As Thrashers Move Demonstrates, College Football Is America's Most European Sport -- Wait, What?

Unlike Europe and elsewhere, most North American sports leagues do not employ relegation systems, in which teams can move from lower leagues to major leagues and back based on their performance. The closest thing we have to this system is, weirdly enough, a semi-amateur sport.

If the NHL, for instance, had a relegation system that would send underperforming teams down to the AHL and vice versa, the Atlanta Thrashers would not be in danger of moving. Instead, they'd just keep tumbling through leagues until someone wanted to invest enough money in them to build them back into a NHL franchise. Likewise, Winnipeg wouldn't need to import a team anyway, as True North could invest in its own Manitoba Moose without so much as making them cross the street from the MTS Centre.

College football, as Spencer Hall argues, has developed its own makeshift relegation system. And no matter how slimy and inefficient it is, it's still better than seeing teams have to be uprooted and sent to another country.

Check back with SB Nation Atlanta's frequently updated Thrashers sale StoryStream for the latest updates. For discussion, join Bird Watchers Anonymous, SB Nation's Atlanta Thrashers community or head to one of our 34 other hockey communities. For more hockey, visit SB Nation's NHL hub.

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