Everyone loves college football, but everyone hates the current system that it operates in. Despite sounding contradictory, each of those statements are, in general, true.
Growing up, so many football fans end up holding stronger ties to the amateur level of football than to the professional league. This is for a variety of reasons.
First, the NFL is limited to only 32 teams, while there are, in some cases, over 32 college football teams in a single state. Even if we limit ourselves to the Division I, Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) level schools, that still leaves us with over 120 colleges, which is almost four times as many teams to root for than the NFL.
Despite this immense popularity, the entire FBS system is fundamentally broken. First, it relies on “amateurism” from athletes that are certainly no longer amateurs. But even worse, it is not nearly as competitive as it could be. In any given year, the total number of teams that actually have a shot to win a national title is almost always in the mid-single digits. I mean let’s be honest: Do you really think that Iowa State, North Carolina or Cincinnati have any shot at winning the national title this year? Probably not.
That wouldn’t be an issue, except for the fact that those three teams are each ranked inside the top 10 nationally, this year. In its most general sense, college football is about the four or five teams competing for the title, the twenty or thirty teams competing to end the season ranked and the rest of the system competing to eventually join that tier.
With the news of Oklahoma and Texas joining the Southeastern Conference (SEC) in the near future, we may finally have a chance to change that system. Since that announcement, over a dozen other teams have been rumored to be reaching out to switch conferences.
USC and UCLA going over to the Horseshoe in Ohio for a conference game? That could be possible soon. TCU and Baylor flying over to Oregon for a conference showdown? According to recent reports, that may happen as well.
Through all these rumors, one nuclear explosion has the potential to detonate as well: The entire Power Five program could secede from the NCAA. That would mean that every single team in the Big 10, Big 12, PAC-12, SEC and Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) would form their own “league.” In that situation, we could see matchups that used to be considered once-in-a-lifetime.
However, there are some issues to that as well. College football, especially at the Power Five level, is typically used to help fund other sports programs within a university. While the football team of Ohio State may secede from the NCAA, their men’s water polo team would not. That would put every university in a tough spot, because the NCAA themselves could potentially ban any college that seceded from their program from competing. What happens then? Would every single sport at every single Power Five college then have to create their own “league?”
This article started as an opinion on some of the major problems of college football, but it is now just a mess of conspiracy theories. That is the point. Oklahoma and Texas have sparked what could fundamentally change college football, and college sports, forever.
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