A college football farm system would not be all bad

A formal demarcation between the 'haves' and 'have nots' in college football would not necessarily be bad for either level of the game.
Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

College football is changing so rapidly, predicting what will happen in the next five years is an impossible task. It feels as though fundamental change is inevitable. The NCAA is rapidly crumbling into an entity that may have little or no purpose in overseeing college football.

Transfer Portal frenzy and a rule-less NIL environment have driven the change. The powerful current pushing both has been and will continue to be money. Making other issues subservient, big-time college football has become such a valuable entertainment commodity that money rules.

That money rules situation does not work for very program. Power struggles are and will continue to be won by the 30-50 most prosperous programs in college football. All the others scramble to survive.

Ross Dellenger explained it well a few days ago, writing "programs in the Group of Five are now struggling to compete with their bigger brothers in compensating players. Power Five programs, equipped with on average five times more NIL cash, are outbidding Group of Five schools to take their best players, pillaging rosters of returning all-conference athletes and transforming FBS football’s lower subdivision into a veritable minor league."

Liberty head coach Jamey Chadwell correctly labelled Group of Five programs as a "Farm System."

If a split of the current FBS is inevitable it might result in a better situation for programs at each level. Very few Group of Five programs can prosper in the current environment. Southern Miss head coach Will Hall explained his job now has little time for actual coaching.

"I do zero football anymore. Zero football in my life right now. I do culture and recruiting.

Most of my day is spent all across the southern United States raising money for NIL."

Will Hall

And for a Group of Five program, any money raised is never close to being enough to protect a roster from damaging attrition.

Instead of playing a money game, Group of Five programs are destined to lose and moving into a separate division could actually help. Rather than fighting for crumbs at the CFB Playoff table, a lower division of what is now the FBS could stage a separate Playoff and play for a different National Championship. Who knows maybe that lower level National Champion could be given the option to play up the following season, though standard promotion-relegation structures in other sports are a double-edged sword.

A complete split of college football taking the FBS into two separate divisions could benefit all.