REST ASSURED, YOUR Congress is hard at work representing your vital interests. As proof, we note that one of its subcommittees will hold a critical hearing today. Will it discuss the swine flu outbreak, or how to push momentum into our economy or even the uprising of terrorists in Afghanistan and Pakistan? Oh, heaven's no. The subject is the Bowl Championship Series in Division I of college football.

Say what?

Yes, Congress wants to inject itself into the management of college football. In a colossal waste of taxpayers' money — OK, we know it is a specialty — a member of Congress wants to dictate to the NCAA and colleges how they should determine a national champion in Division I football.

We are not making this up.

As it stands now, the NCAA decides its Division I national football champion through a complex system known as the BCS that combines various factors such as computer analysis and human polls to decide who plays for the national championship game. It's a system unlike the majority of professional and collegiate sports, which determines titles through playoffs. Even lower divisions of college football use a playoff system.

Before the bowl games, two schools finished undefeated and seven had one loss but only two can play in the BCS title game. That fell to Florida and Oklahoma. Apparently, that infuriated some lawmakers in Washington, D.C., and they decided there must be a law against a system like this.

Actually, there should be a law against irresponsible bills like the ones concerning the BCS.

BCS coordinator John Swofford is among the witnesses testifying today in front of a subcommittee from the Energy and Commerce Committee. The top Republican on that committee is Rep. Joe Barton. He is from Texas. The University of Texas and Texas Tech were two of those one-loss teams left out of the championship game. Gee, coincidence?

Barton has sponsored legislation that would prevent the NCAA from calling a college-football game a "national championship" unless it results from a playoff system. Is this some kind of joke? Barton would be better served to make a batch of bad Texas wine with that load of sour grapes.

This nonsense must stop now.

We doubt Barton's bill, or anyone else's, will survive a legal challenge and it's a complete waste of valuable time. While we don't agree with the BCS system, it's not Congress' place to decide a national champion in college football; it's the responsibility of the schools and the NCAA.

They can use rock-paper-scissors if they want.

And what's next? A law doubling the March Madness field in college basketball or expanding Little League playoffs?

It's time that lawmakers stop acting like the moronic football fans who body-paint themselves and present some real legislation that deals with real problems. This is a country in crisis and what happens in the Rose Bowl will not help turn our ship around.