Monday, November 3, 2014

college football and tradition

So many people keep saying that the Big Ten Conference needs Michigan football to return to a position of dominance.

Why? Why return to something like the days of the Big Two (Ohio State and Michigan) and the Little Eight (everybody else in the conference)?

Why do college football fans long so much to keep things the way they were? What is this attachment to tradition all about?

The problem I have with "tradition" is that sometimes it keeps you stuck in the past while the world is changing around you. Further, many times we try to hold on to traditions even when those traditions are not necessarily good for everyone.

A college football landscape where the same old teams rule -- many people think that's a tradition that we need to keep. Not me. I'd like to see Indiana or Northwestern or Purdue string together three or four consecutive Big Ten titles. I'd like to see Vanderbilt win the SEC a few times, or Oregon State and Washington State ruling the Pac-12 for awhile.

I'd even like to see the name of the Big Ten Conference changed to something else. Let go of the past; the conference has had more than ten teams for over two decades now, and currently includes 14 schools from 11 different states. Guess what, folks: Bo and Woody are not coming back.

Change happens, and that's a good thing. The ruling class will always want things to remain the same, while the lower classes will always strive to upset the equilibrium and get a piece of the action. Poor people don't want to remain poor; slaves want to be free. Nobody wants to be told to "know your place."

The Big Ten is not what it once was. College football is not what it once was. The world is not what it once was. The time comes when it's simply best to deal with reality and move on.

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