MLB Would Be Wise To Help The College Game Grow

Tuesday’s column from CBS Chicago

(CBS) When the Illinois basketball team headed down to Texas for the NCAA Tournament this spring, the eyes of Illini Nation weren’t just fixed upon them. They were fixated.
When the Illinois football team qualifies for a bowl game – even if it’s only the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl – the news makes its share of headlines and the TV broadcast attracts its share of eyeballs.

But when the Illinois baseball team played in the NCAA Tournament in Nashville over the weekend – winning one game before losing two to be eliminated – it barely created a blip on this state’s sports scene.

Let alone the national one.

That condition, of course, is hardly unique to the University of Illinois. It’s the same way in the vast majority of states and at most schools across the country as we live in a world where college baseball simply doesn’t come close to capturing America’s imagination in the same way that college football and basketball do.

With college hoops, fans go mad about brackets each March. And with college football, they gripe about the BCS – and will surely find a way to gripe about a playoff system, too. But when it comes to college baseball’s postseason, most average Americans barely bat an eyelash.

About it, or the sport itself. Why is that?

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