Friday, September 3, 2010

Washington Post column - Greed is the new tradition in college football

Once again, it is college football season. Let us all say together, "Hallelujah," because there are few things better than Saturdays in the fall, and the atmosphere in and around the sport's great rivalry games, ranging from Williams-Amherst to Army-Navy to Michigan-Ohio State.

While we do that, let us also pause to give thanks for the fact that even as the Big Ten pursues even more power and dollars by expanding to 12 teams, it has decided not to carry through with the folly of moving Michigan-Ohio State from the season's final weekend. If you have any doubt at all about how foolish such a move would be, simply grab your college history books and turn to the page marked, 'Nebraska-Oklahoma,' in the chapter entitled, 'Great Rivalries Flushed by Greed.'

Greed is the word that powers college football. Those who control the sport - the commissioners of the Bowl Championship Series conferences and the presidents of those conferences' schools - would have you believe that tradition is the word that matters most. Sadly, many of college football's most cherished traditions are going the way of the wing-T.

You can start with football Saturdays. Check this week's schedule: Among those opening their season on Thursday was Ohio State. When you think of tradition, you certainly think of Thursday nights inside the Horseshoe, don't you?

College football is now played every night of the week at some point during every season. Two of the best games - Navy-Maryland and Boise State-Virginia Tech - will be played Monday in NFL stadiums.

Tradition indeed.

Click here for the rest of the article: Greed is the new tradition in college football


Anonymous said...


Keep up the good work. A point of clarification, however...

LSU is attempting to and has scheduled tough home and home series against solid nonconference opponents. In addition to Virginia Tech (2002 and 2007), LSU has or will soon be playing Washington (2009 and 2010)and West Virginia (2010 and 2011) in home and home series. Not top five opponents, but not cupcakes either. While LSU does schedule soft schools also, most of these are in-state schools at least, enabling these schools to share in much-needed cash in a economically depressed state that the Saturday night crowds of 92,000= generate at Tiger Stadium

Rory Wohl said...


I understand the point you're making about the speculation that Boise State could or couldn't go undefeated in a BCS conference.

But to say that no one can make that claim because "almost no one in the BCS will play Boise (or Utah or TCU, for that matter) in a home-and-home series," kind of misses the point.

I mean, that's what we, as sports fans, do. We speculate about stuff. We wonder if the '76 Reds could beat the '27 Yankees. We wonder if the '72 Dolphins could beat the '85 Bears. we wonder if the '88-89 Flames could beat the '01-02 Red Wings.

So, it's not unreasonable to speculate on whether or not the Utah State could go undefeated in a BCS conference. Especially since, as you describe so well, as long as college football is based on greed, we're not going to see a Broncos-Buckeyes match up any time soon.

dfurnad said...

Wow! This piece is getting a standing O in at least one hotel room in America.

Momus said...

I find it interesting that now that Boise State will be in the MWC, it no longer wants to travel to Moscow to play in-state rival University of Idaho. Seems they're willing to play them in Boise, but don't want to have to trudge up-state to play the Vandals, the only other Div 1A football program in the state. (Good thing BSU isn't in the Pac-10, or else they would probably make an isuse of going to play in Pullman, 8 miles down the road from Moscow.) I guess now that the Broncos are moving up in the world, they're adopting more of "big boys" attitude.

Ken said...

Your singling out of Notre Dame's schedule points out one of the worst problems in college football, a problem that could so simply be resolved and make more games meaningful in one fell swoop. To wit:

What we need is to institute a rule that in any single season and in any two consecutive seasons, the number of home games a team may play can be no more than one more than the number of away games they play.

Think the big football factories would have the guts and the sense of fair play to go for it? Me neither.