Posted on: September 20, 2011 12:31 pm
Edited on: September 20, 2011 3:28 pm

Big 12 leftovers

With Oklahoma and Texas clear to leave, it seems like the Big 12 is dead. Personally I don't see a merger between the Big 12 and Big East going to happen. I think schools like: West Virgina, New Jersey Rutgers, and Missouri will try to fine greener pasters then staying in a jumbled mess. Now the plus side of a merged Big 12 and Big East conference is it'll be a good basketball conference, but that doesn't matter in NCAA sports anymore. All these conference realignment debates are tied to football because that is where the money is. To be honest, I can't see the Big East survive, but the atheletic directors are having a meeting tonight to discuss the Big East's future. As the dust clears, we'll see what happens to the Big East.  

As an alum from Mizzou, a Big 12 school, I'm glued to the news in regaring to the Big 12 and it's schools. Assuming Texas and OU head to the Pac 12, here are my guesses to what'll happen. First of all, I'm surprised Texas might go to the Pac 12. I orginally thought they might go independent as they have their own network, and I'm curious how that will play out down the road if the Pac 12 takes them. No matter how much Texas wants their own network, there is no way the Pac 12 will allow that network to survive unless they adapt Pac 12 programing. That said, if the Big East survives, I could see them taking Texas as they'll probably allow that network to survive in order to have them in their conference. As things look right now, it looks like Texas has a spot in the Pac 12, but we'll see what happens to the Longhorn Network.

It seems like OU is pose for the Pac 12, but I don't see the Pac 12 stopping with only 14 members. I wouldn't be surprised if they took Oklahoma State and Texas Tech. My reasoning for Oklahoma State is they have a solid football program, and I know Oklahoma will prefer to bring them along to the Pac 12. That said, OU will jump the Big 12 ship alone if they have to for their own interests. Lastly I see Texas Tech joining the Pac 12. Texas Tech has a solid football program, and they are another rival for: Texas, OU, and OK State. In regards to Baylor in the South, I see them being left out of a BCS conference. They aren't attractable enough to join a BCS conference.

What does conference realignment look like to the Big 12 North leftovers? If we go back to OK State and Texas Tech, lets say they don't go to the Pac 12, then I see Kansas and Kansas State heading West. Both schools aren't the best in football, but they are big schools and at least have some appeal in football. Since Kansas State has finally gotten decent again; they could be a good addition to the Pac 12. I also see Kansas State wanting to bring their counterpart Kansas along. Both have a good rivarly, and Kansas might have another breakthrough season again in the near future. Otherwise if OK State and Texas Tech head to the Pac 12, I don't see them joining anywhere. The Big 10 is being stubborn right now, and they are still focus on getting ND, and possibly the New Jersey Rutgers. ND is an obvious fit for the Big 10, and the NJ Rutgers will bring the NYC tv market which is the sole reason the Big 10 them. If ND stays independent, and lets say the Big 10 adds NJ Rutgers, they'll either add one more school, or 3 more schools. Right now I don't see them expanding pass 14 teams, and they can survive as a 14 school conference. Now if ND and NJ Rutgers refuse to go to the Big 10, then I see Kansas and Kansas State heading to the Big 10 if they decide to add 2 more teams. Otherwise, they might be left behind with Iowa State. I don't see Iowa State going anywhere as they don't bring much to the table. Most of their bowl apperances are tied to 6-6 records, and they don't bring anything with them besides their alumni base.

Finally there is my school, Mizzou. The first scenario I see is Mizzou to the Big 10. Geographically they would fit well in the Big 10. They have a rivarly with Illinois and Nebraska. In addition, they have had some good games against Iowa in the past. Again, the Big 10 is stubborn. The Big 10 is still focused on getting ND, and most likely the NJ Rutgers because of their tv market. But if one of those schools decide to stay put, then Mizzou seems like the best fit as the 14th team. Otherwise, it seems like the SEC has their eyes on Mizzou if WVU decides to stay put, or join the ACC. The SEC needs a 14th member, and Mizzou would be a good fit. They have a rivarly with Arkansas, and they bring a decent football program along with a solid tv market. That is my guess of where Mizzou goes as I can't see them being left out. I'm not saying that as an alumni, but I'm saying that by looking at why certain teams are moving over others. Mizzou has consistently: gone to several bowl games recently, they have been a top 25 caliber team in recent years, they bring the St Louis and Kansas City tv markets, and finally they are a large school. They have a significant presence in the area, and I can't see them being left behind due to what they bring to the table. The problem with Kansas and Kansas State is their influence is limited to mostly KC when it comes to a major city market, and that city is split among several schools. Furthermore, Kansas and Kansas State aren't the most appealing schools when it comes to football. As of now, I only see Mizzou from the Big 12 North being able to survive the conference realignment battle. These are my guesses of how things will play out for the Big 12 schools.

