The common assumption is that conservatives resist change. On the other hand, those who support capitalism and associate innovation and prosperity with the profit motive that drives them are often portrayed as conservative.
This is paradoxical because there is nothing conservative or static apart from the influence of capitalism, as is now reflected in what it does to college football (and college sports in general).
The NCAA Supreme Court ruling against Alston that allows college athletes to benefit from “name, image, and example” (NIL) means that some will earn more money from their coaches before they play their first role.
The relaxation of transfer restrictions (“transfer gateway”) also allows players to essentially offer their services to different schools each year of their eligibility in a way that makes fun of what remains of the pretense of “student-athlete” – no matter the class if switching to a different school means more playtime And (with no NIL) more money and better NFL prospects.
The incentives for mercenaries, as many have noted, will change the nature of training and recruitment in particular, giving an advantage to schools whose boosters have deep pockets – colleges will be to a much larger degree, only now more open and within the rules, “buying” their football teams.
But none of this mattered to me while parking on the sofa with chicken wings and dipping chips while watching the usual games of Saturday games, and it’s not as though those of us with libertarian inclinations can complain about young people selling their skills for maximum profit. In the free labor market (or when the Supreme Court, as in NCAA v. Alston, upholds the rule of law by correcting it on points of law).
If we now have more incentive than ever to not know how to make sausages, we can still enjoy them, and that enjoyment is about to be enhanced by another market-driven seismic change: a reorganization of the conference that will finally produce an expansion of the College Football Playbook (CFP) From four teams to 12.
The SEC, of course, began adding the two notable Big 12 football schools, Oklahoma and Texas, while the Big Ten responded by stealing the UCLA and USC marquee programs away from the Pac-12.
The bet here is that the Big Ten will add more schools sooner rather than later (Stanford, Washington, Oregon and maybe even Notre Dame?) and the SEC will respond by adding four of their own (Florida, Miami, North Carolina, and Clemson?), producing two “superconferences.” They can be compared in many ways with the AFC and the NFC in the Major League Soccer.
What this also means is that in the ruthless Hobzian battle for survival, the old Pac-12, Big 12, and ACC must be reconstituted from whatever school the SEC and Big Ten don’t want. Precisely because capitalism-driven change coughs up both winners and losers, as well as the improbability of finding 40 out of those still enough to create two energy conferences from 20 schools, they will likely have to merge into just one, leaving many The schools, now in a big conference, are out of one (think Georgia Tech, Iowa, and Oregon here).
The winners of the resulting Power Three conferences logically will get automatic play-off bids, and the fourth can go to the highest-ranked team other than Power Three (Cinderella). The other seven can be ranked based on the same logic as the current CFP process, which will likely add the SEC and Big Ten teams to the mix.
The best thing about college football has always been that every match counts, at least for those who have aspirations towards the national title; A single loss, however narrow, even to a strong opponent, essentially puts the loser under unclassified double scrutiny. Unlike in the NFL, 9-7 won’t cut it.
A 12-team playoff will still retain most of the Sudden Death suspense, even if it’s now possible to get you two losses. We’ll also get less time in December, which is defined as the barren period between the conference tournaments and the start of a playoff game (sorry, but the Army of the Navy doesn’t count), and 11 important games instead of just three.
The four highest-ranked teams, not necessarily the conference champions, can get into the first round, and the first four contests (#5 vs. #12, #6 vs. #11, etc.) can be held at the home of the top-ranked campus, as a reward for earning those seeds.
The ball games that once defined college football are rendered useless by the CFP and the subsequent recognition of this absurdity by players with NFL aspirations unwilling to risk playing in them, but few of their rich traditions can be preserved by organizing the quarterfinals. at the Cotton Bowl at Jerry World, the Peach Bowl in Atlanta, the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, and the Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, Ariz.
The semifinals (an approximation of what is now under the CFP) will then be played in the Sugar and Orange Bowls, with the tournament in their grandfather all, the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.
Simple and improved. Thanks to the “creative destruction” of capitalism.
Freelance columnist Bradley R. Gates, who lives and studies in Batesville, has a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Illinois.