The national championship game Monday night between Alabama and Ohio State seems to have almost all the right pieces in place for a college football masterpiece – two undefeated teams in a matchup of bluebloods from the biggest hotbeds in the sport: the Midwest and the South.
The game will feature a Heisman Trophy winner, a star young coach for Ohio State and arguably the best coach of all time on the sideline for Alabama. But something’s still missing in the bigger picture — roughly half the country west of Kansas.
This happens every year now: Powerhouse programs from the Eastern and Central time zones dominate the show, not just at the end of the season, but also in television viewership and getting the best players. And that’s a problem, experts say. College football has become increasingly lopsided geographically, turning the sport into a sectional celebration in which the West is seldom if ever relevant.