Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Big 12 stays intact: Reaction

So after the drama of the last couple weeks, officially the Big 12 Athletic Conference will stay in existence. There were rumors that the top football schools who are members of the Big 12 (University of Texas, University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and Texas Tech) would leave to join the Pacific Athletic Conference (PAC-10).

So instead of rehash everything that has happened to the college sports landscape, I’ll do a quick overview and then my thoughts:

*University of Nebraska leaves the Big 12 and joins the Big Ten Conference

-Nebraska left the Big 12 because they wanted a better share of the TV revenue from the conference and they wanted more media exposure. I know some experts say this is a good move for them but I am still scratching my head about it. They leave because of money, yet they will not be a major player in their new conference. They were one of the top three football programs in the Big 12, while in the Big Ten they are maybe the 5th best football program. Since college football is the biggest money maker for college athletics I do not see how Nebraska benefits except that the Big Ten has their own TV Network so their school’s other athletic programs will have more exposure.

*University of Colorado leaves the Big 12 and joins the PAC-10

-The PAC-10 is well known for having high academic standards. The Universities of Washington, University of California, and UCLA are all well known research schools while Stanford University has some of the toughest academic standards among major universities in the nation. So the PAC-10 invited a university that has been cited four times by NCAA for multiple violations of collegiate athletics rules in the last thirty years. Some of these violations have involved academics. So how does Colorado fit in with the PAC-10? Colorado has a decent football program, weak men’s and women’s basketball programs, and their best sports historically are Cross Country and Skiing. The real reason Colorado is a part of the PAC-10 is for the exposure in the Denver media market.

*The Big 12 is staying intact, with ten teams.

-The Big 12 now has ten teams, the Big Ten has twelve teams, and the PAC-10 has eleven teams. My first reaction is why don’t these “smart” people who run these conferences come up with better names? Universities are places where students go to be educated and enlightened, obviously such education and enlightenment does not extend to those who come up with the names for such organizations. Furthermore, the Big 12 has been weakened in their athletics with the departure of Nebraska and Colorado. What the Big 12 should do is invite Texas Christian University (TCU) and the University of Houston so they can revitalize the conference. Both schools have good athletic programs. Then the Big 12 can have a north division consisting of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Missouri, Kansas, Kansas State and Iowa State and a south division with Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Baylor, Houston and TCU. THAT would be interesting, but I’m just speaking as a sports fan.

*University of Utah is rumored to be going to the PAC-10

-So since the PAC-10 couldn’t get Texas, Oklahoma and half of the Big 12, many experts suspect that Utah will be invited into the PAC-10. I am unsure how they will divide up the conference with the inclusion of Colorado and Utah, but having Utah is a better prospect than Colorado for the PAC-10. Utah has good football, men’s basketball, and women’s gymnastics programs along with a good academic tradition. Utah is a good fit for the PAC-10.

*Notre Dame University Football is staying Independent

-I have had enough of Norte Dame demanding to be independent. The school has not won a major bowl game since 1994 (Cotton Bowl). Schools such as Alabama, Oklahoma, USC, Miami, Nebraska and Ohio State have been football powerhouses for decades and they are not independent from an athletic conference. I cannot wait for the day that Notre Dame Football stops putting their nose into the air towards the college football world and they join an athletic conference.

Yes, they have won eight national championships in the National Poll era (since 1936), but their last championship was in 1988. Alabama has also won eight national championships and they have won two since Notre Dame’s last championship. University of Southern California (USC) and Oklahoma have won seven national championships while Ohio State and University of Miami have won five national championships. Also, since Notre Dame was national champion in 1988 Miami, Nebraska and Florida have won three championships while Alabama, Louisiana State University (LSU), Florida State and USC have won two championships. So Notre Dame needs to get with the times; the other great football schools have.

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