It’s another Saturday of college football, a government-subsidized, tax-exempt moneymaker for the biggest collegiate athletic programs.
I’m not suggesting we should start taxing college athletics to death. I definitely think the federal government needs to drastically cut both spending and taxes.
But I do want to call attention to a charade.
At the end of the season, there will be bowl games, and a mythical champion will be crowned.
No playoffs. But there’ll be a champion.
The two teams vying for the championship will be chosen by . . . pundits.
Since pundits do the choosing, why not have the championship at the beginning of the season, and what is currently the regular schedule can become mere exhibition games? The pundits just have to pick the best team from the SEC and the best team from the Big 12, and those’ll be the contenders for the big championship game that kicks off the exhibition season.
Think that makes no sense? What happens in reality makes only slightly more sense. There is this ranking formula called the BCS that automatically assumes that the SEC is strongest conference.
Oh, but on the gridiron, the SEC proves its dominance with its winning record against its non-conference opponents, right?
Oh yeah! I was totally impressed with that 62-3 beatdown that Florida gave to Charleston Southern.
I can’t wait to see how the Alabama Crimson Tide fares against Tennessee-Chattanooga.
That’s sarcasm, in case you missed it.
Charleston Southern and Chattanooga are colleges that aren’t even in the NCAA Bowl Subdivision. It’s like a high school varsity squad cushioning the schedule with JV teams. Yeah, there’s a chance the game will be competitive, but will the outcome of such games really inform you how good the varsity squads are?
Despite the creampuff nonconference schedule, even an SEC team with a loss can make it into the national title game, conceivably even two losses, which means that besides Florida and Alabama, LSU is still in the running. LSU sheduled only teams within the NCAA Bowl Subdivision this season, unlike Florida and Alabama, though it’s non-conference lineup isn’t exactly scary, with the likes of Lousiana Tech, Louisiana-Lafayette, Tulane, and a U of Washington squad that lost all of its games last season.
By the way, each team plays 12 games during its regular season. That means 6 home games and 6 away games, right? Well, Alabama and LSU scheduled 7 home games and 5 away games. Florida scheduled 8 home games and 4 away games.
The deck seems a little stacked, don’t you think?
Even my favorite collegiate team, the Ohio State Buckeyes, pad their schedule. 7 home games and 5 away games is standard for the Buckeyes.
The schools in the NCAA Bowl Subdivision don’t want to switch to a playoff format. They want to make money. The current bowl game scheme helps the fattest cats get fatter.
I’m not saying making money is a bad thing. In America, we are at liberty to make money.
But let’s not kid ourselves that football in the NCAA Bowl Subdivision is a wholly capitalist venture. The government does subsidize universities, and it does grant universities tax-exempt status. Someone might even suggest that our universities are socialist, and who am I to say they’re wrong?
Occasionally, some members of Congress, and even President Obama, have called out the football bowl scheme and the so-called championship game for what it is: a charade. Is there an approach that might improve the system that wouldn’t totally overturn it? Sure! That’s where I come in!
Daniel Jack Williamson is the solution.
For an annual salary of $48,000 (that’s less than $1000 per week!) and reimbursement for any job-related travel expenses (I’ll fly coach, or take Amtrak, and stay at budget motels, I promise!) I’ll go to work as the Obama Administration’s sports scheduling czar! That’s right! I’ll work for Obama! Do you hear me, Mr. President? If I work for you, that means I won’t be able to blog about you, and I won’t be in a position to criticize you! Doesn’t that sound like a great deal? And when Glenn Beck picks on me for being a White House czar, I won’t be thin-skinned like Van Jones, and, if Glenn Beck says something about me that’s untrue, I will not be afraid to call Mr. Beck’s phone, unlike Anita Dunn. (Oh, I’m sorry–I assumed Ms. Dunn was afraid. I guess I assumed wrong. Ms. Dunn is not afraid of Glenn Beck. It’s just that the record didn’t need to be corrected because Mr. Beck was 100% correct. My bad.)
As sports scheduling czar, I will schedule all the regular season games so that teams play meaningful schedules. The teams won’t be playing schools who aren’t in the NCAA Bowl Subdivision (perhaps with the exception of schools who are in their first year after transitioning to the Bowl Subdivision). If the typical school has 4 non-conference games, then, for the most part, they’ll play 2 games (one home, one away) against teams from 2 different major conferences and 2 games (one home, one away) against teams from 2 different mid-major conferences. The regular season will have 6 home games and 6 away games for all teams, whether the team happens to be Florida, or the team happens to be Eastern Michigan. With the more balanced regular season schedule, that I, as White House sports schedule czar, will impement, pundits will be able to compare apples to apples instead of apples to oranges when bowl selection takes place.
By taking the scheduling privileges away from college athletic directors and giving them to me, your sports scheduling czar, you will be reminding the schools that they are dependent on government for a great many things. They are socialist institutions, not capitalist institutions, and you aren’t about to let them forget it.
If you’d like, I’ll even schedule all the other NCAA sports teams from all the divisions–big school, little school, volleyball, synchronized swimming, fencing, you name it, I’ll schedule it.
I’ll have my rolodex filled with contacts at all the sports venues so I’ll know when concerts and other events have dibs on the stadiums and arenas. For venues that house home games of more than one team, I’ll make sure there are no time conflicts. If a game is postponed due to weather, I’ll get that make-up game on the schedule.
Major League Baseball has an exemption from anti-trust laws. As a bonus, at no extra charge, as White House sports schedule czar, I’ll schedule the MLB regular season, too.
NFL, NBA, NHL, MLS, WNBA, I’ll whip up regular seasons schedules for all of them, if you’d like. Any day of the week you’d like to sink into a sofa and watch sports on TV while dithering and procrastinating decisions about Afghanistan, I’ll make sure there’s a compelling sports matchup on tap.
Mr. President, just email me (email address appears on my “About” page), to let me know you’d like to set up an interview for the czar job, and I’ll respond with my phone number so we can iron out the remaining details by phone and in person. Like Glenn Beck, I’ll be waiting by my phone for your call.
November 8, 2009 at 11:34 pm
Hey, how do I get one of those jobs?
Are you sure he’s dithering while watching sports? Could be he’s looking for a sign…
November 9, 2009 at 3:15 pm
I don’t know how to get one of those jobs. My phone hasn’t rung yet.
January 5, 2010 at 6:20 pm
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