Top 10 for October – the realignment craze: Missouri says “Show Me” the power

Posted: 10/13/2011 in college football, Top 10 lists
Tags: , , , , , , ,

There’s a big headline on Yahoo! Sports today about realignment with the headline screaming out “There’s no simple solution.”

Oops, sorry. That article is about the NHL. Kind of funny since most Americans can’t tell you which teams are in which NHL division anyway.

Unfortunately, that’s where college sports appear to be headed with the latest dose of greed permeating the college football landscape.

Rivalries, tradition and the student-athletes once again don’t matter when there’s an extra million dollars or two to grab.

Texas A&M’s move to the Southeastern Conference began the latest craze and then the Atlantic Coast Conference stole Pittsburgh and Syracuse from the Big East. So naturally, the Big East needs to pilfer some other schools to protect its undeserved (of late) automatic BCS bid and the Big 12 is surveying the possibilities in case Missouri bolts to the SEC.

Particularly amusing are rumors that the Big East might turn to schools like Central Florida, East Carolina, Houston and SMU in attempt to keep its league relevant. Throw those four in with current programs like Louisville and Cincinnati and you have Conference USA Part II.

Please, someone must fill them in on what little impact the current Conference USA packs. And think, the Big East turned down a contract worth over a billion dollars from ESPN earlier this year.

What school would really want to join a league mismanaged that poorly?

Like the headline for the NHL story said, there’s no simple solution.

Now we’re on to a quick look at 10 schools recently mentioned in the realignment game:

10. San Diego State sent a package hoping to convince the Big 12 it is worthy of joining its conference. Best guess is the Aztecs showed the league its horrid football record against BCS programs and promised it didn’t plan to keep winning basketball games. Either that or San Diego State has gotten a bit too big for its britches after that first bowl victory in 41 years.

9. Air Force is considering a football-only move to the Big East and would move the rest of its sports out of the Mountain West due to competition issues. Funny stuff since the school’s cadets are supposed to be taught how to exceed expectations and overcome long odds. Running from situations isn’t what any of Air Force’s student-athletes signed up for.

8. Rutgers would like to be one of the schools that departs the Big East before it falls apart. Repeat, Rutgers. Most people find it silly the Scarlet Knights are even collecting BCS money when the school’s football history consisted of one measly bowl game appearance prior to 2005. Rutgers insists it can bring the New York television market to a new league. Truth is the school is a nonfactor in Manhattan or any of the other boroughs.

7. Nothing sounds sillier than Boise State to the Big East. The Broncos aren’t even in the eastern part of their own state, let alone anywhere close to the Eastern seaboard. Can’t imagine Villanova, Georgetown and St. John’s celebrating about the prospects of traveling to Boise for a conference hoops game. Boise State would be better served by being patient since it is in its first season of the Mountain West and then seeing what unfolds over the next few months.

6. Louisville seeking entry to the Big 12 sounds like a disaster. The Cardinals went 5-16 against their fellow Big East lightweights over the past three seasons and are now famously known for going from being the best non-BCS program in the country over the first half of the last decade to a doormat in a major conference. Rick Pitino’s ego has to be taking a hit that his basketball program ranks second fiddle in the decision-making process.

5. Funny that West Virginia fancies itself as a football force but the Southeastern Conference did nothing but smirk over the Mountaineers’ hints about becoming part of the league. Those “Relying on FEMA Since 2005” shirts to insult LSU fans (think Hurricane Katrina) certainly didn’t help West Virginia’s cause. Been to Morgantown before and best I could tell, none of those trees all over the Interstate own television sets.

4. Good to see TCU in the Big 12 as opposed to the Big East. The Horned Frogs got the shaft from Texas when the Southwest Conference broke up in 1996 and desperation to preserve the Big 12 convinced the Longhorns to let go of their grudges. But how crazy is it that TCU pays $5 million to a league (Big East) in which it never played a single game?

3. Brigham Young apparently was serious about wanting to be an independent as the Cougars have thus far swatted aside the overtures of the Big 12. The Cougars wanted to get some ESPN time after being invisible in the Mountain West and now the secret is fully out – BYU isn’t close to being the force it was during LaVell Edwards’ heyday. Eventually, BYU fans will miss competing for conference titles while the football team continues to end up in the Las Vegas Bowl.

2. Connecticut might be national champions in basketball but the Huskies were unceremoniously rejected by jealous neighbor Boston College when seeking admission to the ACC. Got to love BC athletic director Gene DeFilippo throwing ESPN under the bus by saying the network told them what to do. ESPN’s corporate greed and numerous conflict of interests are no longer surprising to sports fans but people with longer memories can recall how the network all but ignored the presence of the Mountain West for several years when that league refused to re-up with ESPN.

1. Expect Missouri to hold up everybody as long as it can and enjoy the power. The Tigers are more of a force in the realignment game than they have ever been in football and all of their basketball accomplishments are overshadowed by the hair of Wesley Stokes (http://www.mutigers.com/sports/m-baskbl/mtt/stokes_wesley00.html). The Big Ten didn’t want them a year ago and that somehow didn’t drum home the message to the Tigers that they carry a much-more highly opinion of themselves than the rest of America does.

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