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THIS is WHAT’S WRONG with MAJOR COLLEGE FOOTBALL! AKRON is in DIVISION I (FBS) but has NO CHANCE to win the NATIONAL TITLE!

This is a fascinating article at Grantland on the University of Akron football program and its name coach, Terry Bowden.  I draw your attention to these few points about schools like Akron and conferences like the Mid-American Conference cannot realistically contend for the national title in Division I.

And yet if a MAC team — say, Bowling Green — were to beat a Big Ten school andgo undefeated, virtually no one outside the Toledo metropolitan area would consider Bowling Green worthy of a BCS berth, let alone a shot at the national championship.

There is no conceivable way for a MAC team to win a national title in college football’s current structure, and with the rise of the superconference and the growing potential of a four-team playoff (perhaps comprised of major conference champions), that doesn’t seem likely to change anytime soon. It is difficult to think of any group of teams, in any American sport, that begins each season without clinging to even the slimmest possibility of winning a national championship. Which begs the question: What is the purpose of “mid-major” football supposed to be? Is it enough to subsist in the gray area between small-time and big-time, or do these schools eventually have to choose a direction?

Will the BCS or the NCAA fix this?  Never.

What should a school like Akron want, in this day and age? If football is the window to the university, should that window be as large as possible, even if there are the inevitable compromises that come along with upsizing, even if it’s possible you might spend millions to gain access to the BCS power structure and never fully arrive? Or is a Tuesday night in October enough of a porthole on its own?

No one involved in sports should endorse or continue this apartheid like situation.  If you support this, you probably root for the men’s Olympic basketball team, too (I’m still rooting for Puerto Rico and encourage those who want to support the Olympic team to designate their gifts to such sports as fencing or curling!)  It’s outrageous.  Don’t hold your breath but you can contact your college president and ask him/her to find a way to stop this inequality.

About Elwood Sanders

Elwood “Sandy” Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia’s first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)

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