October 24, 2014

A Digression: College Football’s Musical Chairs

A playoff would be the saving grace of college football's musical chairs.

Here at WhoDeyFans, we understand that many of you follow football beyond the Bengals. That includes college football. And it’s becoming impossible to ignore the musical chairs being played among the major conferences. Yesterday, word leaked that Syracuse and Pitt were applying to the ACC and today, reports emerged that they were accepted.

The Big East, which is home to the Cincinnati Bearcats, could be crumbling in their absence. And while these mega, super, uber-conferences can make for some exciting matchups (Ohio State/Nebraska comes to mind), they are terrible for many of the non-revenue sports.

Football teams travel only once a week. Many of the other sports do it twice or more. And with expanded conferences, there is often expanded travel times. So soccer and field hockey and lacrosse players will be traveling farther in future years, missing more time away from class and campus. Athletic budgets that are already stretched thin by funding issues, will be forced to stretch even further. And for some, things will snap.

Overall, the musical chairs being played by these super-conferences and the schools rushing to join them is a bad thing. In fact, the only benefit that I see with these shifts and shuffles is the likelihood of a playoff emerging. Once the dust settles, it’s possible that we could see something like four supreme, 16-team conferences in college football.

If you take the champion of each one, that leaves you with a Final Four similar to basketball. That, my friends, would be grand. It would still  leave a lot of teams out and it would be far from a perfect solution, but it would still be much better than anything the BCS has given us.

So as these super-conferences start to form their monopolies in college football, leaving massive problems in their wake, I’m rooting for one beautiful flower amid the wreckage.

A college football playoff.

Sure, there will be some schools left without chairs, athletic directors devoid of funds, and student athletes struggling with new challenges, but when the musical chairs stop, the fans could win.

And at this point, that’s all we can hope for.