A lot of the new NCAA rules towards evening the playing field towards the non-BCS conference schools and even smaller BCS schools is because the NCAA was taking a lot of heat, as were the big conferences, that they were trying to make college football a monopoly that only the big schools could control/win. That's why we saw the additional BCS game this year as well as the rules that allowed such teams as BSU and Utah to get into BCS rules. Congress has quietly said that if the major conference schools don't give those other schools a leveler (is that even a word?) playing field to participate on then they may have to step in to regulate... which would not be good for the sport. Football is the biggest money making (or money losing depending on your program) sport at all colleges and those smaller schools need to opportunity to make money through football to provide their students with other sports.
Surprisingly, it all boils down to the money and that is my opinion as to why we can't simply have a "Super Conference".
(But in all honesty, all of us here are pretty much fans of these big time programs, even if we're not fans of Alabama, ND, or Michigan, we're all still fans of BCS teams so I think our views on this board are probably a bit skewed as far as evening the playing field goes.)
knapplc wrote:The larger problem here in my opinion is the fact that Division I-A is too large. 117 schools in the pool is just far, far too many. A decision should have been made decades ago to pare that number down to something far more manageable. The reality is that when you have a group of teams that large, you’re never going to have a “clean” champion. Strength of schedule will be too large of a factor, with the disparity between conferences being too great to provide a decent litmus test of who should or shouldn’t go to the tourney.
The NCAA should have pared Division I-A down to no more than 50-60 teams long ago. Teams like USC, UCLA, Washington, Texas, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Colorado, Nebraska, Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State, Penn State, Notre Dame, LSU, Auburn, Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Miami, etc. (and I’m just forgetting tons here, forgive me) have built up programs that far exceed the rank-and-file of the NCAA.
There’s a billboard by Memorial Stadium that I drive by every day on my way to work. It says, “Every program has history. Few have Tradition.” I resent the fact that teams like Oklahoma and Notre Dame and USC and Michigan, who have built programs that have defined the term “excellence” in college football over several decades, whose longevity in the sport is unquestioned, whose commitment to creating this sport’s culture and mystique is unparalleled, have been forced through legislation to pare down their programs because of some arbitrary feeling of “unfairness” towards other schools.
Michigan is simply NOT comparable to Boise State. They’re not even in the same league, unless you handicap Michigan and artificially prop up Boise State. How, I ask anyone, is this fair? Why does Boise State deserve to be on the same “level” of playing field when they were doing NOTHING over the past 70 years to build a powerful, dominant program that defined excellence in college football?
The 1994 ruling limiting scholarships was a travesty of PC BS and has made a murky situation even murkier. What used to be a somewhat orderly group of 15-20 bowl games at season’s end has become a freakin’ mess of 30+ games, many of which are absolutely meaningless. Using my homer-ism, let’s look at the Cotton Bowl. A pairing of Auburn/Nebraska should have produced giddiness amongst college football aficionados, but the result thanks to “parity” was a relatively lackluster game with absolutely nothing compelling the average viewer to watch. The talent on both teams was severely lacking, and the product on the field showed this. There’s no way this happens without that 1994 ruling.
So that’s my rant against recruiting and scholarship limits, and the relative size of Division I-A. Thanks for reading.