Today, the Gators play The Citadel in a game that is nothing more than a money maker. In the massive BS industry of college football, nothing is more important than the almighty dollar. Not a player's health nor his grades (precious time preparing for the dominant Citadel takes them away from being "student-athletes").
My question is this; why the hell would you play this game? Who gains from this? Maybe second and third stringers get more time, but is that the real benefit? No. The athletic association and the city benefit from people going into town and buying stuff. At no point is town-gown relations at its best than during the random 12th game.
That's what this weekend is all about. Ca-ching.
Why is this significant? Because for the last two weeks the next freaking President of The United States has been calling for a playoff system. And the university presidents have dismissed him like they would your average college student. You see, the men who have a perch in Ivory Towers know better than the President-Elect what is best. Let's take a look at this statement from BCS coordinator John Swofford.
"For now, our constituencies -- and I know [Obama] understands constituencies -- have settled on the current BCS system, which the majority believe is the best system yet to determine a national champion while also maintaining the college football regular season as the best and most meaningful in sports."
Oh, you see how he did that? He's just like Obama! He knows constituencies! Well, Obama won an overwhelming majority of young voters, blacks, women and Hispanics/Latinos. Those are Obama's supporters, in addition to traditional Democrats. He knows who they are and I'm sure most of you know that too. Now, who the hell are Swofford's constituents? Are they the athletes? Are they the coaches? Are they the students? Are they the donors? No. They are the bowl game CEOs and Conference Presidents, who are bound by tradition to the most corrupt system in American sports since the NIT in the 1950s.
When we argue about the BCS, one of the lines is that if you have a playoff system, you lessen the regular season. Wait, does that mean Citadel vs. Florida is advancing the regular season? What about Youngstown State vs. Ohio State or North Texas vs. LSU?
But, if you have a playoff system, then you leave other teams out of the bowl games. Yes, because I love the International Bowl, the Papajohns.com Bowl and the St. Petersburg Bowl. (A bowl game in St. Pete? My backyard is more qualified to host a bowl game and it's in a nicer neighborhood!) You want to maintain the history of the bowl games, but then you allow terrible games like this?
Since the Rose Bowl's founding, bowl games have been about making money. The best way to make money is to get the best teams possible. That is where the notion of bowl games determining national champions came from. A matchup of the best team of the East and the West (the original Rose Bowls) would sell the most tickets and guess what, that also would settle the best team in America.
Since that time, we have advanced as a nation but college football is stuck in the past. John Swofford and college presidents will tell you and me and Barack Obama that they are happy with this and are upholding tradition. But don't believe them. They are upholding the century old tradition of making money off college football. It can be the 12th game against a crappy opponent or the mighty Motor City Bowl, but the fact remains that the most important thing is to make money. The rest of you can shut up and enjoy the games.