College Football Shake-Up: Top Conference Moves and How They'll Affect the Game
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Have you ever had a friend that you loved because you loved to mock them without mercy? Yeah, I think we all have and the Pac-10 er 12 is no different. Why else would they invite Colorado? What other explanation could there be for extending a conference with the word "Pacific" in its name not just to Salt Lake City, but to Boulder Colorado?
There is an old Indian Proverb that says "If the soul remains the same, as will the world around you"
The Buffs are in a state of disarray and the move makes no sense whatsoever. What did they stand to gain? BCS Status? They already had that in the Big 12. Money? Maybe but at what expense? A recruiting advantage? Not when sharing with USC, Oregon and well, everyone else in the conference.
Prediction: As USC gradually begins to recover, Oregon continues its climb, Washington completes its rehab and Arizona becomes ever more threatening, Colorado once again finds itself the conference bottom feeder. Their soul is the same, and so will the world around them be.
#4 Boise State
Kellen Moore's Boise State Bronco's may not benefit much from their jump to the Mountain West Conference
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June 11th 2010
"The Invitation to join the Mountain West Conference reflects the excellence that Boise State University has demonstrated both academically and athletically." - Robert Kustra President, BSU
Yeah, no kidding.
Mr. Kustra didn't know it but his words on that summer day were prophetic. He could have said "This is a big step forward" or "We are excited to be affiliated with the Mountain West Conference and its member schools." Instead he said "reflects"
No doubt that the Broncos felt they were trading up. Ditch the WAC for the MWC and gain some quality opponents in BYU, Utah, and TCU. Instead, after the departure of all three of those schools Boise State is left with a rough equal of the conference they just left. The only bonus? They never have to visit Reno Nevada ever again.
Well, not until 2012 anyway.
Prediction: Boise State continues their current level of success for a few years before experiencing the cycle of death and fading into oblivion. Nuts and bolts...
# 3 Nebraska
Head Coach Bo Pelini and his Cornhuskers have tremendous potential that can't be realized in the current Big 12
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Upon announcing the Cornhusker's move to the Big 10, The Universities' Chancellor said that the Big Ten offered stability that the Big 12 "simply cannot offer"
In other words.
We're freakin' sick of those jerks in Austin and Norman.
The truth is that the Big 12 just isn't what it used to be. Where once it could've been considered one of the most competitive conferences in Division One, today it continues it's rapid decline into "Texas, Oklahoma and everybody else"
Prediction: The Big 12 continues its steady decline. Nebraska takes a few years to get established in the Big Ten and eventually becomes a perennial contender for the conference title.
Coach Whittinhams team begins a potentially fantastic or horrific membership in the new Pac-12
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Boise State owes the Utes a punch to the nose. Boise State was lured into the Mountain West Conference with illusions of adding yet another perennial top 25 team to the MWC's list of reasons why they should receive AQ status with the BCS.
Those illusions lasted all of 6 days.
On June 17th 2010, The University of Utah accepted an invitation to join the Pac-10. Ute fans everywhere danced in the streets. After all, this was everything they could ever want. More exposure, Pac-10 T.V. revenue, AQ status, more trips to Sunny Southern California. Things in Salt Lake City were looking up indeed.
To quote Lee Corso "Not so fast my friend!"
The Utes have and will benefit enormously in a lot of ways from their membership in their new conference. It could also turn out to be the worst decision they've ever made. Aside from the economics of the decision the Utes have taken on a gargantuan task. Establishing themselves as a consistent contender in the conference of Trojans, Ducks, Wildcats, Sun Devils, and Huskies. They've hired veteran coordinator Norm Chow to revamp their offense ahead of their maiden voyage but the wisdom of their decision remains to be seen. Any recruiting advantage has been grossly overstated. They aren't just competing with BYU on that front anymore, but USC, Oregon, and UCLA
Membership alone does not a champion make. Just ask the boys in Pullman.
Prediction: Utah struggles with 7-8 win seasons for several years before becoming a real threat to contend for the Conference Title.
#1 BYU and Independence
The Cougars return a high percentage of starters on both sides of the ball for their first season as an Independent
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The Cougars win the "Most Intriguing Move of 2010" Award. Their move was not the most lucrative, and it didn't gain them AQ status. So the question remains, why did they do it?
Answer: They can do it better alone.
Beginning in the 2011 Campaign BYU sheds the shackles of a horrendous TV arrangment. They leave pre determined schedule weakness behind. They embark on a lucrative 8 year contract with ESPN. They return a trio of dangerous running backs, last year's leading receiver and a quarterback who showed that he can truly be deadly. They can now look a recruit in the eye and guarantee that his family and friends will see him on ESPN playing for a perennial Top 25 team.
They definitely win the award for most gutsy. The risks involved are enormous. This could devastate the Cougar program to the point of practical extinction. Cougar fans will know right away. Their team begins next season on the road at Ole Miss and Texas. Much like their rivals to the north, it's a fine line between unimaginable success or mind boggling failure.
Prediction: The Cougars led by Coach Mendenhall and the very talented Jake Heaps have the Cougars into their first BCS game before Heaps graduates.
Only time will tell.