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,Bill Sayer

College football change proves it's about the money

By - Last modified: June 29, 2012 at 1:39 PM

Until now, it’s sometimes been difficult to know which is really the best college football team in the country. What made college presidents change their minds finally? Money, of course.

Previously, the national championship was determined by one game, played by two teams selected by a complex computer poll. No one liked this. There were always what-if scenarios involving teams left outside the top two. Fans regularly screamed for a playoff scenario that would involve a final showdown.

This national championship game was played in the same city as one of the other four major bowl games. The national championship would rotate between Los Angeles, New Orleans, Orlando and Tempe, Ariz.

College presidents consistently defended the postseason system against all claims and comers. This was the best system, they claimed. Until more money came along.

Now it appears the winners of the final two games will play in one final championship game. The college officials in charge didn’t listen to the fans at all — they found a solution that makes them more money.

Now the national championship game will be played in the highest bidding city. This is completely new revenue for them, on the most important game.

Officials aren’t interested in conceding to fan requests. This is clear in how the final teams will be selected by a committee, something even less clear and fair than a published mathematical formula.

Already, Dallas, Orlando, Tampa and Jacksonville, Fla., have announced their intention to bid for the game. Estimates put the total benefit to the NCAA as high as $500 million in additional revenue.

This is, undoubtedly, great news for NCAA football fans. But if anyone thinks commissioners made this to improve the game and the system, they’re wrong. They’ve shown they’re willing to change if there’s a financial benefit, but not more than they have to.

Questions will still remain about who should be in the final four. That will probably get resolved when they expand this to an eight- or 16-team playoff. That is sure to happen for the same reason they made this change — it will mean more money.

Bill Sayer is a financial analyst in the insurance industry and holds a degree in economics. A native of Upstate New York, Bill enjoys watching college football, the NFL, NHL and Premier League soccer from his home in Palmyra. Have a suggestion, link or question?

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