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Roundball Shaman

Time For A Super Conference

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Major college football has been ruined - likely forever. With programs such as Alabama and Clemson and Ohio State running quasi-professional programs for many years now, other schools cannot keep up or compete with that. Nor should they have to.

Universities are forced to sink millions of dollars into long-term contracts with coaches - many of whom that will not work out over time. Countless hundreds of millions of dollars is spent in upgrading stadiums, training facilities, and other things related to the football program which could be going to many other things. Why such distortions? We know the answer. There is big money to be made for the university from major college football. This creates a vicious cycle of overpaid coaches, gaudy facilities, and chasing after top recruits with often questionable tactics. Distorted priorities creates a special class of program and athlete while all the others are relegated to second-class status. Since the landscape of major college football has been changed into this, there does need to be realignment of conferences. But this needs to go farther than simply adding a school here or there to an existing conference. There needs to be functional equality and fairness to new conferences. Like-type schools should be with like-type schools and stop trying to be something they are not.

At the top, there can be one super-conference of the quasi-professional football programs. Create a league of Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Southern California, Oklahoma, Texas, etc. Your list may vary, but you get the idea. Let them all run pro-style programs and fight it out among themselves. Purdue will never be Ohio State or Penn State. Kansas State will never be Texas. Vanderbilt will never be Auburn or LSU. They will never achieve that level of on-field or recruiting success. Sure, they like the money from being in their conferences now. But they are depriving their student athletes and students and alumni from having a better experience of sport by trying to be something they are not and never will be.

What about Nebraska? It would be up to them. If they want to go all-in and try to be part of the Super Conference then they will hitch their star to that wagon for better or worse and live with the consequences. Or, they could be part of a new kind of conference that restores balance both financially and otherwise to the proper place that sports should occupy at a university. That means not trying to outspend and out-do and imitate the likes of Alabama and Clemson and Ohio State. Join solid, like-minded schools that are sick of the arms race and want to set a new course. There would be plenty of programs that would like to have that chance.

If Nebraska chose not to compete with the likes of Alabama there is no shame in that. Alabama and Texas and Auburn and Clemson and LSU, etc. will always have a Southern USA talent pool that Nebraska will never be able to match. Notre Dame with its national brand will always have access to special talent. Other schools have similar stories. And should Husker fans have to drive to Pennsylvania and the East Coast or always drive East for everything? How much of Interstate 80 can any sane person stand to see so often? A new conference would solve that.

This is not about Nebraska stepping back at all. It’s about being really good in a real good new football conference that doesn’t try act like it should be playing on Sundays instead of Saturdays.

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Two major problems:


1) Universities will take TV money even if their teams suck, so trying to get them to think about the sanctity of the sport is irrelevant. On their 'things we're concerned about' board, deprivation of student athletes is somewhere around getting Dolores' favorite pen out from under the break room fridge.

1) Major programs won't want to throw themselves into a gauntlet. The SEC is mighty comfortable with their 8-game conference schedule, mid-November cupcakes, and path to the CFP.

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I think you kind of leave out that hundreds (if not thousands) of players who know they will never sniff pro football get their education paid for and have a damn good time doing it. 


For better or worse, the even ‘broken’ system provides a better life for countless students and future life goals. 

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