The last vestige of the bowl system is being swept aside in the back rooms of the college football superpowers. All those not invited to one of the growing super conferences will be left out.
Last year, I predicted that there would be roughly 64-72 teams in what I will call here the "College Football Super Division." I was going to call it the championship division, but I think that one was taken. I nearly resorted to playoff division, but then there are several of those as well.
So there is nothing left but to tag onto the Super Bowl, after all, it's about the money.
That's right. It's about the money, thank goodness. Yes, that is good. The colleges and universities are aligning in what are the most convoluted connections to finally go after the money they rightly deserve.
After all, why does the Fiesta Bowl committee get the money when Nebraska and Oregon play each other?
Why not Nebraska and Oregon? These are teams sponsored and paid for by the colleges, not the bowls.
Influence of the Super Bowl
Enter the Super Bowl. Everything changed with this year's Super Bowl. College teams suddenly realized stadiums could be filled on their campuses would allow them to make the money instead of 32-35 bowl committees. And they call themselves institutions of higher learning.
It may have taken 30 or 40 years, but they finally caught on.
Now for the details. Ah, the murky dark details. First, one must firm up their schedule to insure you have the hallowed claim to "strength of schedule," like part of the formula for the college basketball RPI ratings. So, the SEC and Pac-12 went about enlarging their conference. So did the ACC, and the Big East was suddenly irrelevant.
However, not to worry, they went out and recruited teams from all over the country previously thought unworthy of the BCS.
It seems a mere invitation to the big boys table makes a team BCS worthy. If it were not so, then Maryland, Duke, Boston College, Kansas, Texas Tech, Indiana, Minnesota, Oregon State, Washington State, Colorado and Arizona would not be BCS worthy teams.
Not to pick on them alone, mind you. Some of the big boys of the BCS had winning records by playing low-class teams, and some teams not even in division I football at all. Georgia played Coastal Carolina.
Vaunted LSU played Western Kentucky and Northwestern State. This was BCS championship calibre competition?
Not to be out done, Clemson played Troy and Wofford, and Virginia Tech played Appalachian State, East Carolina, Arkansas State and Marshall, all of the aforementioned teams not BCS worthy, or not even in the big boys league of bowl subdivision.
But change is coming.
What will it bring?
Hopefully, an end to 6-6 teams playing past December 10. There will be mercy, after all. Hopefully, of the bowls that survive, they will take on the air of NIT, taking good teams that didn't quite make it. Hopefully, we will see a true conference champion in each conference and each conference will have it "champion" in the playoff.
The system would be fairly simple with seven conferences and one at-large for eight teams.
The conferences represented? Why the BCS boys and the new "National" Athletic Conference made up of the old Mountain West and Conference USA.
What of the rest? Well, they will end up either in the FCS or yet another all-ran division. At least we will have a true championship and champion in college football determined by on-field play and crowned in early January.
You know it will change. It will grow, and just like the basketball playoffs, a Sweet 16 will come so that the SEC can get one more team in. And the Pac-12. And the Big 10. Expansion will come because once they find out if they hold it, fans will come. There will be playoff games in December and January a plenty.
I applaud it. And I hope the schools are smart enough this time to keep the money for themselves, the students and education. Forget the NCAA and the big stadiums. If you don't have a stadium big enough to play big-time football, then you shouldn't be invited to play big-time football.
So, here we go boldly where lesser football powers have been before, and to the good of all of collegiate football.
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