College Football State of the Union

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Nice Move

 

College football is a hair over three strenuous months away. We have no choice but endure these dog days of football-less summer. The next best thing to watching it, however, is discussing it. In that respect, the summer of 2012 has blessed us.

First, let’s rewind two years ago. In the summer of 2010, college football fans nationwide had their eyes and ears affixed on the Big 12 Missile Crisis. The University of Texas and ESPN put a firm handshake on the birth of The Longhorn Network, a network devoted to constant UT sports (and some academic) coverage. The contract between ESPN and Texas was inked to the tune of 300 million over 20 years. This seemingly unbalanced distribution of power and wealth in the Big 12, among other things, led to disgruntled conference members, which in effect resulted in these schools seeking conference affiliation elsewhere. The PAC 10, Big 10, and even the SEC to a lesser extent, had eyes on certain Big 12 members. When the dust settled, Colorado had packed up their spliffs and headed for the west coast, and Nebraska took their historic program to the Big 10. Wheels officially in motion. The Big 12 stayed content with 10 teams, perhaps aware that the landscape of collegiate athletics would be drastically changing in the coming years regardless. The following year more teams sought outside conference membership, but this time the SEC was in pursuit.

Missouri and Texas A&M traded in their overalls for bow ties in 2011. SEC acceptance meant more money, more reputable football, and the hallowed SEC tradition. It was a no-brainer for them. These programs were attractive options due to the television markets they would pack with them on their way to the southeast. The SEC quickly closed on suicide bids Missouri and Texas A&M with a gentleman’s nod and three fingers of Johnnie neat. The two vacant spots left in the Big 12 were filled with programs from lower-tier conferences, West Virginia and TCU.

This takes us to the present. The summer of 2012 has started off in a similar fashion to the two previous. Conference unrest and turmoil is grabbing headlines again, but this time it’s moving east. Headliners this summer are Florida State, Clemson, and Notre Dame. Other schools are being thrown around too, like Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech and Miami. You’ve picked up on the theme by now if you’re a male between the ages of 12 and 95. These are teams from the ACC, save Notre Dame who is independent. The ACC is officially on notice. Why? The recent announcement from the SEC and Big 12 of a bowl game between each conference winner (If the conference winner is in the national title game, the second place team in the conference will take their place in the bowl game.) has thrown NCAA football off kilter and appears to be the first step toward the demise of the BCS. The ACC is ripe for a ravaging. Their basketball roots make them a less-sustainable option in the world of college football domination.

“Playoffs?! Don’t talk about…playoffs?! You kiddin’ me? Playoffs!?”

Yes, playoffs. That’s the direction we’re headed. Well, playoffs and super conferences. The aforementioned teams being rumored with instability want to sit at the big boys’ table, and seats are filling up. The way things are progressing, we’re looking at four eventual super conferences. These power conferences will likely each have 16 programs, with the winner of each conference representing a seed in a 4-team playoff to determine a national champion, a real national champion. Be patient, though. A playoff system is likely, but it’s still a few years out.

What’s next?

Expect the dominoes to start falling. There is smoke beginning to build up over Tallahassee and Clemson. Word could start trickling out as soon as tomorrow that these programs are officially seeking other conference affiliation, and the Big 12 appears to be their desired destination. If these programs decide to apply for acceptance to the Big 12, announcements should surface in the coming months.

The wildcard here is Notre Dame. With four super conferences forming, the Irish may have hop on board somewhere. Their independent nature makes their situation more in-depth, but their athletic administration understands what’s at stake here. With their stout tradition and widespread appeal, they’ll get their pick of the litter.

There is also the issue of the scraps, the leftover programs that aren’t included in the formation of the powerhouse conferences. What happens to the little guy? As far as I know, they’ll keep doing their thing with limited revenue and no hopes of a title shot. The BCS Titanic is going down, and only the first class passengers get lifeboats.

Stay tuned. College football could be changing in a big way.

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Nice Move

Roger_Dorn

Roger Dorn (@RogerJDorn) is the Vice President of Media for Grandex, Inc. He's a native Texan with a full head of hair and knows his way around a nice box of red wine. Dorn graduated (BBA) with a GPA sitting in the meaty part of the bell curve, not lagging behind, but not trying to show off, either. Golf is his game now. He's long off the tee but can't putt for shit. Email: dillon@grandex.co

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  1. 1
    Bros A Bank

    So where will ND eventually end up? Their first choice was the Big East, but that conference has all but folded. Their second choice was the ACC, because for some fucked up reason they continue to want to be associated with east coast schools. Now with the rumors of defections within the ACC, where can they turn to for a stable conference? Will they finally give in to the pressure and join the big 10?

    ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 2 years ago
    • 5
      Fraturally Light

      I think the big ten is happy with 12 right now. Last I’d read, a lot of the big ten ADs were done with ND because of how many times ND had rejected their invitations over the past few decades. When Nebraska joined, I think any hope for ND to eventually join the big ten disappeared. That said, ND would bring hundreds of millions of dollars to the table so it wouldn’t shock me if something did develop.

      ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 2 years ago
    • 2
      JParksCaldwell1855

      They won’t go Big 12 because of the academic profile of that conference is too low. They won’t go to the Big Ten (even though they play Michigan State and ann arbor every year) because, even though it makes academic and geographic sense, like you said, they view themselves as an east coast school. And I don’t think the Big East lasts.

      I think that leaves the ACC. One of the top 2 major academic conferences plus endowments, good northeastern base for rivalries, and a good mix of private schools.

      ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 2 years ago
    • 2
      JParksCaldwell1855

      Last Wisky-ND game: 1964
      Last Nebraska-ND game: 2000
      Last tOSU-ND game: 1996

      But, you know, aside from that, and not because of a culture of elitism and an alumni base on the east coast, you’re right.

      ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 2 years ago
    • 1
      Wagner

      My guess is the Big Ten, that move would keep their rivalry games with MSU Michigan & Purdue, but would forfeit the USC and Army game.

      ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 2 years ago
    • 1
      JParksCaldwell1855

      …ND’s one of my school’s biggest rivals (Little Giants = best experience I’ve ever witnessed before Rocket against Wisky this year). I just know about them and their reasoning because I’ve heard ND-to-the-Big Ten-talk for literally all my life. Not going to happen.

      ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 2 years ago
    • 0
      timmer

      jparkscaldwell you seem like one of the worst kind of people in the world. A fucking notre lame fan that doesn’t go to the fucking school.

      ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 2 years ago
    • -1
      Mashholder Stu

      thats becasue nebraska, michigan state, michigan,ohio state, and Wisconsin continually fuck ND up. Which is why they want to go to the weaker, east coast schools.

      ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 2 years ago
  2. 1
    Joran van der Frat

    Best solution is four sixteen team conferences, winners get seeded for playoff. 125 teams is too many for one league. Cap it at 64 teams and move the leftover mid-majors into their own league between Div-1 and FCS with its own championship. They’ll be pissed about being left behind but tough shit – they’re simple not cut out for the big leagues.

    ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 2 years ago
    • 1
      FranklinDBroosevelt

      I like this, but I’d add a relegation/promotion component: the best eight teams in the FCS playoff against the two worst in each FBS conference and the winners play in the FBS the following year.

      ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 2 years ago
    • 1
      OMRebelFrat

      While i do believe Hugh Freeze has our program headed in the right direction(and he is certainly recruiting his ass off) we’d be lucky to scrape out 4 wins this year. MAYBE we can sneak out a conference win but im sure as hell not holding my breath. that being said HOTTY TODDY!

      ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 2 years ago
    • 1
      Tallapoosa Snu

      It must really suck to be a Rebels fan. I can’t imagine discussing with my friends “which conference game we have a shot at maybe winning this year”… sorry y’all, good luck i guess.

      ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 2 years ago
    • 0
      dirtydelta

      I agree he has yall going in the right direction. If yall can handle a few more losing seasons yall will eventually go back to being an upper crust sec team. That or yall will just start beating state again. Either way it’s a win-win in my opinion. Too many people in starkville drinking dan mullens kool aid. State will never win the west, much less the sec. Not that i dont have faith in my team, i just think our ultimate goals are unreachable.

      ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 2 years ago
  3. 0
    TheFertileTurtle

    I’m not too happy about Mizzou and A&M joining the SEC….and that being said there better not be anymore teams trying to get in our conference..

    ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 2 years ago
  4. 0
    Joran van der Frat

    Best solution is four sixteen team conferences, winners get seeded for playoff. 125 teams is too many for one league. Cap it at 64 teams and move the leftover mid-majors into their own league between Div-1 and FCS with its own championship.

    ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 2 years ago
    • 1
      Fraternity Lifestyle

      Fuck. This is literally exactly what I was going to say. 16 teams per conference, number one teams play in playoffs. SEC vs. Big 12(16) plays each other in their new bowl, Pac 12 (16) and B1G (16) play in the Rose Bowl. Winners play in the NC.

      B1G adds ND, Pitt, Syracuse, and Boston College
      SEC adds FSU and Clemson
      Pac 12 adds BYU and Boise State, and takes Kansas and KSU from the Big 12
      Big 12 adds Miami, GT, UNC, NCSt, Duke, Wake, UVA, VT, Maryland, and Louisville.

      How about it?

      ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 2 years ago
  5. 0
    Big Dubya

    The Golden Domers won’t do a damn thing. They’re pretty content where they are now and have a great TV deal with NBC. They already play top-tier competition (if they could beat any of them). The only reason I could see them moving is to gain an auto bid in a BCS conference.

    Go Frogs

    ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 2 years ago
    • 0
      Miz_Secpledge

      ^exactly. They don’t want to move but they will be forced too. ND is that kid who didn’t want to go Greek even though everything about him pointed towards greek life, then he realized if he wanted to have friends that didn’t completely suck he would have to rush.

      ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 2 years ago
  6. 0
    nolenation44

    I am praying for a Big 12 spot. I’m sick of weak schedules. Wake Forest? Duke? I’m over it. (I don’t want to hear shit about last year our starting quarterback was out almost half the damn season, only to be replaced by a 180 pound true freshman).

    ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 2 years ago

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