Oh… and there’s that…
I recently shared my plan/hope/desire to follow college football more intensely this season. I shared a list of reasons I had struggled to get that into it before and the reasons I thought I was foolish to succumb to those. Of course, I left one glaring problem off the list…
“Even the biggest — and richest — Oklahoma State fan couldn’t get overly excited about this victory.
Before the 19th-ranked Cowboys kicked off their season with a ridiculous 84-0 victory against Savannah State on Saturday night, billionaire booster Boone Pickens said he wanted to see Oklahoma State put together a tougher nonconference schedule.
[Coach Mike] Gundy wanted no part of discussing the pros and cons of choosing to play a team that had gone 4-72 against competition from the Football Championship Subdivision — that’s a level below Oklahoma State’s Football Bowl Subdivision, with fewer scholarships and resources.
Savannah State (0-1) got a $385,000 payout for its first game against an FBS opponent, and coach Steve Davenport wasn’t sure afterward if even that made it worthwhile.
“We’re going to have to readdress that. You get paid for certain things, but I don’t know if at the end of the day, some things are worth the payments you get. But we’ll see. Those are conversations we’ll have.”
This isn’t sport. Paying an inferior opponent to essentially roll over so that one can pad its victory total is sad. It is the opposite of open and fair competition. Savannah State would likely have never agreed to play this game had it not been for the payout. And while it is possible that they will do something meaningful with the money, my hunch is that it will pour into the athletic department’s coffers. Regardless, seeing scores like this run across the bottom line, and learning that the game happened under such circumstances (which are not rare, by the way) makes it that much harder to root for this “sport”.