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John, While I very much enjoy this website and the comments of you and the other folks at MrSec.com, this is one place with likely disagree and here is why. Most all of the FCS schools depend on the "money games" with the big schools to keep their programs afloat. I have been a season ticket holder and donor for the last 30 years or so at an FBS and FCS school. I used to attend 10-12 games at both the FCS and FBS levels (DI and DIA back then) and I now attend about 16 games a year (thanks to Thursday night FCS games) at both the FBS and FCs levels. Over that time, I have seen the interest level at FCS games dwindle and the interest at FBS schools go way up. It is my opinion that the primary reason for the decreased support of FCS schools has been television (along with the mutlitude of other entertainment options available today). Back in the "old days," there were only 1 or 2 games a day broadcast on TV (and the qualtiy of the broadcast paed in comparsion to those of today). As a result, at least in part, attendance, and overall interest was much better at the FCS schools than it is now.
All of which brings me to my point. Without the $500,000.00 paychecks the FCS schools get from playing the "money games," i believe a large number of the FCS schools will simply drop football. Excluding scholarship costs (which is funny money in part because the school pays the school for the scholarships), most of the FCS schools have football budgets in the range of $1 to $2 mil. Take away the $500k for the money games and the budgets do not work and football is dropped.
While one could argue that the demise of anumber of FCS level football programs would be the result of "football evolution" and that only the strong survive, I feel that such a viewpoint is myopic. A number of my family played football at the FCS level. A number of kids from my high school have done the same. Football paid for their education and a whole bunch of them went on to coach high school football. Without the football scholarship, quite a few of those guys would not have been able to go to college and would therefore not be able to teach and coach. Also, they would not have had the opportunity to play college football. Ending the "money games" in the name of better entertainement for the fans of the FBS schools and the viewer at home will, without a doubt, lead to fewer schools playing football, fewer players have the opportuinty to play, fewer people have an opportunity for a colege education and fewer qualifed guys avauilable to coach high school and middle school football.
I really wonder if each FBS school having one more "marquee" matchup per year is worth that price.
Finally, I always put my name at the end of every email because I believe if you have something to say, you should have the guts to put your real name behind it.
2 years ago on Big Ten Throws Down The Gauntlet: No More FCS Opponents
@10Vol85 Your points are well taken. No doubt there would be some risk to taking that approach. First in my mind is the risk that there would be no "system" on the field for determining the NC and would therefore be more subject to criticism than the BCS. And I certainly agree that conference strength is cyclical, although the SEC can make a very strong historical argument that it is the strongest. I guess my point is more related to the fact that I think Commissioner Slive firmly believes that any playoff should be with the best 4 teams, and while winning a conference championship is important, that by no stretch means you are one of the best 4 teams. And, the goal should be to put what are considered to be the best 4 teams in the playoff (admittedly somewhat subjective).
But, with the money/prestige/ratings/etc. that the new SEC-Big 12 game would command (especially with the two conference champions in it) together with the money the revised TV contracts and/or SEC network will command and the BCS era superiority of the SEC, Commissioner Slive will be in a position of power. IF this is what he is thinking (and I am certainly not privy to his thoughts) and IF the Big 12 stands firm with him, I think he is in an extremely strong negotiating position. So, while you may be entirely correct, I am of the opinion that IF (real big IF) Commissioner Slive is thinking what I think he is, it is not a bluff. I think he is dead serious that the top 4 model is the only acceptable model and because he "owns the bank," will be willing to role the dice...of course provided he has another conference to stand with him...and what better conference (performance wise) to stand with him that the Big 12. But, heck, I could be absolutely and totally wrong. Mike Pemberton. Rockwood, Tennessee.
2 years, 9 months ago on Did The SEC-Big 12 Bowl Announcement Backfire?
Somebody somewhere may have already mentioned this, but...I always thought that Commissioner Slive was in the catbird's seat for negogiation purposes and could possibly force ALL of the other conferences into accepting his "top 4" arrangement simply by saying, "boys, ya'll can do what you want, but unless it is the top 4, the SEC is not particpating." Such an approach would greatly water down both the prestige and the money derived from anything the rest of the conferences would do essentially because the 800 pound gorilla would not be participating. Now, that could certainly have some negative impact on the SEC if the others went ahead and an undefeated SEC (or 1 loss) champion was left playing some team outside of the coalition of the other conferences. Therefore, I always thought that Swafford and the ACC would stand with Slive and the SEC. But, when Swofford said what he said about conference champions, I thought my "guess" as to what Slive was thinking went down the tubes. Butm it is not wise to ever understimate Commissioner Slive . Then, the Big12-SEC alliance came to pass. I wonder what Delaney and Scott would have to market if Slive and Neihaus said "top 4 or else." Frankly, not much and if they do not agree to the "top 4", then the Big 12-SEC game might just have alot more to say about the national champion than the Rose Bowl could. Only thing that has to happen is that the SEC and the BIG 12 stay on the same page and present a unified front. If the others don't capitualte, then the SEC-Big 12 game will probably be the biggest of the post-season games, at least the majority of the time based upon recent, and some might argue long-term history. Mike Pemberton, Rockwood, Tennessee.
John, I could not agree more with your comment as to anonymous posting. It leads to people basically libeling and slandering other people and to me shows a fundamental lack of personal integrity on the part of the poster. With that said (and given your comments in the article), I would be very happy to see you restrict comments on this (outstanding) web site only to those who set forth their name and hometown on each post. Mike Pemberton, Rockwood, Tennessee
3 years, 1 month ago on Ex-UT A.D. Hamilton Says He Received Threats Before Stepping Down