Sat, Dec 20, 2014 22:02
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Football Rules Universities' Economic Fate
Football Rules Universities' Economic Fate | Football, universities, Big 12, economic fate, american football positions, Baylor, University of Texas, TAMU, Texas A&M, Texas Tech,

American Football Positions
             The biggest story this week is the possible breakup of the Big 12.  It of course, revolves around football and the accompanying television contracts and bowl bids.  Don’t talk to me about basketball, track, tennis, soccer or the various others.  American College Football is Zeus, head of the not only the other sports gods, but the universities which have become mere playthings of football.   Like Zeus, football is more powerful than any other sport or even all the other sports combined. Football mere nods its head with the lacing brows, and all of university life is shaken.  As Homer wrote of Zeus, “nothing can be revoked or said in vain nor unfulfilled” if football but nods its head.

I find myself in the huge set of folk who are contained in a paradox:  I believe that the role of college football conflicts with the role of universities, but despite that, I love college football.  I also acknowledge the real marketing clout a successful football team brings a college and the even bigger clout the revenues that pour in from broadcast contracts. 

As a disclaimer, I quickly acknowledge those universities without football programs that market themselves as closer to the true aim of a university. I also point out that most of those universities don’t enjoy either the recognition, or the scales of economy that create world class science and arts colleges.

In several reports, Baylor women’s basketball coach Kim Mulke complained this was all about “greed.”  Well, of course it’s about greed.  I know Mulke knows about greed because I see greed for a win in her face and every expression and gesture in every game she coaches.

Greed, or profit-motive, is a special kind of desire that keeps an entity in a market constantly acting and reacting in an attempt to stay alive and grow more. Football has developed over the decades and overthrown the Titans of Academia.  It has grabbed hold of the state.   Do you remember the days back when university presidents had more power than football coaches?  That’s the time of the Titans. 

We’ve all seen the dire predictions of economic impact throughout the state if the Texas, Texas A&M and Texas Tech go to the PAC-10.  The surprise and speed of these moves, evidently long planned behind the scenes, can’t be denied.  You see some politicians actively working to block the Texas exit from the Big 12, and you see some, like the governor, actively ignoring the tempest.

When you have a market stage like the Big 12, teams like Baylor considered themselves lucky they weren’t the odd man out as TCU and SMU were when the Southwest Conference blew apart.  It was like gods being thrown out of Olympus to become provincial and rural deities. TCU, of course, has made its football labors much like Hercules, and still must labor on. 

Now we all try to keep our balance as Football nods its head.  Will the Big 12 totally disintegrate, or will a new television deal hold it together? Now we watch to see who is thrown from the new market as a new Olympus beckons.