It's been decided. For weeks there has been debate about whether President Obama would invite BCS champion Alabama to the White House as well as Boise State, who also finished the season undefeated and with a BCS bowl win. Supporters of a playoff, which the president also strongly supports, said the move would pressure college football to scrap the unpopular BCS system.
Today the president announced that neither team would be invited.
"After careful thought, consideration and research, I have come to the conclusion that Oregon would have won the national championship had an eight-team playoff been in place," the president said. "Yes, it would have been a bit of an upset the seventh seed going all the way. But this is the sort of thing that makes sports so exciting. It was decided on the field."
The announcement is especially surprising because Oregon finished the season 10-3 and ranked 11th in the Associated Press poll after becoming the first Pac-10 team to lose the Rose Bowl in a decade. But the president attributes that to the fact that the Ducks had almost no hope for a national title after dropping their opening game to Boise State.
"Give a team something to play for, give someone hope, and amazing things can happen," said Obama. "Oregon's first-round upset of Texas was something we never would have forgotten. That final play three reverses, six laterals. And then suddenly a crack and open space all the way to the end zone. Greatest play in sports history? Probably. If only it had happened."
While playoff supporters applaud Obama's move, political opponents say it is just a cynical ploy for votes.
"The president is obviously concerned about his base after Scott Brown's win in Massachusetts and he's trying to solidify support in the blue state of Oregon," said House minority leader John Boehner. "It's a cheap trick."
But White House spokesman Robert Gibbs strongly denies that.
"If that was the president's intention, he would have invited Ohio State, a program from a swing state," said Gibbs. "But he didn't. And thank God. I don't think anyone wants to deal with Ohio State being national champions. Even fictional national champions."