Alabama Football: Big 12 Commish Bob Bowlsby has very bad idea

(Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images)
(Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images) /

Alabama Football: There are good ideas about needed changes for CFB and one incredibly bad idea from Big 12 Commissioner, Bob Bowlsby.

If there is an award for the worst CFB idea for 2021, no one involved with Alabama Football has any chance of winning it. Big 12 Commissioner, Bob Bowlsby has the award locked down. His suggestion of a major change in college football recruiting is so outlandish, it has no chance of gaining traction.

It is tempting to ignore such nonsense. In this case, Alabama football fans might want to give it some notice. Though Bowlsby’s proposed change will never occur, the motivation behind it is real and growing.

That motivation is the rest of college football cannot abide being ruled by one program. The one program is the Alabama Football Giant built by Nick Saban. Many college football voices have been raised to bemoan how one (or even a few) dominating programs damages college football. In this line of thinking, excellence diminishes value unless many teams have a chance to excel.

The argument is not new and it is often fueled by self-serving individuals who believe claiming a championship is equal to actually winning one. Tennessee AD, formerly UCF AD, Danny White is a mouthpiece for such delusion.

The new buzzword is that college football needs ‘parity.’ Parity is not served by the last 24 National Championships being won by only 11 schools. The 24 goes back to the start of the BCS period and includes one season of shared Champions in 2003. Thirteen of the 24 Championships have been won by SEC teams. The other conferences’ teams, coaches and fans hate the SEC’s dominance. What makes them bat-crap crazy is the fact Alabama Football has won six in the last 12 seasons.

The parity argument is couched in a broader claim clouding the jealousy of Alabama Football. The nuanced argument is ‘brands’ suffer when a team like the Crimson Tide dominates. The brands are the other college football programs and a bigger brand; the CFB game itself.

That is where Bowlsby jumps in. To protect the ‘CFB Brand’ the Big 12 Commish has a solution.

"If you win the Super Bowl, you have a low draft choice. So maybe in the college environment you have fewer than 25 to distribute the talent, so the rich aren’t rich all the time and the poor have a chance to build their programs up. It’s time to think differently about how the enterprise is managed."

The keyword used by Bowlsby is ‘enterprise.’ As in, forced parity would lead to higher market value for more teams. College football at most of the Power Fives is ‘big business.’ The Power Five conferences and Notre Dame are highly valued through media deals. The money is massive.

Enforcing parity has worked in professional sports. The values of professional teams are gigantic. If college football programs were actual businesses, decisions would be made on the basis of maximizing revenue.

But college sports programs are not businesses. If they were, a majority of them would be insolvent. The most significant result in increasing ‘value’ through parity would be to make it harder for Alabama Football to dominate. Other programs and other conferences should channel that jealousy into trying to match the Crimson Tide’s level of achievement.

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Some in the Pac 12 see Bowlsby as a good replacement for Larry Scott. His ‘competition-shackling’ parity plan should appeal to the Pac’s ADs.