UCLA, USC, Texas, Oklahoma are just the start of the bullshit
You all know by now that USC and UCLA have blown off the Pac 12. They will be joining the Big Ten Football Entertainment Conglomerate in 2024. In that same year, as was announced a year ago, Texas and Oklahoma will have bolted from the Big 12 to join the SEC Football Entertainment Conglomerate.
This is just the start of The Great Consolidation, the Binary Bunching that will enhance the differences between the Haves and the Have Nots. All this is directed toward the interest of sucking up more market share for the Haves and punishing the Have Nots for sucking.
What a crock of shit! I say that hypocritically, because I will be an unwitting beneficiary of these money grubbing moves now and into the future. Adding a couple more quality opponents to the Big Ten would give Penn State two more quality teams to lose to, but the games will be much more interesting than Penn State vs. Rutgers!
Think of the Fuel Cost
Energy Prices are dramatically increasing, with no relief in sight. What goes up might not come down. So, in 2024, we will have entire football teams and their aficionados traveling coast-to-coast burning up jet fuel just for the pleasure of fucking off on a Saturday (or Thursday, Friday, or whatever the hell). Of course, the ticket prices as well as the TV deals will more than cover the expenses for the schools doing the cross-continental commute. They don’t give a shit.
So how will the Big Ten align in 2024 to conduct this thinly masked money grab? Remember the contrived Leaders and Legends Divisions? In 2024 we can anticipate another realignment using a similarly silly naming convention. This time, it can be the Eleemosynary and the Pecunious. I thought about that for a while, but I decided it sucks.
There will be sixteen teams by then, a number that nicely lends itself to forming the two divisions. Of course, everyone will want to be in the Pecunious Division, so that is why it will not work. Think about it. The reason the Big Ten is attractive to the Bruins and the Trojans is that MOST of the programs belong in that big money division. There are a few with poor attendance, who on balance, take more than they give to the league, but I dare you to name more than six who fit in that category.
So, I am scratching my head. We go back to Leaders and Legends? What are your thoughts?
Wait, I thought the Big Ten was an academic alliance. What’s this about football? Much like the Penn State Universe exhibited hypocritically righteous indignation when the Freeh Report described an embedded “culture of football”, many of us are in denial. We pretend that it is academics, not football and the greed associated therewith, that drives the football powerhouse universities in this country. Protest all you like, but we are now nearing The Great Consolidation, where all those cards will be on the table.
However, in our blissful state of denial we will continue to eat it up. We will continue to buy tickets and glue ourselves to the flat screen on Saturday. We will eschew family activities as we are completely sucked into the unabated culture of football.
Caught in a Masquerade
Remember 1946? That’s when the University of Chicago left the Big Ten. It abolished its football team, The Chicago Maroons, in 1939, and by 1946 decided not to participate in the so-called academic alliance because it made a conscious effort to not prioritize its ability to be competitive in athletics. This is interesting because its legendary football coach, Amos Alonzo Stagg, helped found the Big Ten. The University of Chicago still maintains its connection with the Big Ten academically, but you never hear the well-regarded academic institution mentioned in that connection. The Big Ten states, “Members of the Big Ten Athletic Conference and the University of Chicago serve as the academic counterpart to the athletic conference known as the Big Ten Academic Alliance.”
I should mention that you can make money in a bar by asking the question: “Which Big Ten school never made it to the Rose Bowl?” Yep, University of Chicago. Send me ten percent of your proceeds.
We can look down the road at three tiers of big-time pro football: the NFL, The Great FBS Consolidation, and the FBS Have-Nots. Then it will be wall-to-wall pro quality football from Thursday night to Monday night, and every waking hour in-between. The bonus is that those of us who attended Have Not, FCS, or Division II and III schools will also have our rivalry games to watch or attend.
The Great Consolidation
Let us look ahead ten years to the inevitable result of all this conference-hopping. Cal and Stanford will hop to the Big Ten, as they better fit the “academic alliance” charade. The SEC will want no part of that, so with no pretenses of academic intent necessary, they will suck in Clemson and Florida State from the ACC. Which “Have” is left out of this so far? You got it! Notre Dame.
While geographically, the Big Ten is a better fit for Notre Dame, they are the plum in the pie for either of the Power Two. Like the prom queen, the Fighting Irish need not worry about suitors. They have their own TV deal, and they will stick with that for now. However, the Power Two will put increasing pressure on the Irish to join their pseudo-academic cabal. With all pretenses of geographic coherence gone, Notre Dame can go wherever the hell it wants (sorry for the mention of the netherworld, Fathers), or go nowhere at all.
Then, there is the perennial bullshit about which non-Power Five (soon to be Power Two) team is left out of the playoffs, or more appropriately, deserves to be in the playoffs. We need this for bar conversation fodder, so it should be preserved. There will always be an outsider who people believe belongs among the best of the best, but that argument can be made as well for including Alabama in the NFL. It is just bar talk. The glass ceiling will persevere.
Since I’m getting into wacko scenarios, the Power Two (call them the Doodebus and the Mowtees) can split from the NCAA to join an aegis such as a revamped College Football Playoff Committee with a real live commissioner. This would be an excellent job for Donald Trump. Like him, the alliance would be all about money.
Agree or Disagree?
Where do you think this is all going? Will we even pretend that academics are important anymore? Cynical as it sounds, I watch the Big Ten Academic Alliance go out the window and wonder.