â†µâ‡¥[I]t came as a surprise a week ago when a point spread for Florida's â†µâ‡¥game against Charleston Southern was posted by Danny Sheridan in USA â†µâ‡¥Today. â†µâ‡¥â†µIf this was a real line you'd be rushing to bet on Charleston in the â†µhope that the line itself would chagrin Urban Meyer and company into â†µonly pounding the Generic Mascots by 65, right? At some point it ceases â†µbeing a matter of running your offense and becomes one of basic human â†µdecency, and that point hits well before nine touchdowns separate the two â†µteams. â†µ
â†µâ‡¥Even more surprising was the spread: 73 points. Now, I do not gamble â†µâ‡¥on sporting events, but I like to keep an eye on the point spreads â†µâ‡¥as a matter of reference to see who is favored and by how many â†µâ‡¥points. In nearly four decades of following the betting lines, I do â†µâ‡¥not recall ever seeing such a point spread. â†µ
â†µA Dr. Saturday fact-check actually brings the line in at -63, which is sure to comfort the Generic Mascots on gameday. â†µâ†µ
â†µI'd like to be contrarian, â†µas per usual, â†µbut I can't find any reaction other than the one both the article writer â†µabove, who ends by comparing the game to feeding the Christians to the â†µlions, and Wizard of Odds proprietor Jay Christensen have already â†µoffered: â†µâ†µ
â†µâ‡¥But seriously, isn't it about time the NCAA put an end to such games? â†µâ‡¥... Aren't you tired of paying higher prices for tickets and getting â†µâ‡¥less? And if you want decent seats, you have to give money to the â†µâ‡¥alumni association. All this in the worst economic crisis since the â†µâ‡¥Great Depression. What are you getting in return? Charleston â†µâ‡¥Southern? â†µâ†µ
â†µOne man's answers: yes, yes, not much, and that's not a question. I â†µdoubt you'll find a college football fan in America who would have â†µdifferent answers. â†µâ†µ
â†µIt's a futile complaint, though. Sometimes public disapproval gets â†µresults, as when the SEC was finally embarrassed into instituting a â†µ28-member cap on its recruiting classes by Houston Nutt's 37-member Ole â†µMiss recruiting class, but there isn't a fake point spread in the world â†µthat would spur that sort of self-evaluation. There's too much money at â†µstake. The NCAA could greatly improve the watchability of college â†µfootball non-conference games in any number of simple ways -- banning I-AA â†µgames, limiting home games to seven in any one year, restricting â†µneutral-site matchups -- but they don't want to, and won't want to. Money â†µmoney money, as per usual, until congress comes calling about tax-exempt â†µstatus, at which point it's kids kids kids. â†µâ†µ
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