Logo for the DFR Audible post categoryCalling All Patsies

Well, that didn’t take long.

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P.J. Fleck: Take the money and run

As (sort of) an addendum to the recent post about how the so-called “Group of Five” should just tell the “Power 5” schools to take a hike…there have been some interesting developments along that line.

One of those developments is the now ex-coach of the recently shafted Western Michigan Broncos, P.J. Fleck, taking the same position at Minnesota. Fleck’s move will, without a doubt, enhance his bank account considerably. It should also remove any further doubts about the fact that the peon schools in the college football pecking order have no chance to ever really break through into the upper echelon. If any “small” school ever finds the coach who can recruit the best athletes, and who can coach them up to major power standards, they can rest assured that their would be Rockne will be bolting to (literally) greener pastures as soon as a member of the cartel–or even a hanger-on like the Golden Gophers–can open a checkbook and make a phone call.

And that’s how you rig a sport, folks. You don’t need to shave points or bribe the ref; just set the parameters of the playing field–in this case, “playing field”–to make sure that no one gets a chance to win but you.

Wait till next year, right WMU Broncos? Oh, right–you don’t get to have a next year.

Let me pause for an aside: the link above to the Fleck story comes from ESPN’s NCAA football home page, which is so heavily buried in championship game propaganda that I had to scroll so far down to find that story that I thought I was going to develop carpal tunnel syndrome from the repetitive motion. That kind of corporate support–if you can call such a panzer blitz mere “support”–is yet another dimension to how the game can be rigged.

On to the other development: apparently, some of those very “Group of Five” schools–or at least their administrators–are starting to wise up to the fact that they’re not really welcome at the popular boys’ party. In an interesting echo of my suggestion from that previous post, some “Group of Five” movers are starting to seriously think about creating their own national championship.

I know–it’s always shocking when sanity starts to rear its ugly head out there in the real world, but these guys are only saying what others (ahem) are thinking. The only oddity about it is that those proposing such a “G5 playoff” do not seem to have yet taken the next logical step and decided to punt the rest of Div I and strike out on their own. I don’t see how a playoff plan would work without the “mid-major” schools forming their own division; if they remain in FBS but put together their own tournament, it would indeed be–as one satrap quoted in the linked article put it–like they were staging a “junior varsity championship.”

You’re on the right track, guys. Be bold, set your own course, and leave the snobs to their country club. You’ll find it’s probably a lot more fun out here anyway. And if you do good enough, they’ll probably still let you into their club eventually. Just ask P.J. Fleck.


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