It's the usual diatribe about how Texas A&M recently raised $740 million, largely on Johnny's back, but that he is raked over the coals for allegedly making some thousands of dollars for sitting down to sign autographs for a couple hours. Robert Smith joined the panel and the overwhelming opinion of the talking heads is that the NCAA has a bunch of rules designed to protect the perception of a "fantasyland" where college football players are sitting in the same classes and having the same college experience at Dear 'Ole U as the boosters remember as students. Whereas the reality of playing big time college football is vastly different than that. Manziel, for example, is taking some online classes to stay eligible but that's the extent of his involvement in campus life outside of football-related activities. The truth is probably somewhere in between. The ESPN argument holds water for the superstars and for a good number of college players who have NFL dreams. But there are also a ton of college football players who value the educational opportunity that being an athlete has provided them. This is a huge issue with many different facets, so I'm interested in seeing what you guys bring up. But what motivated me to start this thread is that I'm noticing that all the ESPN on-air talent seem to be on the same side of this issue. They've also taken every opportunity to rip the NCAA as a governing body while not taking players or universities to task for "cheating". That lack of balance makes me believe that the network is driving an agenda. And that agenda is that they have invested heavily in college football, see the long-term value of it, but want to see it maximized. The way to maximize is to get the Alabama vs. Alabama A&M type games off the schedule. In fact, get the Ohio State vs Toledo type games off the schedule. ESPN (and FoxSports/NBCSports/CBSSports) all want to see the following, or something similar: A new organization modeled after the NFL (king of sports entertainment programming) that only includes those colleges that are willing and able to play ball They would pay players They would simplify and loosen the rules to make it so that only blatant disregard would cause penalty (USC or Miami being down does the networks no good) They would ideally have 64 teams in 4 conferences of 16 teams (basically twice the size of the NFL) Schedule would be 9 games against your own conference and 1 game each against teams from the other 3 conferences Each conference would have a semi-final and final for 2 playoff rounds (possibly a pod system w/ 4 teams per pod) After conference champions were named, there would be a 3-round, 8-team national playoff comprised of the conference champions and 4 at-large berths that would crown the national champion The value of this would be ridiculous, possibly bigger than the NFL given the volume of games and how every single game played during the regular season would be worth televising I'm ready for this type of sweeping change. As a fan, I'd get more entertainment from the college football season.