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It IS A Problem, Right?

Imagine being a sportswriter at Monday night’s National Championship, struggling to come up with a unique angle to Georgia’s dismantling of Texas Christian in front of a national audience.

There’s really only one angle, and that’s Georgia is now the premier college football program in the country? Right?

I’m not here to argue that point, but what I took away Monday night is just how wide the talent gap is between the haves and the have-nots. In case it wasn’t clear to us before, it should be clear now — nobody beats the top programs in the country except for themselves.

Immediately after kickoff on Monday night, Texas Christian looked outmatched. The Horned Frogs were too slow, too weak and not talented enough. Georgia was too much for them in every phase of the game.

And that’s frustrating, because Texas Christian carried more than the Hypnotoad banner into that game. They were representing the little guy.

As a fan of a “little guy” program, Monday’s debacle was hard to watch. It cemented just how much better the creme de la creme really are. The Dawgs did whatever, whenever to whoever, and the only team capable of holding them back wore red, black and grey.

Where does the sport go from here? Georgia is likely the odds-on favorite to repeat next season as national champs, and at worst they’ve probably got a better than 50 percent chance to make the College Football Playoff. The Dawgs are going nowhere.

But what about the TCU’s of the sport? Is all they can ever really hope for is a CFP appearance in which they lose by double digits to a blue blood program? Is that the pinnacle of college football for those who have less?

Sure, expanding the playoff brings more teams in to experience the fun of getting beat down by cadres of blue-chip players, but is that all that remains for a program like TCU? Can the most the average program ever hope for is a playoff appearance?

None of the sport’s recent changes have benefitted middle-of-the-road programs. Name, Image and Likeness deals allow wealthy and dedicated donors to pony up oodles of cash for future NFL draft picks. The average program is allowed to participate too, but anyone paying attention knows that most programs aren’t ever going to keep pace with the sport’s blue bloods when it comes to bags of cash NIL deals.

The transfer portal allows the elite programs to use everyone else as their farm team. Heck, the only consistently productive player on Virginia Tech’s offense in 2022 was poached by the Fighting Irish. Notre Dame also poached the best quarterback in Wake Forest history, locking him in before the Demon Deacs even finished their season.

Don’t get me wrong — I’m going to watch all the college football I can next year, the year after and probably for the rest of my life. Chances are that you will too. And therein lies the core problem.

DullesDistrict founder and Wise Young Man Dave Scarangella often advises me to prescribe a solution to the problem I’m addressing in my columns. Doing so would make sense, but I can’t for the life of me figure out what that solution or the solutions are.

College football is ruled by the elites. They make the rules that everyone is supposed to play by, and even still they’ll cheat. This is reality.

What is an average program, say a large state institution nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, supposed to do? That’s the problem facing college football.

It is a problem, right?

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Sunday, 29 January 2023

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Ricky LaBlue

Ricky LaBlue

A longtime sports fanatic, Ricky is now channeling that passion into the world of sports media. Meet Ricky LaBlue.

Stephen Newman

Stephen Newman

The only things he loves more than following Virginia Tech and Washington sports teams are dogs. Meet Stephen Newman.

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