefeated, yet not given an opportunity to play for the National Championship.
This is very similar to the manner in which the Republicratic Duopoly establishes restrictive ballot access laws, yet claim to hold “legitimate”elections each fall. Sure, some States have more than two ballot qualified parties, yet for the most part voters are presented only two choices and in some elections, have no choice at all. In the few elections with “third party” and/or Independent candidates, the voter is presented a ballot that lists the “major party” candidates first, which naturally encourages a vote for the “major” candidates.
The easy solution to both of these problems of “some animals (being) more equal than others”; for NCAA 1-A football; take a clue from football played at every other level of the game, from “pee wee league” thru High School and into the professional leagues, is to institute a playoff system that treats all teams from all conferences equally. As for unfair ballot access laws, the only logical and fair solution is the institution of non-partisan IRV (Instant Run-off Voting) for all elections.