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Saturday, March 25, 2023

College football fans trapped in a love/hate relationship

College football’s bowl season is almost upon us, and my emotions are mixed to say the least.

On one hand, I love sports of all kinds and watch pretty much any and all “big games.” No matter the league. College or pro.

On the other hand, I hate the way college football is run.

I’m in an abusive relationship, and I don’t know how to get out.

I don’t want to show my support for a system broken beyond repair by watching all the conference championship games and bowl games over the next month, but as an avid sports fan, I don’t know how NOT to watch.

I’d only be kidding the readers and myself if I swore not to tune in to any of the postseason games in protest, but I wish I could do something to show how upset I am about the way things work.

Wednesday, I found out that Cam Newton was ruled eligible to play Saturday before I ever found out that he was ruled ineligible by Auburn and the NCAA earlier this week. Newton gets to play, even though he was found in violation of college football’s amateurism rule because his dad shopped him to Mississippi State like a sleazy used car salesman for as much as $200,000. Georgia receiver A.J. Green was suspended for four games for selling his own jersey for $1,000.

I hate college football.

TCU just announced it will be joining the Big East in 2012, despite obvious geographical incongruities. The Big Ten has had 11 teams since 1990 and will add another next season. The Pac-10 will have 12 teams next year as well.

I hate college football.

Boise State isn’t legitimate because it plays the “little sisters of the poor” during its conference schedule (which it can’t change), but Ohio State is legit because it voluntarily schedules its own little sisters of the poor during the non-conference. Boise State likely will have beaten the Pac-10 and ACC champs in consecutive years. The Broncos have lost two games in the past three seasons but once again won’t get a chance to compete for a national championship because their kicker missed a chip-shot field goal last weekend.

I hate college football.

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Multiple teams can finish the season undefeated. Instead of deciding who the best team is on the field, we are forced to eye test and argue. The same way we eye-tested and argued our way to preseason rankings of No. 3 and No. 4 for Florida and Texas before this season began.

I hate college football.

The Big East will get millions of dollars for its automatic bid to a BCS Bowl game, where a possible four-loss, unranked team will represent the conference. Nevada cost itself and its conference the same kind of money by notching its biggest win of the season and knocking Boise State out of a BCS berth.

I hate college football.

The 2005 Heisman Trophy is vacant. The 2010 Heisman Trophy may be vacated five years from now. We will never forget who actually won those awards. Vacating wins or trophies does nothing to deter breaking the rules.

I hate college football.

There will be 35 bowl games played between Dec. 18 and Jan. 10. I will watch nearly half of them and follow almost all of them.

I hate myself for letting my love of sports get the best of me.

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