Thursday, September 11, 2008

Beanie Wells to POTUS?

OK, probably not. But it's still worth noting that the election is going to be close in a lot of the "Big-10" states, and that being the case, Obama would do well to remember that in some parts of this country, college football trumps politics

[A]s was the case four years ago, it is becoming more likely that this election will be decided in Ohio. So as much as “Change You Can Rely On” or “Country First,” an equally helpful slogan for both campaigns could be “Go Buckeyes.”

Seriously.  All Barack Obama has to do to win is show up at the Colloisium this weekend (when the #5 Ohio State Buckeyes will take on the #1 USC Trojans) with some Red and White on, and it's game over.  Of course, an endorsement of the Buckeyes could mean trouble in Michigan - where the currently unranked Wolverines are Ohio States main rival. 

However, I think that the OSU endorsement would still do more good for Obama than harm.  First, consider that the Michigan-Ohio State game won't take place until some weeks after the election, so any tension arising from an Obama/Biden endorsement of the Buckeyes in Michigan wouldn't come to a complete head until the last week of the Big Ten schedule, by which point it won't matter for political purposes. 

Second, consider that the football allegiances among the Michigan hoi polloi are split between the Michigan Wolverines and the Michigan State Spartans. A lot of people from Michigan pull for the Spartans and actually hate the Wolverines. 

Third, an OSU endorsement this weekend is unlikely to have any other negative effects.  California is already solidly in the Obama camp, and, anyway USC doesn't dominate college football allegiances in the state (there are several other reputable teams in California; including the cross-town rival U.C.L.A. Bruins and Cal Golden Bears).  As for other Big Ten states, 

Therefore, Obama and Biden should come out as Buckeye fans.  This is no problem for Obama - under the FFJ rubric of sports allegiances -  because Obama attended college at Occidental/Columbia and law school at Harvard - neither one of which have a division-A football program. Moreover, Obama's hometown of Chicago doesn't have a reputable program either (I'm not counting Northwestern as reputable, sorry), and so he is pretty much a free agent as far as allegiances go.  One could make the argument that he should root for Illinois over Ohio, but this seems like getting bogged down in minutiae because Obama doesn't have any connection with Urbana-Champaign or with the U of I. 

Now, Biden is a more complicated case. Biden went to college at the University of Deleware, whose Blue Hens are a solid FCS squad that did very well last year - however, like the Harvard Crimson and Columbia Lions they are not a division I-A team.  The problem is that Biden - despite almost being kicked out for plagiarizing an LRW assignment - did graduate from Syracuse University Law School.  Syracuse *does* have a Division-I A football team; however, they are almost unwatchably bad at the moment (despite being good in the past and producing such talent as Art Monk).  I think Biden can safely break with his allegiance to 'Cuse and choose one of the *competitive* Division I-A teams to endorse as his preferences would indicated.  For the aforementioned reasons, he should choose the Ohio State Buckeyes.

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