Even without professional training or special insight, I know there’s something disturbing about the direction college football is taking. The tough guy sport has turned into a commercial flag football contest with a basketball move thrown in for good measure.
It is no coincidence that the rises in cable TV, ADD diagnosis, and pass attempts per game have occurred at the same time. Once it was normal to watch a football war waged between the tackles. Repeated passing attempts only occurred when there was little hope of winning.
We have devolved into impatient fans with short attention spans. Today’s game, commercials, coverage, and even food sources reflect that change. Offense is king. It is no longer ‘fashionable’ to enjoy a 7-3 game where the most intriguing plot is how a team can overcome a higher scoring opponent with an exhausted D-line and a running clock.
Men once lined up with the sole purpose of physically defeating the opponent lined up against them. Running backs went out of their way to make contact with defenders. The debate in the offseason was about the AP poll not the BCS, and no one talked Heisman until October. There were no conference championship games or huge TV contracts. It was fall, and it was college football.
The Challenge: As we near kickoff of another season pick a traditional program to watch – a team you’ve never followed but one that reminds us of what was once a simple game. No hype, no TV, no spread, just students playing football. Students who will earn degrees and never play again. During the season, we can discuss these treasures of college football.
Who will you watch?