So, the Big 10, or B1G, is expanding with Rutgers and Maryland. Commence Outrage.
You can file this one under “and more.” Anyone who knows The Nash knows that he loves him some Michigan football like a fat kid loves Twinkies…oh, sorry fat kid. Too early. Those same people also know that he HATES the BCS, and has since its inception. College football has always been different than every other sport and psuedo-sport (I’m looking at you soccer) because it wasn’t based entirely upon winning a Championship of the World. Instead, it lent itself nicely to regional rivalries and creating a way for cold Midwesterners to see the sun on January 1. Don’t get me wrong; college football has always had a national champion crowned at the end of the year, but that champion sometimes turned out to be multiple champions, based upon which poll one was looking at. And while some people grumbled about whether the most deserving team won the championship (like Michigan in 1997) or whether it was a team that won because the other coaches wanted to give its retiring coach a going-away present (like Nebraska in 1997), no one really seemed to care all that much. Why? Because college football was about drinking, eating grilled meat-products, and laughing at the misfortune of your fellow man.
Unfortunately, the chorus of drunk college students complaining that their team wasn’t getting a fair shake because the national champion was based on polls with built-in biases, and structured so that nothing mattered except the number of losses a team had, began to grow. Everyone, including myself, agreed that the polls were a joke, but who cares? We were drinking, eating, and laughing at others. But major football conferences, and their respective university presidents, agreed with the drunken chorus (and by “agreed,” I mean saw an opportunity to make huge sums of money). Thus was born the Bowl Championship Series.
The entire stated purpose of the BCS was to match Nos. 1 and 2 in a season-ending national championship game. There would also be three other BCS games, all of which paid out ridiculous sums of money to the participating universities and conferences. Contrary to the beliefs of the idiots who gave us the BCS, it wasn’t an improvement over the old system because it still selected the teams for the national championship game with a biased poll with strength of schedule rendered virtually meaningless. This resulted in teams watering down their out of conference schedules even more than before because a loss could “ruin” their season. Soon after the creation of the BCS, teams outside BCS conferences started complaining about how they were being left out of the
money-grab championship picture, so the struture needed to be changed to allow some smaller schools with truly terrible schedules into the mix. At the end of the day, the drunk college students still weren’t happy and began hollering about a playoff. Eventually, the drive for a playoff gained steam, and here we are today.
Because of the money involved, and the additional money that can be made from a playoff, the major college football landscape is shifting to four mega-conferences. From the four mega-conferences will inevitably come a four-team playoff. This is the crappiest idea ever, but whatever. In the most recent expansion, the Big Ten, or B1G, or whatever they’re calling it now, has added two new teams: Maryland and Rutgers. This brings its number to 14, which, like the other four mega-conferences, will eventually grow to 16. There are many who HATE the addition of Maryland and Rutgers. And to every one of those people who also championed the BCS fifteen or so years ago I say this: you got what you deserved.
Let’s face it. Maryland and Rutgers are crappy additions. They’re both generally terrible at football, and usually fail to fill their modest-sized stadiums. They were selected, however, because they’re in the Northeast and will hopefully bring more viewers to the Big Ten Network, the B1G’s crappy television network. I’m allowed to complain because I simply want my January 1 bowl games back, and always have. Those that were all excited about the BCS can suck it though. This is what happens when it’s all about the money. Everyone needs to find a seat before the music stops. And yes, while Maryland and Rutgers are terrible, there’s only so many supermodel programs to go around. At least they don’t threaten to throw off the balance of power in the conference.
So what’s the lesson to take from this? Be careful what you wish for because you just might get it. And it will totally suck. Unless it’s Michigan who wins the Championship of the World. Then it will be totally awesome.