Parity in College Athletics
I saw a friend’s Facebook status that read:
“Parity exists in college athletics. VCU and Butler are living proof!”
I thought this was a very interesting comment because it is true that there is parity in the 2011 NCAA Basketball Tournament with VCU (11 seed) and Butler (8 seed) fighting their way to the Final Four. Not to mention that these two teams will play each other, which guarantees a mid-major will be punching their ticket to the championship game. The path these teams have taken to the Final Four and the ensuing end result has caused some people to become disinterested. I have chosen to take the contrarian view and as a result have found this scenario refreshing due to the sports world being dominated over the last several years by the same few teams. I do not mean the same teams win championships every year, but that there are teams who are “automatic contenders” every year. Think Yankees, Red Sox, Patriots, Lakers…..you get the idea.
This is where I think my friend’s comment becomes really interesting. The triumphant run by an underdog like VCU is something unique to the Big Dance. You will not see this underdog scenario playing out on this scale in NCAA football because the BCS system crushes the possibility from ever happening. I find it shocking that the executives at the NCAA can watch the last two NCAA basketball tournaments and not consider how this system might transfer to football. Imagine Boise State actually getting a shot at Auburn. But I think the reality is, fans like to see the “usual suspects” in contention every year and thus the NCAA does not want to risk losing ratings with a mid-major in the championship game for both of its marquee sports. If anything, VCU and Butler are confirming their decision to keep the BCS in place and we only have ourselves to blame.