Posted on: January 2, 2011 10:01 am

TCU, another reason automatic BCS bids need to go

After seeing TCU beat Wisconsin, I think the small teams have gotten more ammunition of proving to the world that the BCS is a flawed system and that smaller non-traditional programs can hang in with the big boys. I know there have been constant arguments by fans on both sides on why a smaller school like Boise State should be in the BCS and while the old school fans say their record is flawed due to strength of schedule. I understand both arguments as both sides make a valid point. Ohio State has a tougher schedule than Boise State. However, how can fans of Ohio State still denied teams like TCU aren’t good, or their record is inflated when they still beat some good teams. It’s true that TCU schedule isn’t the toughest, but winning on the road in Utah and then winning the Rose Bowl against number 5 Wisconsin says a lot. And since there will be no playoffs in the near future for college football, I think at least they should get rid of conference tie ins into the BCS and allow the best rank teams play. 

If there is one thing the BCS has taught us is smaller schools can hang in with the big boys. I’ve heard arguments that the teams they play weren’t prepared or motivated to play because they aren’t in the national championship is a load of bull. When Utah beat Alabama in the 2009 Sugar Bowl, they proved they can play with the big boys and that they earned their ranking and their spot in the BCS. Saying Nick Saban didn’t prepare well is insane. A good coach and a good team is always ready when they step on the field, even if it’s a meaningless game. And if they lose it’s because they didn’t play the best and fans saying “it doesn’t matter” or “we weren’t ready” is just making excuses. They were out beaten that day, and Utah showed they were ready and they rose to the occasion. It isn’t just Utah in 2009, but Utah beat Pittsburgh in the Fiesta Bowl in 2005. Boise State upset Oklahoma in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl. I think we have seen enough of the small teams proving they can hang with the big boys, and that the BCS needs some reforming in the near future. 

Also the conference tie ins have gotten ridiculous. When 8-4 UCONN got a Fiesta Bowl berth because the Big East is guaranteed a BCS Bowl is pathetic. I don’t blame TCU for moving to the Big East as their football team will be favorites to win the Big East in the near future. Originally giving automatic bids to the BCS conferences wasn’t a bad idea. It’s similar to division titles in the NFL, but the biggest difference between the NFL and NCAA is that not every conference in college football gets an automatic BCS bowl. When a better MWC or WAC has more rank teams than the Big East, or even ACC at times, then it shows the automatic bids need to go. UCONN isn’t the first team who didn’t deserve to go. #19 Virginia Tech   was another example of an automatic that didn’t deserve to be there. I know Virginia Tech won, but going 9-4 isn’t the best record in football, and there were more deserving teams that were left out. One more example was #22 Florida State who got an Orange Bowl birth with an 8-4 record because they won the ACC. I like Bobby Bowden, but they were more deserving teams that should of gone over his.

The biggest issue in college football nowadays is the old traditional conferences being the best isn’t always the case. In the last decade there has been more diversity in college football in which programs rise and fall on a constant basis. Long gone are the days when Norte Dame and Miami always have the best team each year. Since we are still running under the impression the old divisions should be good is a lie. The Big East and ACC are too inconsistent to deserve an automatic bid every year, and because of their automatic bid, there are good teams each year get snubbed because of the limited amount of spots. If anything that needs to be change in the near future for college football is getting rid of the automatic bids. it should be reformatted by only allowing the top 10 play, or at least have a top 12 ranking in case a school already accepted another bowl bid before the season ended. But seeing un-rank schools, or schools in the upper teens and low twenties is sad. 
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