Wow, these are some strange times for college football fans and some incredibly bizarre times for college football traditionalists. The bs is hitting the fan so fast it’s like being in the front row of a Gallagher show, and I hope there’s a dude at the entrance somewhere selling programs because I can’t tell the good guys from the bad anymore.
Well, at least I know the USC Trojans are bad guys. I know this because the NCAA tells me so. Seems as though the football dynasty that Pete Carroll built there in LA has come crashing down with a big dull thud, and ol’ Pete slinked off to the NFL just before the Fall of Troy. He must be psychic? Anyways, a two year bowl ban and three years of reduced scholarships make for some serious penalties, and (barring a successful appeal to the NCAA Infractions Committee’s findings) the Trojans have been thrown under the bus and left as roadkill.
Even without these NCAA sanctions to SC, the Pac-10 was moving towards parody throughout most of the league. Look at the upcoming 2010 season previews and you find that as many as six or seven teams have legitimate chances of winning the conference. That’s amazing. But hang on, just as things were looking pretty dang exciting for the future, we notice a somewhat ominous cloud lurking there on the horizon. Hmmm, what could that be? It looks like …. I don’t know …. expansion? What is that? Is that a dust cloud?
No, it kind of looks like a stampede. Yeah, it’s a stampede of freaking buffaloes! Wait a minute, buffaloes? Can that be right?!
The University of Colorado has now officially joined the Pac-10 (11?), and if the raging tornado of rumors is to be believed then this is only the beginning. The old Pac-10 will do a ninja raid on the old Big XII conference and pilfer five more schools. Included are Texas and Oklahoma, along with Texas A&M, Texas Tech, and Oklahoma State. I have officially entered Bizzarro World, and I’m not a happy camper.
Again, this is all still rumor and hearsay, but if things play out as suspected then the UofA and ASU will get thrown in with the six newbies to form an eastern division of a Pac-16 Superconference. I liked the idea of a Pac-10 TV Network (like the Big Ten network I get here in Illinois), but I find it hard to believe that the Pac-10 couldn’t have done that without expanding. Of course the engine that drives all of this is money, I get that. With Texas and Oklahoma onboard the revenue for a new tv contract will be more attractive and more lucrative.
I’m sure over time that I’ll grow to like the Great and Powerful Pac-16, but for now I will begin my mourning over the loss of the beautiful symmetry that was the Pac-10. Five pairs of traditional rivals that made for a perfect round robin football regular season and a Thursday-Saturday home-and-home basketball regular season. It just worked so well.
In a way, most of us that follow the Pac-10 are to blame (myself included). We pleaded that the Pac-10 conference should get more national exposure, and for my part I’ve always complained to anyone that would listen that the Pac-10 football games should be on national tv much more often than they are. I wished for the conference to get more national exposure, and I guess I should’ve been careful about what I wished for. Because it looks like I’m going to get my wish.