As expected, a rigorous statistical analysis confirms what every fan of any powerhouse team already knew: Teams with recruiting success tend to remain successful year after year and teams without much success tend to remain unsuccessful. Fixing the price of a year of a college athlete's service to be comparable across all schools does not result in anything like competitive balance, and statistically, the level of imbalance has been growing over the last six years. It's time to stop using that as an excuse why college football should be allowed to collude its way out of paying market rates for talent.
It turns out the powerhouse schools are successful because they spend so much more money on recruiting and facilities.
But how would things look under a pay-for-play model? Would the imbalance actually get worse?
Maybe not. If anything, the economics of price competition argue that as you let schools use money directly as a tool in attracting talent, you may empower mid-level schools to splurge on a would-be starter who might otherwise accept an offer at a top-tier school and end up riding the bench. When stars and benchwarmers all get the same compensation package, there's no way for a smaller school to show they really want a player much more than the big school, which is free to stockpile talent. Both schools can claim they want the player, both can send 700 letters in one day, etc. The best way to show you mean business and that the other school is just engaging in what economists call "cheap talk" is price competition.
More Andy Schwarz being insightful and on point. Remember this stuff next time someone argues that paying players would be unfair or that if players get paid, they all have to get the same stipend.