As the Clemson Football season winds down, I figured I would go ahead and get a jump start with writing about some of the larger “big picture” issues over the coming months of the offseason- everything from NIL, to expanded playoffs, and what to do to make college football better. I’m starting today with a more minor topic. It’s a phrase that has seemingly grown in its usage over the past few years:
“(new change) is killing College Football.”
Scroll through any social media site, recruiting message board, or listen to your favorite talk show and you won’t have to look far to hear that sentiment coming from any area of the College Football lexicon. It could be the NIL currently, the structure of the transfer portal, the 12-team playoff, Nick Saban (at one point), or any other litany of college football’s unique nuances that will bring the impending doom of the sport.
This isn’t an article coming down on the fans that say that. Quite the contrary. I completely understand what might be going through the average fan’s mind when the sport is going through roughly 50-70 years of change in a span of 3 years. It can cause a lot of worry about the sport’s longevity with some growing founded evidence that some of the current policies are lacking (to say the least).
Still, this is where the crux of several of my arguments come to a point. Several of these changes were necessary but should have been done decades ago. I won’t do a deep dive in this article on each individual topic, but even something as trivial as a 12 team (or more) playoff could have been figured out, added in place, and had several iterations finished by now. Despite this, the illusion of bowls being better financial options won out, kicking the can further down the road until something had (and still has) to be done.
College Football isn’t dying, or at least it won’t be anytime soon.
It still holds a unique romanticism that no professional sport can match. Yes, your city might rally together everyone when the Cowboys or Steelers or (I hate this name so much) the Commanders put together a Super Bowl run. But there’s nothing that gets an entire community, section of a state, or blue-collar fan base in parts of the Southeast, Midwest and other parts of either coast more enthralled than with the non-stop action soap opera that is College Football.
Does the transfer portal need change still? Absolutely. But I can guarantee you snicker and sneer at every team you don’t like when they have a portal defection.
Is the current NIL structure feasible? Heck no. But message boards are ablaze when a disgruntled player leaves his current team for the greener pastures of financial promise.
College football isn’t dying, and Clemson Football will adapt as the landscape shifts and adjusts
The whole point is that College Football is still very much alive. Change will inevitably come to things regarding issues hampering the programs and players of today. But I think as time goes on, with the proper evolution of the sport, the storylines and “must see” nature of the sport could actually still grow.
Remember in the mid to late 2000’s when some argued that up tempo offenses would “ruin the sport?” Now, I’d be willing to bet everyone wants an up-tempo offense of some sort.
College Football is in a transitional phase right now, breaking ground on several hot button issues all at once that make most people wonder what’s next. I would be willing to bet that over the course of the next decade you will see some helpful tweaks, some adjustments on thoughts about scheduling and postseason, and eventually the rise and true renaissance of College Football.
Whatever happens, it ain’t dead. That’s for sure.