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Sunday, November 30, 2014

College Football, Post Season, the Real Season.

Since football season is almost over it is time to examine the many changes that have set the world of college football.  There are momentous changes, and long lasting implication, it is a brave new world.  "If you do not change direction you may end up where you are heading."  Lao Tzu

This is the first year of the NCAA playoffs, with coaches, players and fans openly campaigning for their team.  It is a wonderfully shameless political campaign of trumpeting achievements and shouting the relative merits of a group of young athletes from the top of every mountain, and virtual, online soapbox.  It is nothing new, it has happened since the beginning of crowning a National Champion, (it is only more pronounced by the addition of a playoff) and it will last until the end of the sport.  Which, considering the recent collision with the courts and the NCAA's decision to allow the "power conferences" to make the monetary decisions regarding the benefits allocated to athletes will probably be much sooner than later.  It has been a good run, though.  So long, Mountain West, and MAC, we hardly knew ye.

But, all of this pales when compared to the conference expansion.  It started a while ago, maybe it was the Big Ten welcoming Penn State into the Old Boys network.  Officials from around the country watched, and waited.  What would be the fallout from an eleven team Big Ten Conference, not surprisingly, when the relative importance of the decision is considered, nobody really cared too much.

And the grab was on, conferences were grabbing teams in a Black Friday style dash for that glorious twelfth team that would allow for a conference championship game, almost a license to print money. A sponsored, endorsed, advertising intensive extravaganza of indulgence, and excess, a day long celebration of capitalism disguised as sports.  Executives and officials exchanging huge sums of cash.  Sports, they may not build character, but they will build fortunes, and fame, and several new campus facilities.   At least they would if universities weren't so busy throwing money at athletics.

This weekend was "Rivalry Weekend."  Kind of a self explanatory, but, it was a feast for advertisers, and fans alike.  Rivalries wax and wane with the fortunes of the participants, but can still be compelling television.

Yesterday, during one of the rivalry games, an ancient, august, game with a revered history, some brazen, fearless soul proposed to one of the cheerleaders, a beautiful young lady, with a dazzling smile.  And the entire romantic, private, touching moment was played out in the end zone, on televisions across the nation, and probably in armed forces bases around the world.  It was fantastic television, and automobile companies, brewers, and soft drink manufacturers are scrambling to find the next potential proposer to get their cut of the action.  Please contact a talent agent, and they can negotiate the terms of your proposal.  Everybody would profit.