The NCAA’s wallet will be skinnier as a result of its silly punishment of Ohio State football.
When the NCAA slapped the Buckeyes with a one-year postseason suspension, it likely didn’t expect them to bounce back so quickly from a season in which they finished with a record of 6-7.
Well, they did—and this bowl season, the cash cow that is Ohio State is on the bench instead of making what could be millions more for the NCAA.
All over some freaking tattoos. Good call, Pharisees.
According to a study done by Nate Silver of the New York Times last year, the Buckeyes are the most popular team in college football.
Check out the chart.
|1||Ohio State||Big Ten||3,167,263|
|3||Penn State||Big Ten||2,642,275|
|6||Texas A&M||Big 12||2,030,188|
Imagine the revenue an Ohio State-Notre Dame national title game would generate. According to Silver, the Buckeyes have well over a million more fans than Alabama. Inserting them into the BCS championship would create a large enough ratings boost to make the NCAA regret their suspension.
Let’s make the association sweat a little more.
Imagine that Ohio State wouldn’t have received a bid to the BCS title, but instead the Rose Bowl for claiming the Big Ten crown. In that scenario, as opposed to unranked Wisconsin—who had a fanbase of approximately 1,441,955 people, which is literally less than half the size of Ohio State's, according to the New York Times—it would be the Buckeyes facing off against No. 6 Stanford.
Let’s even set aside the size of the fanbase for a moment.
Ohio State boasts one of the most exciting players in the nation in Braxton Miller running Urban Meyer's offense, which has been the most entertaining in college football over the past decade. Compare that to Wisconsin’s pro-style attack, which runs the ball more than twice as often as it passes, and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to determine which team provides superior entertainment value.
Excitement sells, and the NCAA shot itself in the foot—and wallet—by keeping the Buckeyes on their couches this January.
David Daniels is a featured columnist at Bleacher Report and a syndicated writer.