4:40 PM EST

Billy Tauzin II, R-LA 3rd

Mr. TAUZIN. Mr. Speaker, this is a very important resolution, because it recognizes a most unusual event in our Nation's sports history, when two college teams in the same town, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, not a big metropolitan town like Los Angeles or New York or what have you, but a small southern capital city, when two universities in that town achieve the ranking of number one in the Nation, national championships, both the Black College National Championship with Southern and the NCAA championship

with the LSU Tigers, that is a remarkable event.

I missed the LSU game, by the way. My friend from Crowley should know the fact I spent the night in Crowley Hospital in fact attending to a problem I was having that night and missed the game, and my wife had to tell me who won the next morning.

But I did watch the replay, and the gentleman is absolutely right, it was an amazing game. Unfortunately, I stayed there with my two tickets, knocked out for the evening, and did not see the game. But when I saw the replay, I realized how tough a game it was.

Oklahoma was a great team. The Oklahoma Sooners were supposed to be the ``team of the century'' as they began their season, stumbled with Kansas State, and again faced an incredibly improving LSU team under Nick Saban. Coach Richardson with the Southern team had an amazing run of great victories to a national championship as well. What an outstanding year Baton Rouge, Louisiana, had and our State of Louisiana had in these two national championships.

The most remarkable thing, of course, is the way these two coaches have brought these players along. If you watched the season of these two teams, you saw coaches really working with young men and bringing them along, both athletically and in many other ways, making great men of them as they proceeded through their schedule. When the end of the season came, they were all much better than when they started, both academically, athletically and in so many other ways.

I should also tell you one of my best friends in this world is a former Member, Bill Brewster. You should know that last Friday Bill Brewster went through open heart surgery here in Washington, D.C. He had five bypasses, and he is back at his desk today. He is doing great; he has recovered.

But I called him up when I knew he was going into that surgery, since he is from Oklahoma and he was a Congressman from Oklahoma, to offer him some LSU surgeons, since we had learned to cut up on Oklahoma pretty good in the stadium in New Orleans. He had a good laugh and said, ``You are going to break my stitches. Don't do that, please.''

The bottom line is we had a great year. The coaches and players at LSU, my son is an LSU senior right now, as you and I, all of us are LSU graduates, he is a senior now at LSU, and the thrill of those students, I know at LSU and Southern, to watch their team achieve such great heights is an inspiration for all those young people. They are going to be better students. They are going to be better people because they went through a great year, and they saw what hard work, determination and just

gutting it out means in terms of winning a great victory the way the teams won those victories.

So, again, our great congratulations to the LSU Tigers and the Southern Jaguars, our great appreciation to the coaches and their staffs and the students and those folks who run those two great institutions, and our congratulations to the fans of our great State, who stuck with our teams through some hard times until this great year we experienced.

So, again, thank you for bringing this resolution forward, Richard, and again congratulations at Mardi Gras time to the State of Louisiana.

``Laissez les bon temps rouler,'' let the good times roll.

4:43 PM EST

Jim McCrery, R-LA 4th

Mr. McCRERY. Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the gentleman bringing this resolution to the floor.

Mr. Speaker, I am a graduate of LSU Law School, so, of course, I am very proud of the LSU Tigers and their national championship this year. But I have to tell you not only LSU graduates are proud of the LSU Tigers. LSU is an institution in Louisiana that exceeds just the confines of the campus and the student body and the alumni. Everybody in Louisiana takes great pride in watching the LSU Tigers play, so, of course, the State is just very excited still about the national championship.

Southern University, the Jaguars, have a long history of great football teams, this year, of course, winning the national championship for Black Colleges. So Baton Rouge, as the gentleman from Louisiana (Mr. Tauzin) pointed out, is the home of two national champions, and we all of us in Louisiana, north Louisiana and south Louisiana alike, are very proud of those two schools and our capital of Baton Rouge.

I took my two boys and my wife to the Sugar Bowl; and just to give you some idea of the excitement that was generated by LSU, my two boys, who are 10 and 8, I have never seen them get so excited about anything, whether it is Christmas morning or birthday presents. These guys were excited. Just throughout the stadium, people were excited about what was going on in our State and with our football team, the LSU Tigers.

[Time: 16:45]

So it was a great victory not only for LSU but for everybody who lives in Louisiana and who enjoys watching the LSU Tigers play football. The same thing I am sure for the alumni fans, children of graduates of Southern University. So, all in all, this year we just could not have asked for a better ending to the football season at both Southern and LSU.

