Top 5 Reasons Why College Football is Overrated

James HulkaAnalyst IAugust 28, 2008

To me, college football is like ice cream. It tastes good as a treat, but too much of it will make you sick.

Let's get this straight - I don't hate college football. I write this being reminded of a quote from an old George Carlin HBO special where he says he likes to piss off anyone or any group that takes itself too seriously and that it doesn't take much imagination to piss off a feminist. I'm not here to say all college football sucks, that it's a boring game and the fans all deserve to see their favorite team lose. I'm here to say that it doesn't rank with the important things in life like eating, sleeping and breathing like some fans imply it does.

These reasons I'm about to give for saying college football is overrated are given as "generally speaking", and I'm well aware that there are exceptions, in some instances several to each one listed.

I follow a couple of teams, but would never call myself a die-hard fan of any team, including the school I go to that went 9-4 and won a bowl game last year (New Mexico). And while I don't digest stats with every meal, I do know that the only team last year in Div 1-A college football with a 2,000 yard rusher, two 1,000 yard receivers, and a QB who passed for 3,000 yards was the Rutgers Scarlet Knights.

That being said, here's the five reasons college football is overrated.

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5) Television

Try being a sports fan in the autumn and being able to find another sporting event on TV on a Saturday from the end of August until Thanksgiving. The ESPN News bottom line takes 10 minutes just to run the scores and that's without any of the stat details.

4) Bowls and the BCS

Even Div I-AA, or I guess it's now the Football Championship Subdivision, has playoffs. At the end of the season there isn't one champion, there's a debate on who should be without a definitive answer.

Why does a team like Miami get into a bowl at 6-6 with an awful conference record and someone from a lesser conference with a better record get snuffed? Too many bowls has diluted the interest and the game quality all for my #1 reason.

3) Scholarships and Academics

How many scholarships get wasted on football players (I'm well aware this applies to college basketball, too) that who don't go to class that would otherwise be better spent on real students who actually did their work? Surely this doesn't apply to everyone, but how often do you see a track scholarship recipient in the news lose his free ride because he didn't do his homework for Calculus?

Plus, speaking of Miami, it's not the only school where a player didn't show up for class, yet somehow got a passing grade while everyone else did the work they were supposed to, or got academically suspended for a term that coincidentally wasn't the fall term so they could play on the field. Plus, being realistic, 98% of these college football players won't make a dime in the NFL, yet too many are foolish to believe they will and after college have no education, skills or common sense to survive in the real world.

Let's be realistic, too. How many of the top football schools are great academic colleges? Few - if any. Stanford and Notre Dame have fallen on tough times, while Georgetown doesn't have a football program and Duke only appears to have one. Looking at the academic reputations of the top football programs is like looking at the bottom third of the US News & World Report academic rankings.

2) Coaches

For every Joe Paterno or Bobby Bowden who's been at the same college for 30 years, there's a lying scumbag like Rich Rodriguez or Bobby Petrino who doesn't care one bit about academics, his players, the fans or the school - he just wants the position and the. . .

1) Money

Everyone who's for college football argues how they are great moneymakers. But I'd be curious to see how many of the schools would fare if the football programs had to work independently on their own budget. Sure, Michigan and other schools with big TV and bowl contracts and large stadiums might be able to get by, but something would likely have to be sacrificed to do it. Maybe fewer scholarships, or less salary for the coach, or none of the cushy stadium and travel luxuries that teams are used to. They might be moneymakers, but I'd make a safe bet they are as big of money drains as they are money makers.

I'm sure part of the $4 million salary Nick Saban is getting at Alabama came at a cost of maybe salary raises for much of the university staff, student financial aid or department's operating budgets.

You don't need a huge football program in order to have a productive sports program at a university, and unfortunately too many university presidents don't see it that way, not to mention quite a few Bleacher Report members.


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