Tuesday, September 23, 2014


Column: Odds against college parity


The NFL doesn’t rig the system to return the top and bottom teams toward the middle out of kindness. The shifting of the schedule difficulty from year to year based on teams’ performances, the salary cap, the order of the draft used in all sports all bring about parity.

Why the desire for parity? TV ratings. Parity means so many games go down to the wire, which means TV sets stay tuned to the channel, which means ratings soar, which means the cost of commercial time keeps rising.

I fear college football’s money potential could lead to a ratings-driven parity system. Although that would benefit Kansas, I’m not in favor of it.

Coaches recruit college football players, they don’t draft them in inverse order of the previous year’s finish. So scratch that. The Big 12 schedule stays the same every year, so that parity driver is out of the question.

I fear that when TV reaches the point that it runs college sports the way it does the professional leagues, everything changes.

Golf tournaments have gross and net standings. Football could adopt a system that blends the two. First, TV executives would need to convince the NCAA that instead of running from gambling, embrace it. Allow tout sheets to advertise on telecasts, billboards, scoreboards, even uniforms.

Next, award two victories and two losses for each game. One point goes to the team that wins outright, the other to the team that wins vs. the betting line. To prevent ties, award a half-point to the underdog in games for which the spread is a whole number.

The system still favors the better teams, but not by as much.

To picture it, consider that Texas is a 14-point favorite Saturday in Memorial Stadium vs. Kansas. Based on the rule that gives the underdog the half point, if Texas were to win the game 28-14, the Longhorns would get the point for outright winner, the Jayhawks the betting-line point. They both would be 1-1 in the Big 12 standings after one game.

Let’s say Kansas fell behind 28-0 early. Viewers would stay tuned to the game because the second chance at a victory would remain in play because the deficit actually wouldn’t be 28 points, rather 13.5 points. More viewers means higher commercial rates means more money.


Stephen Simmons 8 years, 2 months ago

Possibly the dumbest idea ever. Congrats.

Jerry Walker 8 years, 2 months ago

The man is simply bizarre and KU deserves better.

Kevin Kelly 8 years, 2 months ago

Someone in the editing staff has given you permission to be a complete troll. That is the only plausible explanation of this nonsense outside the use of horse tranquilizers.

Ian Ballinger 8 years, 2 months ago

Is it April 1st already? This is a joke, right?

John Boyle 8 years, 2 months ago


That is the last thing we need in college sports!

Keegan, walk away from the kool aid. Get a nice drink of water and then go to the mic and announce your retirement already.

Doug Cramer 8 years, 2 months ago

Cmon guys - I like to give Tom crap as much as anyone else...but we don't have to be so hateful about it. It's just an article.

Brad Sherp 8 years, 2 months ago

I want parity. I think the pendulum should go the opposite direction. I think that every recruit should be assigned a point value, and instead of a salary cap, there should be a point cap. It is not fair for Alabama to have 17 four-star recruits, and have teams like KU only getting 1. If there was a point cap, it would force talented players to look at upcoming schools, because there may not be a spot at their first choice.

An bonus side affect would be that some of the top rated recruits coming out of high school may actually see the field during their collegiate careers rather than never seeing the field. Tom Brady, for example, was a back-up at Michigan. He might have been a 4-year starter somewhere else.

Lucas Town 8 years, 2 months ago

That is the CHOICE that these players must make. Schools everywhere recruit players from all over the country because they either sell their program, or the kid fits the style of the team and could see playing time right away. There are so many reasons why recruits choose where to go to school. This is a useless article because you cannot take away a kids choice. Why isn't it fair for Alabama or any other school that gets the best players each year? KU can go and recruit those same kids Alabama does. KU can have the same contact and offer the same scholarship. Once KU gets some consistency to their staff and recruiting and start winning more games we will be more attractive to top recruits.

Let's put the shoe on the other foot and if this happened in basketball what would it mean for KU?

Dirk Medema 8 years, 2 months ago

It is a choice up to a point. The OU QB who was at TT last year is an example of how it isn't always a choice. He wanted to go to another Uni out of HS, but got an offer rescinded if I recall correctly. Same thing for Shaw and Joe Mortensen. There were initial offers to go elsewhere, but when NU or whomevers scholi quota is met, there is no more choice. Brad's idea just means that all scholi's are no longer equal. You no longer have 25 per year and 85 total, but instead have say 75 and 255, but a 5* is now worth 5 scholi's, etc.

As for KU BB, it would mean that Bill would win with less accomplished players that he has developed over 4 years, and maybe fewer transfers.

Carter Patterson 8 years, 2 months ago

Thanks Tom. It will never happen.

If parity though is what we are after, allow the teams that suck to add 5 scholarships to their roster.

Bob Bailey 8 years, 2 months ago

How about the bottom gets 5, next gets 4, for the bottom 5 teams?

Gary McCullough 8 years, 2 months ago

Affiliating betting with college football invites organized crime to incentivize these unpaid scholar-athletes toward point shaving. You really need to edit your ideas before you put them on paper, Tom. Are you the guy that says what ever comes to mind before thinking how it will be perceived by others?

Dirk Medema 8 years, 2 months ago

The comparison to NFL that wasn't considered in the article, future schedules, is very doable - especially as we move to a Big 5 conference/tourney format. The non-con games would involve the teams from the other conferences. SEC #1 plays Big11 #1, Big12 #1, Pac12 #1. SEC #2 plays Big11 #2, Big12 #2, ACC12 #2. Etc.

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