Since the most cracked pots among us believe the world will end sometime on Dec. 21, let's take a moment to examine a conclusion of an era that seems far more likely: the end of college football as we know it. Forces have aligned that seem to portend doom. Let us count the ways...
• On the topic of the danger of football, the following passage appeared in The New York Times: "Public sentiment is yearly growing stronger against the brutality of the game, he declared, and the death of a man in order to win a game will result sooner or later in universal condemnation of it as part of college athletics."
• On realignment, the head of the American Football Coaches Association said this: "It's like we had this herd of cattle going toward the cliff. We tried to head them off, but none of us were able to do it."
• On the sudden departure of schools to another conference, a university chancellor said this: "I want to emphasize that this is not a normal case of member withdrawal from an athletic conference. This is a case that involves broken commitments, secret dealings, breaches of fiduciary responsibility, the misappropriations of conference opportunities and predatory attempts to eliminate competition."
• On television's outsize influence in college football, the NCAA president said this: "A small number of television networks now can manipulate the college football market the way they wish."