Written By: Clutch Sports Talk
College football offers a tremendous amount of excitement, school pride, and pageantry. However, over the last 20 years, there has been a glaring problem in college football that no one seems to talk about. That problem is that there is no parity in college football.
The best teams in college football all hail from one region and therefore, college football has become very demographic to one specific area of the country. Just in the last 10 years, the Southeastern Conference and the Atlantic Coastal Conference have claimed the right to be called the national champions of college football. Recently, Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, and LSU have all made their claim and stake in winning a national championship. Of note, you can throw Ohio State in there as well, representing the Big Ten Conference. It has been almost over a decade since a team west of the Mississippi River has won a National Championship in college football. The University of Southern California was the last West coast team to ever win a national championship. Oregon had an opportunity of winning a National Championship but fell short, losing to Ohio State. Outside of Oregon, there have not been many teams from the Pac-12 or any other Western conferences to compete for a national championship.
So, why is the Southeastern part of the country so dominant in college football? A few things come to mind. One of them being it’s a lifestyle for those who live in southern states such as parts of Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida. Football is a religion and is taken very seriously throughout those communities. There is a different mindset when living in these areas and football takes precedent. In most households in the South, little boys are given a football before they are even able to speak their first words. So, growing up, all they know is football.
Another point of the topic is network TV. Conferences like the SEC and ACC all have a lucrative deal with ESPN and CBS. So, therefore, their games are played more on national TV versus other conferences such as the Pac-10, whose teams are rarely seen unless it’s one of the major teams such as Oregon University of Washington and the University of Southern California. With network TV deals, marketing also plays a factor. Now, a coach or recruiter can go into a young man’s home and tell that family that they can see their son play every Saturday on national television and gain more exposure. Also, let us be honest, most of the teams located in the Southeastern Conference do not have any professional sports teams to rival them in their respective cities. They literally have no other competition, and those communities support their teams 100%.
Recruitment also plays a big factor with boosters and rich alumni. Schools in the south have the ability to go and improve their school’s training facilities, stadiums, locker rooms, living areas, and overall just provide a better quality of life for their football players; And in doing so, they can land five-star recruits repeatedly. With deep pockets, schools from the south can pay coaches very handsomely at the tune of millions of dollars. Coaches like Nick Saban and Dabo Swinney make more than some National Football League coaches do. The Southeastern Conference has a blank check to spend an enormous amount of money at any point anywhere and anytime.
College football is not balanced, and the casual fan has no interest in watching teams from the west. They are more focused on bigger names such as Clemson, Alabama, LSU, and Georgia, etc. At one point, teams from the West besides USC were very big players in college football. Teams such as Colorado, Nebraska, University of Washington, and even Texas have all had success in years past winning National Championships. Today the college football landscape is most certainly different, and you can almost put a finger on who will be in the 4-team playoff. There are many that want to see the current college football playoff format be expanded to include more teams. However, it is just a ploy to add more teams from the Southeastern Conference. Because at the end of the day, we all know who is going to be in the championship title game. It will not be any team from the western region of this country.
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