I don't know about you, but I'm loving this whole NCAA conference realignment thing. This might be the most excited I've been about college sports in a long time, save for a recent NCAA basketball championship. Basically, these schools are deciding on the future face of college sports. In addition, there's the added drama of a few big-name colleges (e.g., Kansas) potentially being left out in the cold by other schools' defections.
The rumors are flying: Big 12 schools are leaving for the Pac-10, Big 10, and/or the SEC; additionally, the SEC might possibly be plundering schools from other conferences as well. Some decisions are supposed to come down today.
People are saying that with these new conferences, the NCAA won't be necessary anymore. These mega-conferences will be free to create their own inter-conference championship games, finally ridding college football of the BCS. There will be much dancing and joyous celebration in the streets. People will light small fires and happily dance around them in circles.
But this begs the question: why even have conferences in the first place? At least for football, let's just blow up the entire system.
If teams are going to be moving around this freely, there really is no conference sanctity to uphold. Conferences were useful decades ago when travel was much more difficult -- it was nice to be able to play teams close to home. But now, why not let the schools make their own choices?
Teams would only schedule schools they wanted to play, so if a team didn't want to take a cross-country trip, they wouldn't have to. Since all the scheduling would be left up to the schools themselves, traditional rivalries would be kept intact -- I think that even without the Big 10 mandating it, Ohio State and Michigan would still want to schedule each other every year.
I know there's the problem of TV money and all that, but if all the colleges got together and opted out of this whole conference thing, I'm pretty sure the networks would find ways to adjust and pay the schools. Plus, this cuts out the middle man of the conferences themselves. Commissioners gotta get paid, you know? Less cash going to the bureaucracy and more going to the schools. I think the university presidents would be happy to let that happen.
At the end of the regular season, a committee would weigh all the teams' accomplishments and decide who makes the playoffs. For football, it wouldn't be unlike what the NCAA basketball tournament does now, except for that there wouldn't be any automatic bids. Every team would be judged on its own merits -- win/loss, strength of schedule, etc. -- by a panel, and the top 8 or ideally the top 16 would have a playoff. It all seems so simple. Blow it all up and start from scratch. You know, just like the ending of Fight Club.
Alright, we're setting up the weekend and giving you your Friday reward video early this week. Keep checking back though -- later this afternoon, we'll hit you with a USA-England World Cup post that's really just a series of of jingoistic taunts. Then tomorrow, I've been promised a guest post that breaks down the matchup on the field from someone who actually knows what he's talking about.
On tap for the weekend:
Soccer. Lots and lots of soccer. On the east coast, it's on from when you wake up until about 5PM, almost every day for the next two weeks. I'm sure if you're sitting at a desk somewhere, you can pull it up online. But I've gotta tell you -- for the next month, this is gonna make life for the 9.7% pretty sweet.
Blah blah blah NBA blah blah blah Kobe blah blah blah flopping blah blah blah Gaaahnett blah blah blah.
Soccer. Oh, did I already say that? Well I'm saying it again. The World Cup is awesome. If you need advice on who to root for after the U.S., this guide should be able to help you out.
Interleague baseball. You know, for after the soccer's ended.
Here's your Friday reward video. In honor of tomorrow's World Cup match, I thought I'd help you study up on your American History. Remember to check back this afternoon to hear me unabashedly spit some hate at England.