Usually I avoid taking issue with Clay Travis columns, because doing so would require me to take the position that college football, Saturday afternoons in the South, extravagant tailgates, and the beautiful women that go with it all are wholly unenjoyable.
Against my better judgement, I’m going to respond to something he had earlier this week.
His idea is straightforward: set up a series of conference challenges among the six BCS conferences during the first week of the season. Settle the conference superiority debates on the field. OK so far – it more or less sounds like a week of bowl games before the real season starts. But I think he goes off the tracks when he claims that resistance to creative ideas like this one comes from aloof “powers-that-be” in college football.
Ask yourself this — why is it that alone among all major sports, college football’s powers-that-be never listen to what their fans want and consistently list reasons why things wouldn’t work instead of why they would? In a globalized sports world, isn’t this truly the height of arrogance? The non-responsiveness of college football leagues to their fans is sickening.
Could this be why? Demand for college football is through the roof according to most any metric from attendance to dollars to television ratings. As much as I have my problems with the regular-season-is-our-playoff approach, I have to admit that the “height of arrogance” is suggesting that a wildly popular (and growing) sport needs such a drastic shot in the arm. Is it really sickening non-responsiveness to think twice about overhauling something that’s working? Will Georgia games go from “sold out” to “really sold out?”
It might be true that college football fans claim that they want things like a playoff and better inter-conference games. I wouldn’t mind seeing Georgia play Texas and Michigan and Southern Cal…as long as Georgia wins. But that want is a little down the list of priorities for most of us who are partisan fans of a particular school:
- Wins…especially over rivals
- Enjoying the soul-crushing losses of our rivals
- Claiming a better recruiting class, co-eds, stadium, mascot, and head coach’s wife vs. our rivals
- Finding a place to park and tailgate within the same area code
- Giving a damn about the rest of college football
It might be just me, but I have no interest in adding yet another difficult game to Georgia’s schedule just so some Ole Miss fan can show his ass on an Oregon State message board. (SEC RULZ!1111!) Chances are I’d be pulling for the other conference in these games anyway. Oklahoma vs. Auburn? Boomer Sooner. If it means that the timeless debate of conference superiority goes on into another summer, so be it.