So I thank the gentleman for bringing this resolution to the floor.

I commend the coaches of both schools and the players. I want to particularly point out Nick Saban's performance not only on the football field and not only on the sideline but before the cameras. In every interview leading up to the Sugar Bowl, I think Coach Saban was extremely gracious in his [Page: H481]

comments about the BCS and who might be the eventual champion, who should be and what game. He never, ever got cross-wise with the press. He never stuck his nose

up and said LSU ought to be here or there. He just said, look, we are just going to play the game and see what happens; and whatever game they tell us to go to and play, that is where we will go and play. I thought he exhibited a great deal of character and class in that whole time period leading up to the game.

So congratulations to Coach Saban for a fine performance on the field and off the field.

4:47 PM EST

Chris John, D-LA 7th

Mr. JOHN. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

I have the gentleman from New Orleans, Louisiana, (Mr. Jefferson) who is on his way to also join in this celebration of two national championships.

Of course, I am very proud of being not only an alumnus of that great institution but also for being present at the game. It was an incredible game. It was a defensive game. Of course, Coach Saban always said, and borrowed a line from many famous coaches, that defense wins national championships. Of course, the 21-to-14 score at the end of the game I think reiterated the fact that the defense indeed did win this national championship.

I am actually looking forward to the 2004 season with the BCS to ending up very similar to this year, but the only difference is it will happen in Miami and not New Orleans.

Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

4:47 PM EST

Richard H. Baker, R-LA 6th

Mr. BAKER. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

I wish to read into the RECORD additional commendations that are certainly appropriate. I recognize that Coach Saban was named the Associated Press Coach of the Year. I would like to also recognize the Southern University Coach, Pete Richardson, who was named Coach of the Year by the Southwestern Athletic Conference, as well as having young men named to the SBN Black College All American Team, including quarterback Quincy Richard, offensive linemen Arnold Sims and Miniya Smith, and defensive

back Lenny Williams. So the achievements and recognition coming to both universities, their football leadership, and the members of the team have been extraordinary.

It is with great pleasure that I participate in this discussion this afternoon and note, as I did a few moments ago to the gentleman from Louisiana, that this is also the first resolution to be considered in the House on this matter. Although there appeared to be controversy, I do not consider it so. There was merely discussion about the efficacy of Louisiana State University being named number one as a result of some expressed concerns about the BCS. Those concerns only became apparent when

the calculations turned out the way they did at the end of the day. Many people were quite happy to abide by the BCS scientific analysis as long as LSU remained in third position.

So I just wanted to enter into the RECORD that once again, with the consideration of this resolution, LSU is moving forward in first place through the legislative process.

Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

4:49 PM EST

Chris John, D-LA 7th

Mr. JOHN. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

As the gentleman mentioned, I happen to be, I guess notwithstanding anything else, a big fan of the BCS. I believe that it is a system that is maybe far from perfect, but I am very supportive of the theory of what it is all about. It puts to strength the schedule and also puts the games, who you play, and not just how many points you score. And I think that, in the end, it was very close. It was in the decimal points.

But I also want to congratulate the University of Southern California, who had a very excellent season and ended on a very positive note. But the BCS, I think we will hear lots of controversy about it, but I think it worked. I think it was something that is far from perfect, as I mentioned before, but it is something that is needed in college football, and we are moving towards that.

4:50 PM EST

Richard H. Baker, R-LA 6th

Mr. BAKER. Mr. Speaker, I would like to point out that when we start a political campaign as hopeful candidates to be elected to Congress, we set up a standard of rules, we conduct the campaign, and we finalize the campaign based on those pre-determined sets of rules. Rarely do we get engaged in a discussion about changing the rules during the course of the campaign.

I think, although I had some differences myself with the way the BCS calculations were to ultimately be determined, once the BCS was put in place, win or lose, we had to abide by those rules until that season was over.

Now next season may bring us new opportunities to talk about perhaps playoff opportunities. Some were interested in seeing a playoff game between LSU and USC. I would personally have enjoyed that to a great extent.

4:51 PM EST

Chris John, D-LA 7th

Mr. JOHN. Mr. Speaker, reclaiming my time, it is also just interesting to note that all of the conferences across the NCAA signed off on those rules before the season started, so we must play by those rules.

Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as he may consume to the gentleman from New Orleans (Mr. Jefferson), my friend and colleague.