A few months back, the word around Syracuse University was the Big 10 was interested in making the Orange the 12th team in the conference.
Oh yeah, that clearly panned out.
Last week, that Pac-10 was on the brink of becoming a super-conference, with 16 teams, six of which would be coming over from the Big 12.
Uh huh, remind me how that worked out, again?
Conference realignment seems to be all the rage in the summer of 2010. Whether it goes down as historic or infamous, the jury’s still out.
While it’s not definite where each team is going to end up, one thing is for sure: all this talk about realignment is starting to get old.
In college football, a sport absent of any organized playoff system, the two teams with the best record meet for the championship. Sure, strength of schedule is taken into consideration, but a two-loss team with a tough schedule versus an undefeated team with an easier schedule…. we know how that’s going to end.
For basketball, the other major sport affected by realignment, is in a different boat. Since basketball is a much longer season than football, with a more important conference schedule, realigning conference play would have a domino affect on the NCAA Tournament seeding.
The real question is, why is all this conference realignment such a big deal? What’s wrong with the way the conferences are now?
Two answers: First off, realignment is overrated, and is backed by selfish financial reasons on the parts of the schools and conferences. Secondly, nothing; there’s nothing wrong with the conferences as they stand right now.
The Pac-10 is in a tumultuous situation at the moment. In football, USC is facing issues, with scholarship decreases and postseason bans for the next few years. In basketball, the conference is coming off one of the worst seasons by a major conference ever.
And adding Colorado and Utah are supposed to help both of these situations? I think not.
The Big Ten clearly wants to be the premier conference of college football, looking to expand to 12 teams to extend its season with a postseason conference tournament, which is now possible thanks to the addition of Nebraska.
In Layman’s terms, the Big Ten wants to make more money from its teams playing on television more often.
In basketball, the Big Ten boasts Ohio State and Michigan State, a frequent visitor to the Final Four. Wisconsin is solid, but not usually a title contender, and teams like Purdue, Illinois, and Indiana that usually compete.
Nebraska basketball is going to make this conference stronger?
For football, Nebraska will make an impact, for sure, but is it worth dismantling the Big 12 for? Probably not.
So, regardless of who ends up where, what conferences thrive, or what conferences survive, there’s only one solution to this ongoing media calamity that changes like the direction of the wind.
Just keep things the way they are.
(Or at least finalize everything; this process seems longer than waiting for Brett Favre to announce his latest retirement/comeback plans.)