Pitt/’Cuse make the mediocre slightly mediocre-er
The obvious news from Monday is that Syracuse and Pittsburgh both left the Big East for the ACC. Everyone knows this was a money move, since super conferences are coming, but there’s no way this move really makes the ACC any better in football. The Orange are still a doormat and Pitt just had Dave Wannstedt as its coach for the last several years. It’s debatable if the Chicago Bears have every fully recovered from the same thing.
It’s almost like the ACC just wants to be a super conference just to be a super conference. Like all those people at Wal-Mart you see who were wearing John Cena shirts until June and then switched to CM Punk but they can’t exactly explain why. That doesn’t happen to you? Huh.
This does, however, make the ACC even more of a juggernaut in basketball. Basically, ESPN is going to turn into the ACC Network from November to early March and there’s nothing the other conferences can do about it. And while Coach K thinks it’s a “coup” now for the conference, he’s going to feel differently when he’s snowed in at Syracuse’s airport in late February after a bad loss. Or when Syracuse fans suddenly realize they have to fly to freaking North Carolina to watch the conference tournament at the end of the season instead of just driving to Madison Square Garden like always.
The Butterfly Effect
Two football-playing schools leaving the Big East leaves kind of a huge motherf-ing hole in that conference, meaning they need to get two replacements really, really quickly. Notre Dame is an obvious target since they’re already in the Big East for everything else. But who the hell else would jump on that sinking ship? TCU is already secretly wishing it was dead so it wouldn’t have to be seen in the hallways with the college football equivalent of the AV Club.
O hai, Big XII remnants.
A super conference made up of the conferences who got dumped sounds awesome, especially since those road trips would be ever-so-convenient. It worked so well for Rob Gordon and Sarah Kendrew.
It’s not a done deal that Texas and OU even want to leave since the Pac-12 is playing it extra cool even though its private Live Journal has been humming with activity. They’re worried about the logistics of the relationship too, but when two options this attractive show up and have nowhere else to go, you let them in, damn it. You let them in.
There’s also the obvious problem of Notre Dame not wanting to join a conference even though they’re going to get stuck in one eventually anyway. Once all the super conferences coalesce, they’re going to realize there’s no point in playing Notre Dame because they suck and don’t give the supers any more television exposure than they already have. Hell, the Irish already play more ACC and Big Ten (3 each) schools in football this year than Big East schools (2) anyway, and they’re already part of the conference in every sport but football.
Mack Brown is sentimental
I can’t imagine WHY Texas would want to stay with the Big XII as long as possible, what with their unquestioned financial dominance over the rest of the conference and the ridiculous amount of lucre they get from the Longhorn Network, which would have to go away if they joined the Pac-12.
But instead, Texas coach Mack Brown played the Helen Lovejoy card and pined for the days of O.J. Simpson running rampant in
Brentwood the Rose Bowl in the 1990′s 1960′s. I think I just got banned from The Jungle.
“I’m afraid some of the guys growing up won’t have that same feeling about some of the passion that you have right now if we continue to change leagues and continue to change rivals,” he said.
You mean like when the Southwest Conference disintegrated and you stopped playing Houston, TCU, SMU, and Arkansas? But no, I’m sure Texas cares very deeply about regional rivalries. How else do they get to keep padding their record with Baylor’s scalp every year? Just wait until December third, Baylor fans. Stay in the tall grass til then.
What the Big Ten should do
It’s occurring to Kansas and Missouri that they’re quickly running out of dance partners and might get stuck next to the punch bowl in the ACC/Big XII hybrid if they’re not careful. However, note the first two schools on my list from earlier this month. The Big Ten grabbing Mizzou and Kansas is so obvious it almost broke my Tim McCarver-ometer.
And yet, Kansas might be going for the big score and making eyes at the ACC purely for basketball reasons. Not that Kansas can do anything for football reasons at the moment, but still. The Big Ten has to step in and snatch them and the Tigers up before some one else gets to exploit the St. Louis/Kansas City television markets and Kansas’ dominance in college basketball. Plus I want to road trip to The Phog for IU’s first conference game there.
And hey, what’s another patsy in football for the Big Ten going to hurt? Might take some of the focus off Indiana for once while we put our secret cabal for football success (hint: catchy slogans!) in place.