I am starting to think that the end of the world is fast approaching. Or at least the end of college football, as I know it.
Watching the Chaos unfold is dizzying at best and mostly nauseating. The landscape of college football is dissolving quickly into one giant
FUBAR mess. The Big 12 and the Big East are supposedly talking about merging conferences, all the while destroying my beloved line-up of teams and the very things I love most about College ball.
Since Syracuse and Pittsburgh split to the now-14-team Atlantic Coast Conference, we may see Rutgers and Connecticut follow in their footsteps. Pittsburgh is bracing itself for the possibility that the leaders, Oklahoma and Texas will running for some Pac and more than likely taking Oklahoma State and Texas Tech along for the roller coaster ride.
If this horrible end-of-the-world scenario were to actually happen, the Big East would be left with South Florida, West Virginia, Cincinnati, and Louisville. Just to top things off, as of 2012, Texas Christian. Oh isn’t that just a lovely thought. That leaves the Big 12 with Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State and Missouri. What we would be left with would be a league with 10 teams, plus another 2-6 spots, give or take, left over for smaller conference schools looking to hook up with the Big Boys. Because everyone really does want to sit at the big table.
Now a few of those 10 schools could just as easily be
sucked absorbed into the SEC and the Big Ten, just to round out a sadistically radically reshaped landscape with four 16-team super conferences. Now, that is only assuming Texas A&M, the big ol’ trouble maker that started all of this B.S. mess, is able to actually get out of the Big 12. That would leave the SEC needing a mere three more teams to reach the Miracle Sweet 16 plateau. The Big Ten, currently at 12 members after taking in Nebraska this fall, would have room for another four, though there is a big rumour that commissioner Jim Delany plans to save a spot for Notre Dame. Go Figure.
There might actually be an upside. Maybe. Probably not, but stranger things have happened. Four leagues, in theory, could band together to form a 64 school system, that would exclude the NCAA and the BCS. That might, this is a big maybe, give us the much coveted playoff system that myself, like many other fans have wished for.
But like so many other things, there is always a downside.
The big rivalry games and regional ties will just go the way of the dinosaur and 8-tracks. This like so many other things comes down to money. Big money for the schools. Loads of Advertising bucks, and corporate greed. How selfish do we really have to be? Could we maybe take a pause and remember these are kids playing, and Big business is trying to exploit one of America’s best-loved sports. My Sport.
The mess we will be left with, will be all the glitz, glamour and corporate sponsorship crap of the NFL, all the while losing the character, leadership and teamwork values that college sports are supposed to promote. That’s to say nothing of what happens to the rest of the sports that make college athletics as vibrant as it is.
This is starting to feel a bit like a family dinner with only so many seats at the ‘Big Table’. We could just as easily see five super conferences instead of four, with the Big “Tweast” joining the Pac-16, the ACC, the Big “Ten” and the SEC at the ‘Big’ table, although they might just need high chairs.
Whichever way it goes, and that is of course, if it goes, we may look at a depressing degradation of college sports, my college football in particular. Of course that is only if this all goes down the way the ‘experts’ are predicting. That of course is always a big ‘If”.
For now, if you love college football, like I love it—if you love the pageantry and the rivalry, the traditions and the surprises, the spirit and the excitement—then root for the Big 12. Root for Oklahoma and Texas to stay put. Root for the Big 12 to replenish its ranks with up-and-comers from smaller conferences and for the Big East to do the same.
If not, we may be looking at the end of college football—well maybe the end of college sports—as we know it.
That will be a sad day for us all.