Saturday, September 16, 2006

Hail and Hart-y

Congratulations Champions of the West, the University of Michigan. They beat Notre Dame today 47-21. They were ranked 11 with ND ranked 2 by the same polling organization. This is also one of the few road openers Michigan has won in recent memory, something like six years. Last year, Michigan's starting running back, Mike Hart, was injured for last year's contest. This year, however, he managed over 200 yards rushing, for the fifth time in his career.

Nebraska is playing the University of Southern California right now. Nebraska's ranked 19th and USC 4th. The Cornhuskers probably won't win, but the exposure is good for them, especially in California, which is the home state of twenty of their scholarship players right now.

Going back to the economics of college football, this is how the rich get richer. The Big XII athletic conference will get money from the network for their member institution playing on national television. The Huskers get a share of this money. They can then use this money to pay weaker schools to play them. This gives them wins which gets them into a post-season bowl game, the money of which also goes to the conference, with even more exposure. They also use this money, with the money from rich alumni who like winners, to improve their facilities which in turn impresses talented recruits who attend and help to win more games perpetuating the cycle.

It is tougher for the smaller schools to compete in such an environment, but they get to use the monies paid them to also improve their facilities to help recruiting. There is a trickle down effect, but as George Gibson's father likes to say, "That is exactly what it is, a trickle."



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