No. I don’t think so.
This rant/ contemplation is a bit longer than normal. Bear with me please. Even though you know my conclusion from the get go.
To start, an illustrative remembrance.
In the early 70s, my friends and I were young adults, starting families and careers, feeling some sense of independence from our nuclear families. So, we decided we’d do Thanksgiving dinner together for the first time. There were 20 or so of us. We gathered at Becker’s house.
Lots of food. Lots of herbal appetizer enhancement. General bonhomie was the order of the day. Giving each other grief was one of our primary ways of displaying affection. At some point during the evening, one of our number in passing mentioned the word, “food fight.” We laughed, and it periodically came up throughout the course of our repast.
At some point, a faux argument of sorts started, and the tension in the room ratcheted up. Folks were stealthily opting for their weapons of choice. Annie’s hand was slipping toward the bowl of mashed potatoes. I was thinking cranberry sauce myself.
Bottom line. We got to the brink of no return. Somebody told a joke, we hesitated. Becker was spared from cleansing dressing and gravy from his furniture. No pumpkin pie would be sticking on his walls. It was a wise move.
The major athletic conferences are on the brink of drastic and disastrous realignment. It would egregiously injure a lot of schools left out of the super duper plan. And it would only marginally help the major players. Let’s hope the neanderthals concocting these realignments are smart enough to move their hands from the mashed potatoes.
Sure, Boise State should join the Mountain West. Perhaps a couple of other minor tweaks here and there.
There is only one major move to be made. Notre Dame needs to get off its high horse and join the Big Ten.
Okay, one more move. Actually the most important of all. Can the abhorrent BCS. It’s meaningless. It doesn’t generate all that much money. 99.99% of football fans hate it.
Then . . . institute a 16 team football playoff.
After that there would be no need for power grabs by the SEC and Pac10. Or any other leagues.
Sure the South Benders should show some loyalty to the Big East that’s been kissing their ring for years. But Louisville’s league frankly would be better off if Notre Dame opted out for the Big Ten. The Big East could pluck some up and comer and be just fine, thank you very much. Notre Dame to the Big Ten and a playoff would stop the conference expansion nonsense.
I could explain now why this is the best scenario for all. But Dan Wetzel at Yahoo Sports has already done an exemplary job. Read his explanation here. Bottom line: The above changes would add in excess of $500,000,000 to college athletic coffers. That’s a half billion dollars, if you don’t want to count the zeros. Oh yes, per year.
We can only hope the power mongers that are behind this knee jerk thinking that’s spreading like wild fire are reigned in by their brethren.
Regional, long term rivalries are not just a good, but a great thing. Kansas and Missouri should be playing Nebraska. Oklahoma State shouldn’t be traveling to Pullman, Washington for regular season games. The SEC is tough enough without adding any new members.
It’s to everyone’s benefit when the playing field is reasonably level. If they just divided that added playoff revenue equally among the major schools, it would add over $4 million/year to each one’s budget. (Though there’s not a doubt in my mind that the rich would still get richer. But the poor wouldn’t get poorer.)
College sports fans should be praying the expansion mania dies a quick death.
– Seedy K