Would Reducing the Number of Scholarships Help Increase Parity in CFB?

The talks of change to the college football playoff model going to 12 teams has brought up the question that it probably won't change the top teams (Alabama, Clemson, OSU, OU) from continuing to dominate recruiting rankings. This makes it difficult for teams in the second and third tiers from ever having a realistic shot at winning a national title.

While there are other things that would need to be changed if scholarship limits were decreased (shorter games, fewer games, more ease for medical redshirts, etc.), as well as Title IX considerations, I feel like this is a good step in helping to fight talent consolidation. If top teams can take fewer prospects, the players will go to other schools to (hopefully) make them more competitive.

To continue the discussion, what other options exist to help level the playing field?

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Comments

It probably would, for the knock down effect you stated, but taking away the number of available scholarships for kids is never going to gain any kind of significant support.

What he said, really bad idea to take away opportunity. If you really want parity, then the NCAA makes one of the recruiting services "official" and works with them, restricting each team to 2 five star and 25 four stars in each incoming class (no restrictions on transfers). You snag a 4 star before he becomes a 5 star, way to go now you have three. You get a five star he becomes a 3 star, whoops.
So kinda like a salary cap it would be a star cap. I don't see anything else working and I don't see the star cap system coming so I think the parity you have is the parity you are gonna get or in other words, Roll Tide.

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It's a good thought, but too easy to rig.

Blue bloods could simply "suggest" top underclassmen to sit out camps, leaving the recruiting services less to rank with, effectively sandbagging the composite.

I suppose the recruiting services could try and keep up, but if some random 3-star decides to sit out of camps, wait- which school held him out? And does this mean he's an instant 5-star, or are we just guessing here?

College sports are, by design NOT rigged for parity. Pro sports are.

In the NFL draft, the teams wait their turn while the talent boss hands out t-shirts. The actual players selected are at the mercy of that entire system. A system rigged for parity.

In the college draft, the bosses fax their "I do" letters to the appropriate office; the ceremonies mostly took place in the months preceding.

The haves prosper year after year, the have-nots remain in place. The regulatory body is too busy punishing the have-nots for every major "have's" transgression.

All told, college and pro sports are quite different systems.

You're not going to "fix" college with a simple rule change.

Yes, absolutely. One could argue that having fewer people get athletic scholarships is a bad thing in general, but it would obviously increase parity if 4 star players have to be walk ons at Clemson, Alabama, Oklahoma and Ohio State. Of course, some would, but others would go to Indiana, Iowa State and VT.

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Going to buck the trend and say no. This happened before and we are now one of the least parity we've seen and the last time it was this bad was right before the limit was set to 85.

Less scholarships mean less time to develop players means more transfers which isn't a good thing for the sport as a whole.

This would be a PR nightmare.

I think expanding the playoffs and NIL will help more the reducing schollys

No. Reducing the scholarships of just those top schools would help. Reducing all schools would hurt the lower tier schools more than it would hurt the top tier schools. They would still fill out a starting lineup with blue chip guys and the lower tier schools gain a few but lose out on the developmental guys that are the bread and butter. It may end up helping the G5 and FCS more than lower level P5.

"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it." - K

I think you need to balance it, playoff teams lose 2 scholarships for the next two years, championship game teams loose 4 scholarships for two years (if a team goes to 2 strait championship games they're down 8 scholarship). Then teams below .500 get a 1 additional scholarship for the following year, and teams below .250 get 2 additional scholarships for 2 years.

Would mess up the Title IX numbers, but would help balance things out. i think you'd get a little closer to the NFL terms of weekly competition. Sure Alabama might still make the playoffs every year, but maybe they drop a game or two each season.

i think if its just tied to recruiting, what's going to prevent top teams from then just taking all the top transfers.

I think you need to balance it, playoff teams lose 2 scholarships for the next two years, championship game teams loose 4 scholarships for two years (if a team goes to 2 strait championship games they're down 8 scholarships). Then teams below .500 get a 1 additional scholarship for the following year, and teams below .250 get 2 additional scholarships for 2 years.

