College Football Conference Realignment is About One Thing: Greed

The more I hear about this proposed “Pac-16” the more I don’t like it. And no, it doesn’t have anything to do with the fact that people confuse UO and OU enough already (well, maybe not that much).

Sure, it would be awesome for Oregon and Oklahoma to square off on the regular, or potential USC-Texas conference championships.

But that would just be the aftermath of the conference’s true intentions: to make as much freakin’ money as possible.

This popped up when I googled "Pac-16". That can't be a good sign.

College football has turned into the Wild Wild West. Or maybe the Colonial Era, where Western Europe rampaged through Africa and the Americas. This is about killing or being killed. This is about grabbing the money out of the pot before anyone else can reach for it.

And I don’t like it.

I know there’s not much purity left in sports, but it still hurts to see such blatant greed — with little to no disregard to the integrity of the sport.

And ironic thing is, college athletics still try to mask themselves as institutions of higher learning. In student-athlete, “student” still comes before “athlete”. Yet college athletics might be dirtier than all four professional leagues combined. But I digress.

If Texas, Texas Tech, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Colorado (which is already in, apparently) join the conference, that would essentially change college football as we know it.

As Ray Ratto of the San Francisco Chronicle put it: The Pac-10 would become the western equivalent of the Southeastern Conference, which will no doubt react by eating the lower third of the ACC, or of the Big 16, which would conceivably be the Big Ten plus the lion’s share of the Big East and, if it can get Notre Dame drunk enough, Notre Dame.

That would be 40 percent of the Division I football schools in three conferences! And more importantly, about 95% of the teams (or do we still have to call them schools?) that actually make money.

Wishful thinking on my part has all this prospective change resulting in the death of the BCS and the birth of some sort of playoff system under which winners are decided on the field. But if these schools are greedy enough to destroy the  current conference structure, who knows what will happen to the current Bowl situation.

If the rights to OSU come down to a golf cart race, I'm picking Oklahoma State.

Basically, college football is good the way it is — as long as a playoff system replaces the BCS (They’d make more money and football players don’t go to class anyway!). I don’t want something already great to change just because there are 50 rich people sitting behind big desks that want to be able to afford a second yacht.

And if you thought the potential confusion over UO and OU would be bad, just imagine Oregon State and Oklahoma State. Who gets rights for “OSU”? Do they play for it? Flip a coin? Have a drunken golf cart race-off?

Hopefully that question never needs to be answered. My brain hurts enough already.


2 responses

  1. Let’s look at this realistically. Expansion is going to happen. I don’t want it too, but it will, that’s the way of the world right now.

    The issue isn’t football, or basketball. The issue is the non revenue sports, like volleyball and golf. How can you justify sending students from Austin Texas to Seattle Washington to play a round of golf in the middle of the week?

    Besides that, as much as it seems to be a problem, the Pac 12 is setting itself up for the biggest win. Besides Texas and Oklahoma, there are a lot of other good schools coming in. The Big Ten, home of my Buckeyes, MAY get Missouri, Nebraska, and Notre Dame. That’s not really a good trade off, especially if one of the other schools ends up being someone like Rutgers.

    And what happens to the SEC? Do they go get Miami, Florida State, Va Tech? If the SEC picks up the bottom of the ACC/Big East, does that not lower their overall ranking? Actually, now that I think of it, I like that idea, maybe these blow hards will drop the whole “SEC is the world’s greatest thing….ever” stance.

    But for someone like me, someone who loves college football more than any other sport, it hurts, a lot. When there are power conferences, tradition dies. Never again will there be the gaurentee that USC/UCLA, UO/OSU, Ohio State/scUM will be the last game before bowls. And I know in more than one place, those matchups mean everything to a school. The Buckeyes could be 0-11 going into Michigan week, but a win there makes up for the season.

    But it’s not only these key match ups. What happens else where? We never see a Georgia/Clemson game any more. And that used to be a HUGE game, the schools are less than 2 hours apart. And what happens when the conference tries to make a rivalry game? Every year in football, Ohio St. has to play 2 teams. One, obviously is scUM, but the other? Penn St. Never mind that we never really had tradition with them until they moved into the Big 10. We had a much longer match up with Illinois, but most younger Buckeyes don’t know that, because we don’t play them every year. And it’s not just us, scUM doesn’t play Minnesota every year, and they have one of the longest Trophy Games of all time, The Little Brown Jug.

    Don’t get me wrong. I love the idea of games like Oregon/Texas happening every year or couple years. I want to see OSU/Notre Dame. But unless the schools are willing to basically give up a non conference schedule, which they are not, it won’t happen. Perhaps the answer is to create another D-1 subdivision, the Power Conferences, and the “Others”.

    I’m not a huge tradition homer, I like the idea of modernizing, otherwise we’d be stuck with Harvard/Princeton games every Saturday night on ABC, but there is something to be said about saving college football. Sure, change it up a little. Make the playoff. Force teams to play other quality out of conference games, like OSU, Oregon, Texas, etc. have done, unlike some SEC schools who like to load up on Louisiana Monroe, or the Atlanta School for the Deaf, Dumb, and Blind Women’s School. But save the game we love, save the reasons we love it.

    This is my rant, sorry it’s longer than the original post. I just needed to get that out.

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