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Aug
09
2017

College Football Musings

We have a reader submitted post today. Enjoy!

The one thing about collegiate sports, especially NCAA football, is that it is a league of the haves and have nots. Big programs like Alabama seem to have unlimited resources to upgrade their facilities and pay their coaches, while smaller schools like the University of Alabama Birmingham, have to fight just to keep their football program alive. With the start of the NCAA football season just around the corner, check out the college football odds for next season when one of the these haves play a have not.

To further illustrate the discrepancies between the big schools and small schools, the Power 5 conference, which consists of the ACC, Pac-12, Big Ten, Big 12, and SEC, made a combined $6 billion in 2015, while the remaining schools in the other conferences made a combined $4 billion less.

As expected, the people in power would like to remain there, which is why it wasn’t a surprise to hear Alabama head coach Nick Saban say Power 5 teams should only play Power 5 teams.

Saban’s proposal obviously won’t work for several reasons. One of which is the fact that non-Power 5 teams usually agree to play Power 5 schools because they get paid huge amounts of money to play in what is usually a glorified scrimmage. That benefits the Power 5 team.

The money they receive helps keep their football programs as well as other programs alive, so stopping them from playing Power 5 schools will essentially end their programs. Is it such a problem that a Power 5 school helps a lower division school with their athletic budget with the occasional game?

The second reason it wouldn’t work is because the SEC is notorious for scheduling a lot of non-Power 5 conference schools to get some easy wins and pad their stats. In the past, the excuse given for scheduling so many small schools is that the SEC teams beat each other up so much they need a few easy games.

If you prevent SEC schools from playing non Power 5 schools, the teams will be forced to schedule more out of conference games against other Power 5 schools and risk getting exposed. The SEC has done masterful job insulating itself in their non-conference in the past, but the times are changing. Alabama is playing Florida State, Florida faces off against Michigan, there’s Tennessee vs Georgia Tech, Clemson vs Auburn, and Georgia vs Notre Dame. The SEC is starting to schedule up, so if there is additional breather of game then I don’t think that’s a problem.

Preseason Polls

Every year, fans complain about the preseason polls because some teams that are ranked in the polls drop out after the first few weeks because they aren’t as good as the polls think. Fans get very frustrated when this happens and some have even suggested that we do away with the polls until the teams have played a few games.

While doing away with the polls make sense, without the polls, we won’t be able to track how ranked teams have done historically, and some coaches, whose get bonuses on how their team starts or finish in the polls, wouldn’t receive their bonuses. Also where’s the fun in the off-season if there aren’t pre-season polls?

JUCO Players

A lot of times, athletes that would be starters on most of the best schools in the country find themselves playing at a junior college instead of the FBS level. Most of the time, these athletes have committed infractions that got them kicked off their team and were unable to catch on with another team.

In football circles, some people consider JUCO as giving troubled athletes a second chance, but in reality it is punishment for their misdeeds.

Players like Cam Newton, who played in Blinn College after being kicked off the University of Florida team, was able to find redemption when he signed with Auburn. While he was at Blinn, Newton had two options. He could act out and kiss his chances of ever going pro away, or he could use the opportunity to better himself and try to work his way back to the FBS. He obviously chose the latter and as they say, the rest is history. For some the Juco route save their football careers.

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