True Parity In College Football Will Never Exist

ILuvCFballlContributor IJuly 24, 2009

TUSCALOOSA, AL - SEPTEMBER 6: James Moses #89 of the Oklahoma Sooners is tackled by Derrick Pope #6 and DeMeco Ryans #35 of the Alabama Crimson Tide on September 6, 2003 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Oklahoma defeated Alabama 20-13. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images).

In Bear Bryant's day, there were no limititations on scholarships, and he took every good player he could find, sometimes just to keep an opponent from getting them. He did it because he could, and so did every other big-time football school.

Now, the rules are different. The NCAA always wants more revenue, and spreading the talent around helps make everyone more competitive, which amounts to more people watching and bigger television network contracts. I believe this is a good thing.

The NCAA likes to call it "parity," which isn't the case. Parity in college football is nothing more than a pipe dream. There have always been, and will always be a gap between the traditional top-tier programs and everyone else. Sure, there are more upsets and every now and then, a school near the top becomes successful long enough to move closer to "elite" status, but it isn't the norm. 

Here is a list of the "old guard" in no particular order:

Notre Dame






Ohio State

Penn State

These are the big boys....The "cream of the crop"....The "OGs."  All have multiple national championships and they've been at the top for at least six decades or more. Since then, there have been only three new members and they all come from the state of Florida.

To paraphrase the old EF Hutton commercials, "when these schools speak, people listen."  And they watch too. When they play on television, high ratings are guaranteed. When they stink, people still watch. And when there is scandal, they are front page news. Hard core college football fans will try to watch EVERY game played. They have satellite dishes, TiVo, and a theatre sized television with smaller sets on the side.  I know that in Alabama's case, quite a few fans even bring all this stuff with them to games in "rock star" tour buses, and when they die, they are buried in Crimson Tide coffins.  Almost all other college football fans (outside the South) will watch these schools because they are "brand names." Hollywood blockbusters almost always have the biggest stars, and the same is true for college football, except that movie stars come and go. 

NCAA scholarship limits have been in place for well over two decades, but when you look at the top programs every year, the usual suspects are always in the lineup.  In an odd sort of way, it is just a reflection of society. There are the "haves" and the "have nots", and also like society, the gap is getting wider.

I believe the literary term is called alliteration, but "parity" and "parody" really can be substituted with each other.