Today, Texas A&M basically ushered in the era of the college football superconference when the Southeastern Conference extended an invite to the university. (That legal threat lobbed by
Baylor an anonymous Big 12 school is idle at best.)
Well done, Aggies. You just fouled up college football.
The move by A&M will topple the Big 12, which means some teams will run screaming to the Pac-12 while others scurry to other Football Bowl Subdivision conferences to create 14- and 16-team divisions. The remaining schools -- such as Baylor, Kansas State and Iowa State -- well, you're pretty much screwed.
By the way, this is not on the University of Texas and its Longhorn Network. When expansionpalooza debuted last summer, A&M could have followed Nebraska's and Colorado's leads by leaving the Big 12; thus, the ruining of college football wouldn't have fallen squarely on the Aggies. Instead, College Station hemmed and hawed for a year. Now look what they've done.
Peace out, college football as we know it.
5. Instead of focusing on the games, we'll be talking about conference realignment hubbub Once the season started last year, the conference realignment madness of summer 2010 took a back seat to the actual games. Not this year. Take this past weekend, for example. Baylor and TCU play an epic contest in Waco, LSU beats down Oregon in Dallas and Boise State owns Georgia in the ATL. But what was/is flashing nonstop across the ticker? Conference realignment rumors that seem to change by the hour.
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4. The official christening of a money-hungry sport College football's sad deterioration can be blamed on money; specifically, conference-centric television contracts, which makes the sport more wrecked than the equal-TV-revenue-sharing NFL. If you don't believe that college football is a cutthroat enterprise, how come nobody is talking about how college basketball, which usually doesn't rake in as much revenue as football, is going to be affected?3. The more conferences, the fewer unique match-ups With a more taxing conference schedule, there will be less room and willingness for teams to play marquee schools. This means that many will copycat Texas Tech's philosophy of scheduling non-conference cuddlies such as North Dakota and Northwestern State. Then there's the already watered-down bowl season. Match-ups like the 2011 Cotton Bowl (LSU vs. A&M) and the 2010 Alamo Bowl (Arizona vs. Oklahoma State) will lose all their novelty because they will have been played during the regular season.
2. Long-standing rivalries will go kaput Missouri and Kansas have been playing each other since 1891 and UT and A&M since 1894. Who cares about a century-plus of awesome tradition, right? That's the message university presidents are sending by valuing money over the game's essence. And it's not just in the murdered Big 12. When the SEC recruits a fourteenth team (Missouri?), a shift of the West and East divisions may occur, which could put Alabama-LSU, Alabama-Tennessee and Florida-Georgia in jeopardy. At least there's always LSU and Texas Tech vs. Whatevs University to look forward to. 1. The identity of Texas football will be lost The state of Texas/the old Southwest Conference ruled college football for a long time. More recently, the power has shifted to the SEC, which has made for interesting debates between the two regions. Now, A&M is aligned with football in the South. If Texas and Texas Tech become members of what may become the Pac-16, they'll be associated with West Coast/desert Southwest/Rocky Mountain football. This would leave schools like Rice and the brand-new UT-San Antonio, who will start participating in FBS football in 2012, as Texas's representatives. If there's any consolation, Texas A&M will play its role as a chronically mediocre program with the same gusto, if not better.