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Apr
15
2017

Does Division I football as we know it survive?

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We are a day out since the NCAA passed some new rules that effect college football. The first rule is the early signing period, which allows for an early signing day. That “early signing period” allows kids to sign their LOI in December instead of February. This rule just allows for coaches to cherry pick those players who have not signed anywhere and possibly find a diamond in the rough. The second rule that was passed was the addition of a 10th coach to college football staffs. When you thought that the Power 5 schools couldn’t gain any more of an advantage.

Most might think that this is no big deal. It allows for another coach to get into the profession that he/she loves. Well, that’s fine if you are a Power 5 school. And I’m not sure it benefits ALL Power 5 schools. Do you think schools like Wake Forest, Kansas State, Iowa State can throw money at their sports teams like Ohio State, Texas, and, Alabama?

Even Maryland (Kevin Plank of Under Armour), Oregon (Phil Knight), Oklahoma State (T. Boone Pickens) have those donors who are able to donate money to those schools to keep them involved in big time college football. Just look at the disparity in spending between the top and the bottom of the ACC.

Clemson just spent a reported $55 million on their new football facility, which includes a miniature golf course. In the academic year of 2012-13 Alabama Athletic Department brought in $143,393,059 which ranked 3rd! Wake Forest, ranked last in the Power 5 that year brought in $48,830,266 (http://www.thekeyplay.com/content/2014/january/20/college-football-arms-race-examining-athletic-department-revenues). University of Texas just spent millions of dollars remodeling their locker room. Those lockers are said to have cost about $10,500 per locker. Do you think Boston College which brought in $60,770,300, can compete with that kind of spending?

All of that is just between Power 5 schools. Do you think that the “Non Power 5” schools can compete with this? When you look at the MAC schools that schedule big schools. Northern Illinois just added Florida State to their 2017 for $1.6 million. It has gotten so bad that the MAC has scheduled zero conference games on a Saturday in November of 2017.

They did this because they are desperate for exposure and see that they aren’t left behind. The MAC is doing what it can to get the revenue to keep their football programs running. When you look at the disparity in spending, do you think teams in the MAC, Mountain West, AAC, Conference USA, The Sun Belt can keep up? Earlier this year there was an idea floated by Sean Frazier, Northern Illinois Athletic Director, about a Group of 5 playoff.

The Group of 5 doesn’t have the access to the College Football playoff. They don’t have the money to compete with the Power 5 schools. Group of 5 schools produce players, a lot of good players. However, they don’t have the top line talent or the depth that Power 5 schools have. They don’t have the money to invest in the arms race that has broken out in college football. It wouldn’t be a shock to anyone that the Power 5 schools break away and form their own Division. And at that time, College Football will be broken beyond repair for me.

I love watching MACtion on Tuesday nights! I get more joy watching those games. But pretty soon I’m afraid that because of the way the business of college football is going, we won’t be seeing them very much longer

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