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How long until college football turns into the NBA?

How long will it be until college football turns into the NBA?

Stay with us.

College football is just like every sport. It’s results oriented. What have you done for me lately?

It, or at least SEC fans in general, places 100% of a season’s importance on one game, the college football playoff championship.

At the Throw the Flag podcast, we call it ring culture. Nothing else matters unless you got those rings, baby.

It seems like it’s always been like this, right? But think back to a couple decades ago and the teams you follow.

If you’re an Alabama fan, Derrick Lassic and Lemanski Hall are living rent-free in your head.

If half of your house is decked-out in orange and blue, it’s Stephen Davis or Stan White taking up that space.

Does that happen in 2022, when a season without a championship feels like an abject failure?

When Shane Lee transferred, Bama fans didn’t shed any tears. When Auburn legacy Bo Nix left to play back-up Oregon, the unspoken feeling of “good riddance” was palpable.

Coaches obviously get it worse in this phenomenon. Don’t feel too sorry for them, though. They can transfer freely when a program suffers sanctions, they’re often the highest paid people in their state and, when they under-perform and get fired, they fail upward into a plum television gig.

Ring culture is different for different sports, and college football might be the worst at it. Even within the sport, it varies for each team.

Nick Saban has won two championships without even winning his division (2011, 2017). For Alabama fans, it gets more difficult to care about a conference championship if the crystal ball shows up at midfield in January.

It’s nobody’s fault, but where did it all start?

Michael Jordan. The answer is Michael Jordan.

Basketball was perfecting ring culture in the ’90s while the Darth Vaders of college football were still in short pants.

Jordan never had a single human foil for sports writers to promote a narrative around. Singularly, he took on entire teams. The Pistons, the Knicks, the Jazz, even the Suns.

Those teams had superstars, but it was never Jordan versus someone like we saw Magic versus Bird or other contemporary duos.

Jordan won three rings. He quit and played a sport called baseball in Birmingham for a little bit.

Then, Michael came back and won three more. He beat the Jazz single-handedly in Game 5 of the 1997 Finals while suffering from food poisoning. It took a solid decade before a conversation began about him potentially having an equal in LeBron James.

The NBA has, is, and will always be a star league.

Is that a bad thing?

Looking at college football and changes to the sport we’ve seen, how long until fans go from ring culture to a superstar culture? Will that be a bad thing when it happens?

How long until it becomes normal for players to win a Heisman with one team, then a championship with another? Again, is that bad?

Do you care about the same things in college football that you did this time five, 10, 20 years ago? How do you feel about that?

What did we get wrong? Let us know on Twitter or Instagram. Listen to Throw the Flag below or wherever you get your podcasts.

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