The Best of Conference Realignment
There has been so much said about college football conference realignment that it is time to hand out some superlatives.
Worst Use of Limited Funds
Ken Starr reportedly took a trip to Washington, D.C. to lobby Kay Bailey Hutchison for her support in stopping this conference realignment madness. On the heals of that trip, Syracuse and Pittsburgh leave the Big East to punctuate the fact that this is bigger than anything Baylor can stop. For a school that is scrambling to not be left without a seat when the music stops, that was not a good use of money.
This one goes to Aggie fans who are justifiably irritated by the attempted legal power play of Ken Starr and Baylor. The sign is visible from I-35 in Waco, TX and the closest cross street is the main exit for Baylor’s football stadium. The image says it all:
Best View From the Catbird Seat
Despite starting all of this mess, Texas remains the school with the most viable options. Pac-12, Big 10, ACC, independent. It looks like the Longhorns will consider anything other than the SEC. I’m not sure if that is because it is too competitive, if they won’t be the obvious controlling school, or because they don’t want to follow A&M. Whatever the reason, it appears that, as one writer put it, Texas is Scared of the SEC.
Best Side Effect
We may be rid of the Big East and its automatic qualifier. After the decline of Syracuse on the field and the departure of Miami and Virginia Tech for the ACC following the 2004 season, the Big East has not been a legitimate player on the national BCS scene. Boise State and TCU deserved a BCS berth more than Cincinnati or Connecticut. The Big East champion has lost by an average of 22 points in their BCS bowl in the last three years.
Best Creative Twist to Conference Realignment
Kudos to Chadd Scott and Kristi Dosh for their lighthearted and pretty thoughtful consideration of as many options as possible. It is a great what if scenario tester called Conference Realignment – Choose Your Own Adventure Style.
Best Legal Landmine Navigation
If it ever comes to pass, Texas A&M President Bowen Loftin and SEC Mike Slive have played the perfect diplomatic game in public, denying interest, asking for procedures and even for permission before formally talking. Despite the great care and diplomacy, nothing can stop a bear bent on a frivolous self-protecting lawsuit.
Right Place, Wrong Time
Texas A&M is making the right move in heading to the SEC, but by being the first to jump — or try to jump — they took the slings and arrows. Ironically, they may be one of the last schools to officially move even though they were the first to start the process.
Wrong Place, Wrong Time
TCU wanted to make it into an automatic qualifier (AQ) conference in the worst way. They ended up making the move in the worst way. Back in November of 2010, TCU declared for the Big East starting with the 2012 season. The only problem is that the landscape has changed so much that the conference they pledged to join may be a shadow of its former self if it exists at all.
Not all of the votes are counted yet, but anyone leaving the Big 12 or Big East for higher ground is a candidate.
Best Original Work
Geography of College Football Fans from the NY Times blog
Texas A&M and Oklahoma Declare Independence from Texas - tells it very bluntly
Good legal explanation of Baylor vs. SEC from The Business of College Sports