Monday, June 14, 2010

Bobby Pontificates on Expansion Deferred

The Big 12 (minus two) appears poised to stay (at least for now). I don't know about you, but I feel pretty silly for getting as worked up as I did over the last few weeks. I, like college sports fans everywhere, was basically held hostage wondering what the college football landscape would look like going forward, all because Texas needed to "feel the love." The Longhorns acted like Rob Tidwell, galavanting from conference to conference yelling, "show me the money," while the rest of us had to wait and wonder. Now, Texas has opted to stay in a decidedly weaker conference, start their own television network, with the knowledge that in the back of their mind, they hold the fate of the Big 12 minus 2 in the palm of their hands. I didn't think it was possible, but Notre Dame is no longer the most loathsome, self-aggrandizing school in college sports. Congratulations, Longhorns.

All is not lost though Big 12 minus 2. If FedEX is really willing to pony up 10 mil a year, then you are just 1 team away from getting a championship game back. Although I wouldn't be surprised if the Longhorns demanded all that 10 million as tribute for staying in a conference they helped found 16 years ago.

In the next few days I'm sure the sports world will evaluate the winners and losers of this whole thing. Wanting to get in on the action, here's mine.

Winners:

1. Nebraska. Turns out Tom Osborne and the Cornhuskers were right about Texas. So they moved away from a conference that appeared to be disintegrating, into a conference that, with their invitation, is now stronger and poised to have a championship game, something the Big 12 minus 2 won't be able to unless they take FedEX's bribe or raid another conference. They'll get to share in the very profitable Big Ten Network and all without having to cater to Texas. Sounds like a good deal to me.

2. The SEC. We are still the best conference in college football. If it's possible, I think we emerged even strong after this fiasco, then we were before. The Meek 11 plus 1 is better with Nebraska, but they're still not the SEC. The Pac 10 plus 1 still doesn't have a championship game and their strongest program is on probation for the next 2 years. Not exactly a "rival." As for the Big 12 minus 2, I think it's pretty clear that that "conference" will continue to be held up by Texas. And here I didn't think you were supposed to negotiate with terrorists.

The Losers:

1. The Pac 10. We got Colorado...yippy. Pac 10 commissioner Larry Smith, who just 4 days ago, appeared poised to create a truly formidable conference, is now holding the bag with 11 schools and no championship game.

2. The rest of the Big 12 minus 2. How can any of the remaining schools not look at themselves in the mirror and not feel like they just got screwed? Worse, the money's not even on the dresser, as the Longhorns ran off with that too.

Those are the winners and losers in my mind. What do you think VSL Nation? Now that our long national nightmare is over, who can we yell at?

5 comments:

Woody said...

Now, I'm in full agreement with the statements made about the SEC as a conference and about the Pac-10+1losing. However, even though it's not as big a story, I think you have to put Colorado in the winner's column and here's why:

1. The school will now be associated, via conference, with UCLA, Standford, Cal, Oregon, AU, ASU and USC. Most of those schools have their own sports heritages, but if you think about those schools from an academic and research standpoint, it's a better group of institutions with which to be associated.
2. The school will triple its annual revenue being Part of the Pac-10+1, according to news I'm hearing out here.
3. The largest alumni base for CU is California and, surprisingly, Arizona. Now that CU as a both a team and institution will be spending more time on the West Coast, you have to assume that the Buff alumni will have a more active role with their university. I'm aware it's an assumption.
4. The Big 12 blew up when Nebraska left and people out here hate Texas just as much, if not more, then Bobby does.
5. The switch is supposed to take place in two years. With USC facing sanctions and Lane Kiffin, the school's overwhelming dominance may (I repeat, may) be ending. Dan Hawkins, a.k.a, "IT'S DIVISION I FOOTBALL!", has two years left on his contract. Think that CU won't try and hire a top-tier coach for their first season of Pac-10+1 football with a weakened USC? If they let that opportunity slip, I'd be shocked.
6. What the hell else was CU going to do, Mountain West? Right.

Overall, the sentiment out here is that it was a great move and one that benefits CU. I'm not saying its going to change the face of college athletics, but it will definitely help Colorado in the long run.

Anonymous said...

I think we should fill the sports void with the former lady dore golfer on Big Break

Anonymous said...

I, too, was going to add a comment that I see Colorado as a winner. Woody has stated the case for this much better than I would have. I agree, Woody.

Bob Loblaw said...

I, too, agree with Woody that CU made out like a bandit in the Great Realignment Apocalypse. I think Nebraska probably did, too. Finally, I think that the Big 10 now 12 and Pac 10 now 12 (assuming they get Utah) will finally get what they want, the possibility of a conference championship game a la the SEC. While that didn't work out so well for the Big 12 now 10 for the last few years, the reason there is the power disparity between divisions. Assuming that Jim Delaney and Larry Clark et al. aren't idiots, they'll set up divisions in their new conferences designed to promote balance, something the Big 12 couldn't do. While Texas is everyone's white whale and will continue to be because there's no way the Big 12 now 10 stays together like this for too long, I think they lose out here despite the money they're making by keeping what's left of their conference together. The only important conference game on their schedule now is Oklahoma and that's it. Sure, Tech, OSU and Kansas are plucky but they're not heavyweights, and A&M hasn't done jack for about 12 years now. Less competitive league means less eyeballs on national TV, just ask the Big East. We'll be seeing more of this crazy shit soon enough, is what I'm getting at.

Pete W. said...

I think Chip Brown and his crew at orangebloods.com have to be considered winners as well. They had their name on ESPN's various platforms, as well as other national media outlets, on a near-daily basis. I'm sure they were already fairly well-known in Texas and Big 12-10 country, but many people on the East Coast, myself included, had probably never heard of the site before. They were all over this thing.