PAC-16 GOOD FOR ANYONE?
By mark rogers
September 7, 2011
Those not in favor of the impending creation of "Super" conferences in college football cite the fact that schools in the same region should play each other every year based on tradition, proximity, a natural rivalry. I get that. It's a compelling argument.
Wisconsin-Ohio State is intriguing.
Texas-Texas A&M has been happening since Grover Cleveland was president (for the second time).
Michigan-Notre Dame just makes sense.
But there's one thing to keep in mind when debating and discussing the current state of college football in America - globalization.
Back in the good old days of telegraphs and train stations, teams played teams right around the corner. Rivalries were established, traditions were born, legends were made.
But today, the sense of "neighborhood" that used to exist within each conference is disappearing - if it hasn't disappeared already.
Moms and dads from Boston whose kids went to USC to play 40 years, 30 years, even 20 years ago could only watch them play in person. And unless mom and dad made millions of bucks every year, that was hard to do. So kids in the "olden" days stayed put. You're from Boston? You play at BC. Kids from the Northwest played at Oregon or Washington State.
The only far away school you could send your kid to and watch them on TV was Notre Dame. That's why ND has such a big national following (or should I say...had?). But that advantage is over. ND has its own channel...UT has its own NETWORK.
You can watch Buffalo, Akron, East Carolina, or Wyoming as easily as you can watch anybody else.
Now, those same moms and dads can watch their kids play on a handheld device from anywhere in the world. I watched the Texas-Rice game in a hotel room in Boston over the weekend on my father-in-law's HTC. It was great.
So what does all this mean?
It means that a Pac-16 Super conference wouldn't be bad for college football. The dominos would/will fall and the Big 10 may expand so you may not see Wisconsin-Ohio State for a few years, but it's pittance for all the other great match-ups fans will be treated to every year.
And of all the other long-time rivalries in jeopardy? Let it go...people who hang on to things too long end up on the show Hoarders with strangers rummaging through their house wearing protective suits in search of decaying cats and fruit that is so rotten it literally tries to run away when discovered under a 20 year old mattress filled with clown dolls and ceramic butterflies.
Instead of two divisions in the Pac-16, we could have four divisions. The winners of the four divisions play a two-round playoff for a conference champion to determine the BCS berth.
If this happens, all the other conferences will have to expand and some teams will get left out in the cold and you'll have people picketing in the streets demanding no taxation without representation...
But you know what? It's interesting. And if college football keeps that characteristic about it, I'll keep watching forever. No matter how ardently I disagree with the way it's set up.
That's what has always set college football apart - the fact that it's so unfair that nobody can stop talking about it. Mission. Accomplished.
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