1. NCAA wins in parity and diversity
NCAA football, regardless of any other classification, is sports entertainment. As such, the product needs a market. As the sport’s uppermost accolades land on a limited number of teams, that market shrinks accordingly.
That is not to say that fans will not attend games, nor buy a coffee mug. But the burst of viewing broadcasts and record merchandising simply does not take place until the championship changes hands. After all, NCAA football generates revenue for NCAA colleges and universities.
There is an even greater benefit to an NCAA conference as a result of a member team winning the national title. The spotlight on academic programs, other organized athletics, and sister schools aids the entire conference.
Even in the absence of a Washington Football team title, a Pac-12 title brings national attention to the Huskies. By competing with a national champion, other teams are lauded as well. If UCLA, Oregon, Stanford, or USC win a national title, Washington’s reputation at the national sports level rises.
Today, there is far too much attention upon the Alabama Crimson Tide. That is not to say that the team has not earned it’s place in NCAA football. But now, the team is as much about their reputation as their current accomplishments. Practically any recruit offered a scholarship at Alabama gives that team their first look.
A Pac-12 national champion restores some balance to the playing field. Top recruits go to the best football programs, and oftentimes that is gauged by national titles. Placing a west coast team in the winner’s circle redirects some top talent away from Alabama. While that will make their recruiting more difficult, it will help distribute talent across a greater number of football programs.
The goal of NCAA football is not to generate dynasties. It’s to promote parity and opportunity. With the number of schools winning a national championship, the level of bias among the nations television networks and sports writers becomes ever more entrenched. For the good of the NCAA and college football, a new champion is needed now. Opportunity in the NCAA should be as evenly distributed as possible.