President Obama welcomed the 2014 college football champions, the Ohio State Buckeyes, to the White House on Monday, joking that he felt partly responsible for the NCAA's new football playoff system that ushered the team into the championship game.
"I will say, it was about time," the president joked. "I cannot claim full credit. I will point out that I pushed for a playoff system in 2008.
"You're welcome, America," he added. "It was a great playoffs."
Prior to 2014, the NCAA administered a more complicated Bowl Championship Series (BCS) system to determine which football teams would compete in the national championship.
The president wasn't a fan of the BCS system, as he told CBS News' "60 Minutes" shortly after he won the 2008 election (but before he took office.)
"I'm gonna throw my weight around a little bit. I think it's the right thing to do," he said. "I think any sensible person would say that if you've got a bunch of teams who play throughout the season, and many of them have one loss or two losses, there's no clear decisive winner that we should be creating a playoff system."
At Monday's event, the president praised the players for their tenacity on the field, but he also noted their contributions off the field. "Each year the Buckeyes pay forward their good fortune with more than 1,000 hours of community service and charitable efforts in central Ohio," he noted.
After his brief remarks, Ohio State's coach, Urban Meyer, presented the president with the game ball from the national championship game and a Buckeyes jersey.