Note from Congress


Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- A quick update from this congressional hearing on the BCS.

I'm still in the middle of the hearing, and Texas Republican Joe Barton is firing rapid questions and constantly interrupting ACC commissioner John Swofford, the BCS coordinator. Among the questions that came up, was, "Why was the attendance down in the ACC championship last year?"

"That's a good question," Swofford said. "We'd like to get it back up, and I think we will. It might have been the matchup, might have been the geographic ..."

"Why does Notre Dame get a vote?" Barton interrupted.

"Because of their history, their tradition ..."

"Well, OK, why wouldn't USC get their own vote?"

"Because ..."

"And Penn State? And Ohio State? And ..."

"Notre Dame is an independent."

Consider Swofford and his conference officially on the hot seat in this building.

Rep. Gene Green of Texas just asked why the ACC should be given more consideration for the BCS bowls than the Mountain West and noted that the ACC "hasn't been a powerhouse in football."

"The ACC's market value at the time -- which has probably been enhanced with the addition of Virginia Tech, Miami and Boston College -- I think you could say the same thing about the other conferences that are automatic qualifiers," Swofford said. "You can always take one year in the standings and say this, that or the other thing. The previous year, the ACC champion was Virginia Tech, and they were ranked No. 3 in the BCS standings. There are three schools in our league that have played in the national championship game, some on multiple occasions. You can take any one year and it looks good or it doesn't look as good."