The Football Powers of U of C and NYU

Submitted by Chrisgocomment on September 21st, 2008 at 3:48 AM

I’ve been a big fan of College Football most of my life.  Over that long time I’ve always wondered why big cities like Chicago and New York have no quality teams to represent them in today’s modern game.  I’ve been to Chicago many times and I’m always amazed at what a great city it is.  It’s a beautiful, fun and happening place.  The same goes for New York.  You have two of the biggest and best cities in the world, but no College Football.  Why?  I would think that recruiting to those places would be a breeze.

With Chicago, sure, they have Northwestern, but you can’t exactly say that they have much College Football history outside of the Rose Bowl’s they went to in the 1990’s.  Plus, if you’ve ever visited NW, it’s not even in Chicago.  Technically it’s quite a bit north of downtown, in Evanston, Illinois.  I will say this for NW: they have a beautiful campus right on the shores of Lake Michigan.  It's fantastic.  I imagine that if they didn’t have such stringent rules for acceptance their football program could be very good.

There is also the University of Chicago, which, as many of you probably know, used to be a huge rival of U of M, but eventually they decided to focus their school more toward academic excellence rather than gridiron excellence.  Boring.

As for New York, believe it or not they have some history to point to in the world of College Football that might surprise you.

The University of Chicago

Chicago had great teams in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.  During that time they won 7 Big Ten Championships (What?  Huh?), including a Mythical National Championship in 1905.  Nicknamed the “Monster’s of the Midway” this school was quite a powerhouse.  It’s hard to imagine in today’s game, but if Chicago had maintained its top-flight program perhaps it never would have been “The Big Two and the Little Eight”, instead it would have been the Big 3.  Also, Ron Zook’s own brand of custom made snake oil would be useless, as many top recruits in the city of Chicago would pledge to the “Maroons of Chicago” instead of The Illini.  Also also, Little Brother would never have been admitted into the Big Ten, and Bo never would have called their Athletic Director a “Son of a Bitch” back in 1973 when Michigan got screwed out of the Rose Bowl.  Think about it.

However, in 1939 U of C decided to de-emphasis athletics and cut their football program.  They didn’t reinstate it for 30 years!  Now a day's they play football in Division III (or whatever the H they call it now).  I’m left wondering what the Big Ten (11) would look like today if Chicago kept their program together.  Perhaps the Big Ten would have had 12 teams instead of 11 and there could be a Conference Championship and there would be great rivalries amongst NW, Illinois and Chicago.  Also, we wouldn’t have to hear about how great Notre Dame is (Notre Dame is not great) and how the Big Ten so wants them to join but they are too sweet to do so.  Notre Dame’s acceptance into the Big Ten wouldn’t even be brought up.

New York University

New York University has a little history of its own when it comes to College Football.  I was shocked to learn that NYU’s very own Ed Smith is the model for the Heisman Trophy.  I’m not making this up.

Another factoid about NYU’s football program that many of you will find interesting is that a NYU game was the site of the first protest against the “gentleman’s agreement”.  No, not that “gentleman’s agreement”.  Apparently in the 40’s, before Rich Rod’s snake oil was invented, the “gentleman’s agreement” was meant to keep blacks off the football field.  Nice gentleman’s agreement.  So that’s what Tiller was talking about, what a dick.  Hey Tiller, the game has passed you by, by about 60 years, that is.

What’s Up With That?

We can all agree that a trip to New York or Chicago guarantees a kick-ass time.  There’s no question there.  So, why isn’t there more of a College Football presence in these great towns?  I’ll offer some half-ass made up reasons:

  1. There’s just no room, man, it’s tight up in here.  In today’s College Football there is an “Arms Race” going on.  Whoops, that link was wrong.  That link, along with “tight” is just not right.  Or maybe it is.  Anyway, I meant this arms race.  Michigan is spending $226 MILLION on the Michigan Stadium renovation.  That’s a boat load.  Before U of M started this grand project, those dastardly Bucknuts to the south went on their own spending spree, flopping down a tiny little $187 MILLION of their own (or, coming from car dealerships?) to fix up that shithole they call “Ohio Stadium”.  (FYI – if you look up at their rotunda, you will notice yellow flowers with a blue background…hey OOOO apparently the outcome of the dedication game went in Michigan’s favor so those Bucknuts painted it like that.  You got to love it that you’re most bitter rival has your team’s colors on their stadium.  Love it.)  Anyway, OBVS Chicago and New York just don’t have any space.  How are you to compete in this arms race (sorry) if you can’t build a gargantuan stadium of your own?  It’s just not feasible.
  2. Academia.  It appears, after my vast, vast, vast (VAST) research that U of C and NYU simply decided that their schools would focus like a laser beam on academics.  As you know, that doesn’t leave a lot of room for FOOTBALL.  While this strategery has worked for U of C, since they rank #8 in this study, it appears that NYU kind of screwed themselves, because they are only ranked #33, behind U of M!  Like, WTF NYU?  If you’re going to give up on the sweet sweet sweetness that is College Football, don’t be so lame academically, mmmkay?
  4. This article, in the Atlanta Journal-Constitutional, written by an old, old, old ass man named FURMAN BISHER (yes, he has the same name as some old, old, old ass school in South Carolina).  He offers no reason for these things.  He simple lists example after example of big city football going helter-skelter, willy-nilly and PUTT-PUTT!  
  5. That's it.  I cannot logically find a reason for these happenings, beyond the college administrations obsessive reach for academic focus. Without the burdon of supporting a gigantic athletic program, U of C and NYU can focus on what their true purpose is: to better our world through education and innovation.  Oh, right, I suppose someone should keep an eye on that stuff.