What if the results of this year are so gut wrenching, we stop watching?
And by results, that means a repeat of last year’s national collective moan when Alabama and LSU played in the National Championship. We all understood it. Those were clearly the best two teams, so we put up with the fact that they were from the same division of the same conference. But what if that happens again? Will college football fans watch? And will they return to watch ever again?
Thanks to USC, this season has now aligned itself for what seems like a very real possibility that we could see a repeat. There is no arguing, Alabama clearly looks like the best team in the nation. LSU does look like the number two, but that’s just the problem we faced last year. Looking at Alabama’s schedule, who can they lose to? Until the SEC Championship, Bama will play no one except LSU. And looking at LSU, they play no one except Bama, maybe they could stumble on Florida or South Carolina. But that’s the idea, they would have to stumble. And if their matchup is close, the loser could foreseeably not drop below 2. Why? In the minds of voters, no one is close to these two.
Here’s the real issue. It’s all perception. It looks like Bama and LSU are so dominate — they probably are — but also the rest of the country doesn’t just look close behind, they look weak. Weakness is part of perception. There’s also the perception that the SEC is head and shoulders above every conference and Bama and LSU are perceived to be so much better than the rest of the best conference. Again, that fact may be true, but it’s hard to really know how good the SEC is, especially when teams like Ole Miss get embarrassed by Texas, Kentucky loses to it’s in-state little sister, Louisiana-Monroe beats Arkansas and almost beats Auburn. I digress. The point is, the only way for balance to be brought back into college football is if we see the number one team play the best team not from their conference. The point of the BCS wasn’t only to pit 1 and 2, it was to pit together the best teams from around the country that wouldn’t normally play.
But in order for that to happen, one of the two best teams is going to have to lose bad. And when the best teams lose, there has to be good teams that step up. In a year where the Big 10 is losing the way it is (Bama destroyed what seems like the Big 10’s best team), and teams are losing to FCS schools, it’s hard to see that happening.
When there aren’t good teams to step up and fill the void, the whole sport looks weak and awful. And when that happens say goodbye to fans.
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