Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Super Saturday and Super Sunday: It's time for the Grand Unification of Football - college and pro.

I grew up following the joyous sport of college football. I was thrilled at how a young and earnest coach, Joe Paterno, built Penn State into a program that could beat the likes of Syracuse and Army. But around the eighties, I jumped ship and never looked back. I decided college football: a) Is basically all about institutional cheating, b) Has no educational value whatsoever, c) Exploits its players horribly and d) Didn't care enough about its fans to hold an honest championship.

This year, they eliminated (d). Four decades of profitable hypocrisy still separate Division I football from resolving (a), (b) and (c) - though paying the players would be an incredible moral breakthrough. In fact, one can imagine the other issues shrinking dramatically - even disappearing - if colleges simply accept what everybody knows: The players in the super programs are pros, not college students. So pay them up front, instead of under the table.

Last night, America got to watch a game it would have been denied, if the sportswriters or computers set the agenda.

Let's face it: Under the old, two-team playoff system, Florida State would have played Alabama. Nobody would have argued against undefeated FSU playing in the game. And after hand-wringing, Alabama - via the SEC's exalted status - would have gotten the second slot. Last night, the two best teams played.

Now, it's time for college football to rise to a new tier of popularity - and honesty.  

Pay the players, and then launch an 8-game playoff. Better yet, merge the crappy bowl system, and create a a 16-game tournament. Boil it down to two, and hold the championship not on Monday night, when the East Coast can't even watch, but on the day before the Super Bowl... yes... Super Saturday.

For 80 years, college football has served as the NFL's minor league system. This is repugnant. The NFL owners never deserved such a free system of player development. It time for college football to be honest with itself and to stand alone.

It's time for a Grand Unification of Football.

Imagine it: Super Saturday and Super Sunday. It will happen eventually, maybe in the next millennium. But it will happen. (And Tom Coughlin will still be coaching the Giants.)

1 comment:

KD said...

The players probably do deserve to be payed but let's not ask taxpayers to foot the bill. we already pay the freight for Big State U. and we are tired of being raped by the NFL.