Somewhere between sports and religion lies college football.
Persons few and far between may disagree, but 95,722 Ohio State fans would go along with my assertion,
That's how many people showed up to watch the glorified practice held at The Shoe.
That broke the record set by fans in Alabama in 2007, when 92,000-plus were on hand to see Nick Saban's debut as head coach, except he was not coaching the game.
It is beginning to become redundant and somewhat disgraceful. College football is a full-time job.
Of course it is for coaches and players. Coaches are constantly evaluating talent on the team and the recruits that the team may need to pursue. Players are training year-round to be better than the next guy.
However, it is now the fan's job to know who is going to be the third-string holder for their beloved team.
What happened? When did college football become more than just suiting up on fall Saturdays and being better than the man in front of you?
When did it become about the fans being better than the fan sitting next to them?
What happened to the days when an Alabama fan could talk about the cow college down the road and the inbreds in Knoxville while the game was going on but shake hands like the players do afterwards and go on their merry way?
Somebody should have stopped the madness long ago; now it is much too late.
National signing day used to be just another day for the fans of teams. Fans would find out who signed to play for their team by reading the newspaper the day after. They would not care who the players were until two years later when they stepped onto the field.
Now it is a media frenzy for a high school kid to sign a piece of paper. It is almost as ridiculous as six hours of coverage for a two-minute horse race. But that is another story for another day.
What is the difference between 1979 and 2009? Besides 30 years and the fact that Alabama is not the winningest team of the past decade? The differences are television, money, and power.
The NCAA fooled its fans for much too long with the bowl games and media polls. It was not until the mid-1990s that fans started sort of revolting against the system.
Sort of, meaning that they protested how it was done, yet they still supported it by attending the bowl games and watching on television.
Money may be the root of all evil, but now it is even the root of all good. Money and power are what run the lives of people in the world. Until the money stops flowing into the laps of the NCAA and college football coaches and players it will not end.
However, let us not be fooled into thinking that it is the fans' fault. Do not be fooled into feeling bad about yourself for becoming so rabid, it is not your fault.
Would you like for me to answer my own question? What happened to college football?