College football: a Westmont perspective

College football is a staple in many student’s lives, but how does this affect Westmont, a college with no football team?

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Ella Jennings

A Westmont perspective on collegiate football

Kacie Kwan, Staff Writer

Even though Westmont may not have a football team, you might want to pay attention to the current compelling season of college football.

For the past few years, popular teams like the University of Alabama, Clemson University, Ohio State, University of Oklahoma and University of Georgia have risen in the ranks as the “oligarchy” of collegiate football.

Viewers in the past decade witnessed their consistent rankings in the nation’s top eight and they were expected to defend their rankings this year. However, some teams are failing to meet those expectations.

As we head into the sixth week of the 2021 college football season, the top 25 rankings are looking shaky for traditional college football elites like Oklahoma, Florida, Ohio State, and Clemson. 

Westmont third-year and University of Nebraska superfan Adam King exclaimed his disappointment at the letdown of the preseason favorites: “This year, all the teams who got hyped up seem to be pretty overrated.” 

For example, Clemson Tigers, a perennial powerhouse, are currently not even in the top 25 ranking — a shocking surprise given that they have historically topped the charts in the Atlantic Coastal Conference (ACC) for the past six years. 

“They have lost the same amount of games this year as they did in the past three years combined,” explained second-year and amateur collegiate football statistician Simeon Michelson. 

With the breakdown in rankings of historically successful teams, there is hope for unlikely underdogs, like the University of Cincinnati, to break through and make their way into the exclusive playoffs. This ranking shift is significant because Cincinnati could be the first school outside of the so-called “power five” conferences, which control an overwhelming amount of college football’s money, TV rights, talent and popularity, to make the playoffs.

The University of Kentucky is also inserting itself into the mix, heading into week six of the season undefeated with an upset win over preseason favorite University of Florida. Nevertheless, these upsets in the top team rankings and the rise of underdog teams should make for an interesting finish to the season. 

The only team seemingly unaffected is the University of Alabama’s Crimson Tide. Despite the shifts in rankings, Alabama is pulling ahead, further cementing its mark as a true college football dynasty. 

As Westmont begins its transition to become a top NAIA school in the athletics arena, the question of having a football team is slowly making an appearance. Currently, Westmont does not have a football team and, when asked whether that matters, opposing views arose at the DC dinner table. 

Emily Wheeler, Westmont first-year, claimed that “the presence of a football team would encourage more school spirit and allow more opportunities for campus-wide events like pep rallies and homecomings.”

True, having a football team at Westmont may prompt higher levels of school spirit and unity; however, first-year Laurea Wanner countered, suggesting, “The presence of a sport-specific team does not matter to the level of Westmont student life. If anything, it ironically might create disunity among athletic teams.”

This debate brings into question a lot more of what athletics can do here at Westmont. We might one day see Westmont on the football field but, for now, we stand with our current student-athletes.

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