Where, oh where, is college football’s Bud Selig?

I thought that Frank Deford was the only person capable of writing a column dumb enough to piss me off, but I’m a big enough man to admit when I’m wrong.

Pete Thamel, I was wrong.  Really, really wrong.

No one is in charge.

For all the billions of dollars, millions of fans and boundless passion that surround college football, that has always been its glaring and bizarre flaw. No one is looking out for the greater good of the game. No one is guiding the sport toward long-term prosperity and short-term sensibility. No one is building consensus and channeling all of the ratings, financial success and popularity toward an outcome that is positive for everyone in the sport.

And with the conference plate tectonics poised to shift with Texas A&M’s possible move to the Southeastern Conference, the college sports world finds itself, yet again, panicking about a major paradigm change.

Imagine if the Kansas City Chiefs could cause upheaval in the N.F.L. or the Baltimore Orioles could force a major realignment in Major League Baseball…

Argh.  How ’bout this one?  Imagine if college football shut down half its regular season, its postseason and its national title game because a bunch of rich people couldn’t get their collective heads out of their asses long enough to look out for the greater good of the game.  That, my friends, was the 1994 baseball “season”.

Fortunately, those commissioner-led jokers were bailed out by the fans.  Just like the NFL is after its latest lockout, and just like the NBA will be after its current shutdown is settled.  It’s what we do.  Call it battered fan syndrome, if you like.  In any event, from a damage standpoint, the waltz that Texas A&M and the SEC are now dancing pales in comparison to shuttering a sporting season.

… And once again, it is painfully obvious that no one is looking out for what is best for all of college sports. And for all of college football’s success and prosperity, that has many people wondering whether the sport is really headed in the right direction.

Thamel doesn’t say what the right direction is, but I gather for starters the gist of it would be that a real boss of the sport would prevent TAMU from leaving the Big 12 and stop Mike Slive from expanding his conference.  From where I sit, that would mean Thamel’s ruler of college ball would be looking at an antitrust suit or two (something Bud Selig conveniently never has to worry about, by the way) right off the bat.  Considering the criticism which gets lobbed at the sport because of the BCS, how ironic is that?


UPDATE:  On the other hand, Tony Barnhart thinks Thamel is on to something with this.


Filed under College Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

10 responses to “Where, oh where, is college football’s Bud Selig?

  1. +1000 – Senator, outstanding analysis as usual.


  2. Hogbody Spradlin

    That column is just so wrong, it’s hard to know where to start. When did Pete Thamel come to the realization that lack of a commissioner is college football’s glaring flaw? As you point out, are pro sports better because they have commissioners? Isn’t college football still at some level a game between two schools who put teams together and go play? How could a commissioner do a better job, than the SEC has for a decade or so, of putting winners on the field and money in the coffers? I already know that answer; he’ll do it by taking from the strong to subsidize the weak.

    New Yorkers think somebody has to control everything. Everything would be great if we’d just listen to them.


  3. Irishdawg

    Frank DeFord is the only sports columnist that makes you angry? What about Peter King’s weekly brand of brain flatulence? Or Rick Reilly’s unique style of corny sanctimony? You probably don’t read Bill Simmons, because if you did, it would piss you off. Bill Simmons’s writing would piss Ghandi off.


  4. WarD Eagle

    Let me get all biblical here…

    1 Samuel 8:11-18

    He said, “This is what the king who will reign over you will claim as his rights: He will take your sons and make them serve with his chariots and horses, and they will run in front of his chariots. Some he will assign to be commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and others to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and still others to make weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive groves and give them to his attendants. He will take a tenth of your grain and of your vintage and give it to his officials and attendants. Your male and female servants and the best of your cattle[c] and donkeys he will take for his own use. He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his slaves. When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, but the LORD will not answer you in that day.”


  5. Irishdawg

    “You left out Mitch Albom.

    There’s a difference between irritation and genuine anger.”

    He doesn’t inspire anger so much as murderous rage.


  6. Cojones

    Reading this detritus is depressing and makes me feel as if I’m walking in peanut butter.

    Now we have Barnhart going back to an April epistle where he outlines 5 “things” to accomplish…..like he is Nostradamus and no one else counts.

    The problem in college football and other college sports are the media writer’s hyperbole and sensationalism. This is the point where events start and crap is added. I propose that we (the fans) push for
    a Media Czar overseeing a Commissioner of College Football Writers.
    Break it into two divisions, The Martinets and The Hacks. Then they can fight out all the crud they hatch up and leave us and our Universities alone. These pompous egotists of no responsibility are what’s hurting our sport and our joy.

    Leave us the hell alone. We can conjure up more misery for ourselves than any of the opinionated media idiots can. Just read the blogs where words like “aghast”, “worried”, “Unnerved”, “sad”, “mortified” and other soul-wrinching, hands-wringing words are used by fans to describe their feelings and the season hasn’t even begun. Piling on by media deserves a red flag.


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