No way this happens. ESPN and other media channels have no interest in inking highly lucrative media rights deals with individual teams/conferences just to see the cash cow programs get weaker when they have on-field success.

Agreed, no chance in hell that this happens, though I think it would be the best thing for the sport. I also think it will help revenue not hurt it. In the SEC for example, sure Alabama might not win every year, but they'll still be very relevant. They won't lose any fan interest, in fact I bet their TV ratings go up since they won't be favored by 28pts every game. However now you're giving Auburn a better then 0.5% change, Arkansas a chance, A&M a chance. The detriment of 3 teams nationally (Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State), will more then be made up by greater fan interest in the likes of VT, PSU, Mich., NS State, USC, Texas, Florida, FSU, Nebraska, etc...

Are you telling me that Alabama, Ohio State, Clemson, or Oklahoma suddenly experiencing a year or two of significantly below expectation football wouldn't sell?

Never Forget #1 Overall Seed UVA 54, #64 UMBC 74

ESPN wants the kings to stay kings. See the disaster the Longhorn Network has become as Exhibit A.

You can kill two birds with one stone by paying players and setting up tiers of payment. Ex. You can pay your top 15 players 50k yearly, second tier gets ~30k, rest of the 85 man roster gets like a 5-10k stipend. That way if you aren't in the two deep of a top program you can go somewhere else and make some money. Payment is uniform across FBS teams

Of course this presents a ton of problems but as far as product on the field it would definitely lead to more parity

Yes it would help. Part of the reason the top programs dominate is due to their ability to withstand injuries by having quality depth. If schollys were restricted, we may not see Da'shawn playing as a backup for 3 years at Bama. Blue bloods will still have the pick of the litter but they will be more exposed to injury bad luck.

"Seeing the same teams gets boring" or "we need more parity"... these statements are what bore me. In virtually all sports leagues a few always sit at the top. It may be for a few years or a few decades but in the end they will always be around. Every now and then an underdog can become good and have a few great runs but they rarely ever last that long unless something drastic occurs. Recruiting is the best way to make a decent run. Nothing is magically going to spread recruits out more evenly. Get used to it. We are only having this conversation on this site because we are not at the top. If we were we would care less about parity.

I didn't mean for this to come off as sour grapes, and I agree with you- if we were winning, we wouldn't want to see a change to the system.

However, the last time a CFB team won the schools first national title was Florida in 1996. Otherwise, the school has already won a title.

I don't see a realistic path for schools like VT to ever win a national title under the current format, and I think realistically there are only ~10 schools that have a shot each year.

While recruiting is the answer, it is a positive feedback loop- good teams get good recruits which create good teams.

Overall, I think it is bad for the sport as a whole if there is not some break in Alabama, OSU, Clemson version 7. Eventually, people will lose interest.

Is there anything a school like VT could do to actually win? Even if we had a top notch coach?

VT 2016
Go Hokies

NCAA recognizes UCFs championship in 2017.

I mean, UCF went undefeated, and were national champs via one of the ranking systems, but not the most important one. I also doubt they would have beaten UGA or Alabama.

VT 2016
Go Hokies

Uncommon opinion, but I think NIL will help. You can be THE guy at VT for 3 years, or you can be 2nd string at Bama for 3 years. Come run instagram ads for Camp Sauce and get more money than you would as a backup at bama.

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I wish they would have super scholarships that were closely regulated.

An example might be:

Tier 1. = full ride plus $2500 per month.
Tier 2. = full ride plus $1500 per month.
Tier 3. = full ride plus $500 per month.
Tier 4. = full ride.

Money for this would be generated from a percentage of all name/image/likeness deals.

Joe Star at Blow University has a NIL deal with a car dealership. 50% of this goes to the kid, the rest into the "national parity pot", that gets distributed back to the schools for the super scholarships.

A school could only have so many of each tier. If Clemson alumni dump super big money into their players, then everyone benefits. The number and size of the tier structure would be dictated by the contracts.