I've been told that change is good. A lot. I'm not one to listen to that. I hate change.
I lived in one house from the time I was seven months old until I got married. When my wife and I purchased our first house (we had previously owned a condo and knew we were not going to be there but for a few years), I never wanted to move again.
When we did and had a house built almost two years ago, I was convinced that that was it.
I like leaving things the way they are if I can. That is, unless it is something you just can't turn down. For me, some of these things include proposing marriage to who is now my wife, taking two years to serve a mission in Argentina, accepting the job offer to teach at the school from which I graduated, and saying yes to the opportunity to share my thoughts on Fanster.com (my old Blogger account was read by probably a couple of dozen people...all friends and family) to reach a Phoenix sports audience in the many thousands of people.
For me, as opposed as I can be to changing how things are, the expansion in the Pac-10 is one of those things you have to accept and embrace. Being the fan of ASU Football that I am (it is the only team in town for which I get season tickets), there is a lot for me to like about the possibility of a super conference with Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, and Oklahoma State.
Here are some of the reasons why:
1. Better football (even if it means that the Sun Devils struggle in the conference): I really like it when the Sun Devils win, but it just isn't the same when they are beating teams like Louisiana-Monroe and Portland State.
The new conference would guarantee watching great football programs almost every week in the stadium or or on the plasma at home (for road games).
The schedule would always include Texas, Texas Tech, Colorado, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M (or some other school to replace it), and the college found near Mexico here in Arizona.
There would then be two games against the western Pac-10 teams (USC, UCLA, Cal, Stanford, Oregon, Oregon State, Washington, Washington State) and three non-conference games, which could also include Pac-10 teams.
With that type of schedule, if playing stronger Pac-10 teams, the non-conference schedule would not matter as much because the conference schedule is already stacked.
2. Better fan experiences: If you have spent much time here in the Valley of the Sun, you will note the behavior of local sports fans. They are passionate in good times and indifferent in mediocre and bad times.
However, for those that attend games, even in more apathetic times, when an opposing team has a fan base that travels well and makes a lot of noise in the stands, it fires up local fans.
This leads to fun times in the stands. Sometimes it is battling cheers to try and drown out the others. Sometimes it is watching drunk people fight. All of it is enjoying (albeit begrudgingly at times) watching fans that are passionate about their team.
Good fans are admirable even when they are opposing fans. (I do exclude any Dodger, USC, Lakers, Raiders, or Yankees fans. They are just unbearable at all times. Also, I refuse to even acknowledge fans from a certain school found somewhere near Mexico in our state. They are dead to me.)
3. More recruiting opportunities: It has been said by many before, but it opens doors to recruit more talent from Texas, a place where prep football is a big deal. Nobody makes TV shows or movies about football in Arizona, but many have been made based on or including football in Texas.
Obviously, ASU would still be the annoying kid brother to the Texas schools, but you could argue that it is already like that in California. Better to be that in two states than in only one.
Some might say that ASU loses some status in California, but because it would still play there frequently enough, I would have to disagree.
4. More money: This is the main reason for the move. As a fan, this does not translate into much because there would not be any ticket price decreases, nor would it mean that ASU's athletic department will be handing out checks to fans.
However, it will mean that there will be more money to upgrade facilities and the stadium, which will in turn attract more athletes.
5. The annual Stoops beatdown: Every year, there will be for my viewing pleasure (hopefully on TV) the Oklahoma/college near Mexico in Arizona matchup, featuring the elder Bob coaching against Mike.
I will find great pleasure watching Bob remind Mike who is bigger, more important, and more bada** in the family.
6. Road trip variety: Now, I will sadly admit that we still have taken no road trips (jobs and kids make roadies hard to pull off).
Nonetheless, our group can add, with the conference expansion, road-trip destinations in Texas and Colorado, in addition to California (some years). Now we just have to pull it off.
7. The girls!!!: Expanding the conference means expanding the schools with cheerleaders and girls in general. The sad part means there will be fewer California girls and fewer appearances from the Oregon cheerleaders (holy hot!), but now we get to see the girls from Texas.
These would happen to be good-looking ladies who know their football. I will say that California girls get the songs (a la Beach Boys) and rightfully so, but there is there anything more attractive than a smoking hot girl who is serious about football?
Anyone? Yes, good answer—the wife. But beyond that, can anyone come up with anything better? I didn't think so.
So, there you have it. The expansion to the PAC-16, Super-16, SuperPAC, BigPAC, BigWest, or whatever it will be called, is good. That is, that's how I see it. What do the rest of you fans, trapped or not, think? Leave a comment, drop me an email , or send me a tweet .
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