January 8, 2009

College Football Sucks

If you're a regular here at DKSB, you probably prefer the NFL to college football. Personally, I don't just prefer the NFL to college ball. I think college football is a festering cesspool, a blight not just upon the sporting landscape but also on American higher education. Here's why:

1. No other sport has such a abysmal method of picking a "champion."

Even in the EPL, which doesn't have playoffs, you KNOW who the champion is.. The team with the best overall regular season record. In big-time college football, you don't even get THAT.

Sabermetrics Godfather (and Red Sox employee) Bill James said it best...

It is inherent in the nature of sports to seek a clear resolution of the competition. You have two football conferences, two basketball conferences, two baseball leagues—you want to know who the best team really is. That doesn't come from anywhere; it's integral to the sport. It's like a movie; either the boy gets the girl, or he doesn't. Either the cop catches the killer, or he doesn't. Either the hero wins the battle, or he dies on the battlefield. That's just the way it is, whether it's Shakespeare or schlock. Leaving the situation unresolved is unpopular because it's unnatural.

Instead of playoffs, we have 34 fucking bowl games. Really, who gives a flying fuck about the GMAC bowl? It's just programming filler for ESPN. Plus, the BCS system is rigged in favor of the major conferences (just find a Utah fan and ask them about that).

2. The players are shitty

If you are a baseball fan, would you rather watch a MLB game or a AAA game on TV? You'd pick the major league product, I'm sure. So why do so many people profess the idea that NCAA football is "better" than the NFL?

Severe brain trauma, maybe?

The NFL features some of the most elite athletes on Earth. Only the most talented and driven college players make it to the NFL, and only the best from that group have successful NFL careers. By definition, the product put on the field by the NCAA is inferior. College superstars like Ryan Leaf are often exposed as overrated frauds when they are thrown into the crucible of NFL competition.

But some people choose to shop at Wal-Mart instead of Target.. I don't get that either.

3. College football is festooned with hypocrisy.

The college fans I know like to prattle on about how NCAA ball is more "pure" than the NFL. What a crock of fucking bullshit.

NCAA football is a multi-billion dollar machine, raking in vast sums of cash from advertising, merchandising, ticket sales and subscription services like ESPN Game Plan. The main difference between the NCAA and the NFL? The players don't get jack fucking squat until they get the the pros.

It's the NFL that provides the more "pure" product: It's about the money. The players are professional gladiators, and they are well-compensated to play a game that could leave them crippled for the rest of their lives.

You may say that the college players get a free education. Fine, but that leads me to my next point.

4. College football fucks up higher education

Do you really think a kid at an elite program like Ohio State gets much of an education? I can tell you from direct experience: Nope, they don't. There is tremendous pressure to give passing grades to football players, and to look the other way when their work has OBVIOUSLY been done by one of their "tutors."

Plus, when they actually WANT a real education, they get ripped by their coaches and vilified by the fans like Robert Smith did at OSU.

You may say that academic scholarships are a key method of providing access to higher education. I'd say that system is FUCKED, and if it was up to me we'd provide free (or at least very cheap) access to higher education to anyone who wants it.

At a school like Ohio State, the focus upon athletics is like a mental eclipse: It blots out almost everything else. I'm as much in favor of the separation of school and sports as I am the separation of church and state (hint: it's a lot).

5. The "passion" argument

I hear this one a lot too: That there is more "passion" in the college game. Once again, we're dealing with mental manure.

Ever been to a game at Qwest Field? Arrowhead? Mile High Stadium? Ever watch Jack Youngblood play through the entire playoffs on a broken leg? Ever see Elway dive for that first down in the Super Bowl? Ever see Emmitt Smith play with a separated shoulder? On and on and on.

Plus, the NFL offers not just passion, but passion combined with competitive balance. I can't believe schools charge full price for tickets to these "christians-fed-to-the-lions" games like this one... Over half of all NFL games are decided by 8 points or less, and the gap between the best and worst teams is quite small. In the NFL, you can't win by simply being faster or stronger than the other team.

I might watch a bit of tonight's game, and generally speaking I'll veg out in front of an NCAA game if it's on... but the real stuff is this Saturday and Sunday of course, as the greatest sports league in the world lurches closer to crowning another Super Bowl Champion.


Anonymous said...

Although I may not share the same fervor that you do Johnny, your points are quite sound. You do make a great case. My best to your family.

Forrest said...

Funny that this post would come the same day the WWU cuts it's football program.