College football has always explained America. It’s no wonder why the sport has deviated the way it has. Corporations mark mom and dad in the business world, and on an individual level, the wealth gap in America has never been greater. So why would you expect the most capitalist sport in the country to operate differently? The only difference in college football is that the spheres of influence are not primarily on the shores, but rather are within a part of the country that does not typically have positive companies going forward.
Salary caps and draft orders seek to level the playing field in professional sports, but could do well in college football. The South simply cultivated the greatest natural resource in sport (talent) and attracts most of the best assets. This is the end result of factors both inside and outside the sport’s locus of control. Following the postwar dominance of northern programs, integration ushered in a new stream of talent in the 1970s. A demographic boom in Florida shakes Florida, the state of Florida, and Miami in the 1980s and 1990s. Migration patterns and the perpetual motion of recent success are the current reality.
The original sin was pretending that college football is something it just isn’t. It is a sport with regional foci of fervor that masquerades as a national effort when you unite them all. There are weak links in the chain. It is played from sea to shining sea, but it is no secret where it is best played.
We have gone through numerous unsatisfying paths to choose a champion. Years ago the sport chained itself to postseason displays as a reward and ever since has been forever caught between bowing to that bowl system due to its uniqueness and achieving the ultimate goal of all other American sports: a straight through champion. of the postseason.
A rematch of southern teams (LSU and Alabama) was the biggest impetus behind finally creating a college football playoff. Teams from the south continued to win the “new”, and that is part of the reason the CFP will expand. And if that happens, a system is likely to be created where more teams are playing for the right to be smoked by the same cadre of top teams, most of whom reside in the South. That’s not a reason to keep the Playoff in the current four-team format, but more of an understanding of what’s to come. The expansion of the playoffs is necessary for the illusion of a championship to be tangible, which has not been the case for many teams, whether we voted for the champion, decided by computer or made it through opaque decisions of a committee.
To be the man, you have to beat the man, and few programs outside the region have proven capable of doing so at the highest level since the dawn of the modern era with the advent of the BCS in 1998. The Playoff and its marketing promised access for all, but the results have shown a regional dominance with each passing year. If the sport wants to reverse the trend, find ways to win the biggest games in this fundamental business.
Unless you’re an advertiser or ESPN executive, you don’t need to worry about TV ratings. The semi-finals audience suffers in years other than New Years Day, but if 30 million people watch boring semi-finals instead of 17 million, it doesn’t change the results of the games (only three of which have been game contests). a score). Perhaps college football has simply peaked within an increasingly crowded sports and media landscape. Going back to the start of the BCS in 1998, the numbers are quite consistent for the national championship game until 2019, mainly hovering between 24 and 28 million viewers. There are peaks around a Game of the Century featuring the nation’s second-largest media market (2005 USC-Texas; 35.6 million viewers), Alabama’s first trip to the title game in 17 years (30) and the first game for the CFP title. ever (34,14).
It remains to be seen whether Alabama and Ohio State’s 18.7 million number in 2020 is an outlier of the pandemic or the new norm, but a Midwest team in the biggest game of the season certainly didn’t increase viewership to Although chestnut trees have possibly the strongest national brand in sport. But if ’20 taught business anything, it’s that COVID-19 exploited inefficiencies in an organization. Is it any wonder why Alabama swept to the title despite the headwinds?
There is no escaping jealousy that a southern team is going to win the national title again. There is dynasty fatigue in all sports, be it the Patriots, the Yankees or the Lakers. They are big cities with a certain glamor. You can easily point them out on a map. They are nowhere near or close to Clemson, SC, or Tuscaloosa, Alabama. On a national level, you are not normally jealous of that part of the country. The conversation around the sport would certainly be different if Rutgers and USC duel for national titles every year; the latter at least has a way back to prominence.
There’s also the fact that Nick Saban, the greatest coach in the history of the sport, also runs the craziest soccer program, Alabama, to a level of excellence that is basically untouchable. Saban and Bama are shipping NFL prospects at an untouchable Amazon.com-style pace. Just as Jeff Bezos changed his company from simply selling things to making things, Crimson Tide went from doing business on defense first to becoming an offensive monster. Trying to keep up with the corporation drives competition and thus the tide rises as it lifts all the boats where the interest is greatest. Hire Saban assistants as head trainers, reinforce facilities and armies of support staff and other program infrastructure. Meanwhile, the rest of the country is still catching up.
Brian Kelly, Oklahoma and Texas just proved that if you can’t beat them, join them. That also serves to create a margin for the South when Alabama does not win a title. Pending a resurgence from USC, West Coast hopes are squarely on Oregon’s shoulders. A similar situation exists in the Midwest and the state of Ohio. It’s not just about getting into the playoffs, it’s about victorious that. Washington, Notre Dame, Michigan State, Michigan and Cincinnati were all worthy of being called one of the top four teams in the country, but there is a huge gulf between the entrant and the winner of the CFP.
College sports have a phobia of admitting what everyone knows: It’s business first, driven in large part by profits from soccer. The South spends, so the South wins. Many successful teams in the region do not hesitate in the fact that they are great state schools that offer excellent education without pretending to be the higher education institutions of the ivory tower. A conference average US News & World Report shows there are few Ivies in the South (SEC schools average 110, Big Ten 56, and Pac-12 80), as if that really makes them less than in a modern America that devalues college degree every year . If all these colleges were honest, they would tell you that soccer teams endorse enrollment and also keep relevant schools in the zeitgeist.
If you want sport to come back from the south, then take advantage of the means of production and take it. Until then, he will have to be content to remain under the control of the South.
More college football coverage:
• Movie theater: What should UGA do differently this time?
• Is SEC’s dominance of the CFP bad for the sport?
• Can the playoff expansion overcome its hurdles?
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.