Everything about this conference realignment is driving me crazy. All of this needs to get solved now and be done with so we can just enjoy college football and not have to listen to this extracurricular nonsense.
I had both hoped and thought that once the whole Texas A&M business was finished, everything would at least be put on hold till the spring or summer, but I was clearly quite wrong.
I had attempted to follow this as little as I possibly could, but I woke up on Saturday to learn that Syracuse and Pitt had made the jump to the ACC. When this happened, I had little choice but to follow it closer, as it became a bit more personal. The only thing I care about in this whole mess is that Louisville somehow winds up not getting screwed and can find themselves in a good situation.
This entire process has seemingly been littered with deceit and lies from all involved. First of all, it seems like no entity wants to be the one to actually make a move (except A&M). No one, weather conferences or schools, want to be that next piece of the Tetris-esque puzzle to fall. No one wants to be the entity that is ridiculed endlessly until something else happens. Because of this, the whole process seems to be moving at a snails pace, which is not fair to the fans and especially the student athletes.
When Texas A&M chose to leave the Big-12, they didn’t beat around the bush. They said they were tired of Texas getting all of these extra benefits and they simply thought the SEC would provide them a better future. Whatever. That’s fine if that’s how they felt. What transpired Saturday was not so clear-cut and was far more filled with lies.
Both Syracuse and Pitt were part of the group that helped mold and grow the Big East into a power conference. Syracuse had been there since the beginning in 1979, while Pitt joined three years later. Just days prior to both schools applying for acceptance to the ACC and having it granted, they had pledged their loyalty to the Big East. All of the schools had claimed they were committed to making this whole thing work and that improving the conference was the way to go.
That Clearly didn’t matter to two of the longest tenured members of the conference. Loyalty had clearly gone out the window. While in situations like this where everything is so unstable, I totally understand it coming down to the every man for himself mentality. It would have to in order to ensure that this will one day get sorted out and the super-conference era can just start already. Until then, there are still six power conferences and these two schools put the other members of the Big East in even more limbo then they already were in.
For them to both site that it came down to quality of competition for their women’s sports as well as their Olympic sports is absurd. That was not the deal breaker and to even attempt to tell people that is wrong. It was done to save each school and make sure they were in the best situation financially if and when the Big East folds. It’s a joke that they would try and use that as an excuse. Disgusting.
The other aspect of this whole mess that has really irked me is that is that academics are being brought into this. It is such a false front for the end goals of both the conferences and the schools. This is purely a decision based on the financial side of things, conferences wanting to tap into new TV networks, and general stability. Certainly, I’d be kidding myself if I thought academics didn’t play into this at all. These conferences aren’t going to try and push too many limits and go out and get these schools that will outwardly hurt their reputation, however I do feel that it is not the goal in the whole process. Aren’t these supposed to be STUDENT Athletes?
For today (or the hour), this miserable roller coaster seems to have slowed down a bit. Last night, in surprising fashion, the Pac-12 decided to no longer pursue expansion, leaving Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Oklahoma St. in the Big-12. Even if the Pac-12 is done for the time being, the ACC is still rumored to be strongly considering adding two more schools (which would in all likelihood would be Rutgers and UConn), and the Big-12 is still left with nine members and would more than likely look to get back up to 12. They have been rumored to have interest in West Virginia, Louisville, and BYU to fill those gaps. The Big East has also claimed that they are still going to attempt to stick together. Word is the favorites to come in there are the military academies, which doesn’t really seem like it would be a step up from their already mediocre football conference.
This just needs to end. There’s too much speculation and not enough happening. People can’t help but talk about it. I had told myself for months that I just wasn’t going to care about it, but once you are almost forced to as a fan, it becomes inevitable and you just can’t fight it anymore. Stop pretending that the super conference won’t happen and just let it happen now so this can all go away.