The Current State of College Football
What a crazy couple of weeks it's been. All this talk of teams moving has millions of college football fans wondering what's going to happen next.
Currently there are 28 teams who average under 20,000 fans a game. Montana, Appalachian State and Yale all average over 20,000 fans in a lower subdivision. With Eastern Michigan coming in at the bottom of the FBS at an average of 5,016. That's less than half than the next school on the list, Florida International at 10,204.
Seven of the schools Wyoming, Troy, Nevada, Idaho, Temple, Bowling Green & Northern Illinois all went to bowl games in 2009. But, that's not saying much these days since there where 34 bowl games played after the 2009 college football season. In 2001, North Texas made the New Orleans bowl with a 5-6 record, because they won the Sun Belt.
The fans want changes. But is the NCAA ever going to listen? The NCAA does NOT control the bowl games. They control the lower division playoffs. That's why you see their logo everywhere during those playoff games. The same happens in the NCAA Basketball Tournament. College Football is the only major American sport without a playoff system. Heck, even NASCAR has a playoff they call the Chase.
All this realignment talk has me doing my homework on college football. I love the game and enjoy watching it. But things are on the brink of getting seriously out of control. One conference (SEC) should not be more powerful than the whole system. And one (Notre Dame & Texas) team shouldn't be either. Every team in the FBS (Division 1-A) should make equal amounts on TV revenue in their conference. Texas shouldn't make more than Oklahoma, just because they're Texas. Baylor should make as much off the TV contract as Texas and every other team in that conference.
Anther thing that needs to be done is to get rid of the Independents. Sorry, Notre Dame fans. But you need to join the rest of the world and join a conference. Army and Navy should join the Big East. There needs to be eight conferences, all with 12 to 14 teams. Each conference MUST have a championship game. You cannot play for a National Championship unless you WIN your conference. No more Nebraska (2001) & Oklahoma (2003) who lose their Conference title game and still make the Championship.
Alabama and Texas both played 14 games in 2009. Villanova, Northwest Missouri State, and Wisconsin-Whitewater all won the FCS, Division II, & Division III National Championships and they all played 15 games. So, why can't they do it in the FCS? WHY? Division II only offers partial scholarships and Division III doesn't have scholarships at all.
What we need to do, is get rid of about 20 schools from FBS, or have a total of 10 conferences, but two of them have no buy in to an 8 team playoff. Sixteen teams will qualify for conference championship games. The eight winners will advance to the playoffs and the eight losers will advance to bowl games. Yes, I said bowl games. But, not 35 bowl games. Thirteen bowl games would work. The rules would not allow a city hosting a conference championship game to host a bowl. The semi-finals and finals of the playoffs would rotate between three bowl sites. Most likely the Rose, Sugar & Orange Bowl. But, I would actually prefer the Cotton Bowl to replace the Sugar Bowl. There's nothing wrong with New Orleans, Dallas is just closer to the center of the country. And it has a better stadium.
The SEC does not need to expand. Why mess with the best? The Pac Ten does need to expand, but only to 12 teams. The Big Ten has everything it needs. They need to have a championship game, in Indianapolis and add no one else. UNLESS, Notre Dame wants to join. Then grab Pittsburgh. Pitt would be an excellent pick and they would give Penn State a great rival in the conference.
The Mountain West is stronger and BCS worthy for adding Boise State, but if they lose Utah to the Pac 10, that will fall apart.
Now to the Big 12.... With only ten teams, a new conference name would be good here. How about the Southwestern Conference, NOW that's Old School. Unless they can add TCU and Houston, or any other team from Texas.
Texas' decision to stay in their conference is huge. Because it stopped everyone else from bolting. I really don't think that Texas A&M would have been invited to the SEC without Texas. I also don't think that the SEC was looking for anyone from the ACC to join the SEC. They where the first to have a conference championship game. They are about five years ahead of any other conference in football.
Bottom line.... We need a playoff. But will ESPN be willing to give up the 32 bowl games that they have on their networks (ESPN, ESPN2 & ABC)? How much money do you think ESPN makes off those bowl games? It's time to do what's right.
Now to USC. There was a reason Pete Carroll left Southern Cal for the great Northwest. He knew what was about to happen. Now Lane Kiffin has to clean up the mess. But it was Kiffin's mess too. He recruited Reggie Bush and he was a coach at USC the entire time Bush was at the school. So, Lane Kiffin deserves what he gets. I'm not mad at him for leaving Tennessee. I'm glad he's gone. As a Tennessee fan, I believe he would have had the Vols on probation sooner or later. USC could have it a lot worse, just ask SMU. But, they also can still play on television. The probation doesn't include a TV ban. Also, the USC seniors and juniors are allowed to transfer. HELLO college football.... Do you need a starting quarterback??? Two words for you... Mitch Mustain. Lane Kiffin is a joke. For once in my life, I agree with Al Davis. Don't be surprised to see a lot of players transferring away from USC. The 2004 BCS title needs to be stripped from USC. It needs to be given to Auburn. And Bush's Heisman needs to be taken away. Who deserves it? Vince Young.
Is it football season yet?