If you want to make it big in radio, television, or print media, load up a massive stockpile of platitudes and cynical poses and be ready to fire them out into the culture on a daily scehdule via the mechanism of heavy distribution.
Dan LeBatard is one of these personalities in the sporting culture. He’s always ready with the easy answers, sitting behind the microphone with no responsibility beyond getting people to listen, second guessing and undermining decisions others make under intense scrutiny and with high stakes laid down on the table. But, in the case of the Ohio State Buckeyes and the College Football Playoff, LeBatard has raised a worthy point.
The Buckeyes are fourth in the latest CFP rankings—meaning they’re in—despite having only five wins in five games, approximately half the amount of games played by every other league in America (except the Pac-12). Ohio State may not even play in their league’s own championship game unless a special exemption is made, and that’s what everybody has been talking about, a special exemption for Ohio State.
LeBatard laid into the zeitgeist.
“I find it pretty amusing that we are in a position where we are basically going to put Ohio State —no matter how it is that we do this —in the Final Four because we simply thought before the season started, that they should be in the Final Four. Because all of us know, without any games played, they’re probably one of the best teams in the country,” said Le Batard.
The radio host laid into the cynicism of the college football post-season, noting that corporate moneymen own the sport to such an extent that they’ll do everything they can to put the most profitable big-school teams into the Final Four no matter how weak their case, how strong the case made by lesser programs, and how obvious it is to everyone paying attention.
The moneymen do it because they know, no matter what, more people will watch the big schools than the small, no matter how illegitimate it all seems. LeBatard continued his rant.
We basically don’t have to play these games. This is such a made-for-television sham, all of it. Get the money, no matter how you get it. Whether it’s through the Heisman Trophy or playing these games, it’s just all about ‘How do we get to the final finish line where the money is?’ It doesn’t matter if Ohio State plays a single game. We’re gonna put them in the Final Four because we’re gonna get that bank.
For years it was obvious that the bowl games would put a winless Alabama Crimson Tide team against a winless Texas Longhorns team in the Sugar Bowl if they thought they could get away with it. But someone was smart enough to set a minimum win total at six. This year we may find out win totals don’t matter in the least, and that’s what many people have said all along.
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