Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Stopping the Madness Merry-go-round

In the face of the unending cycle of conference realignment in college sports, the conferences have finally gotten smart. The Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12, and now the ACC have had their member schools sign a deal granting the conference all media rights for all the schools for the next X number of years regardless of if they are in the the conference or not. This doesn’t just remove the incentive to leave, it almost prohibits it: no one is going to exit a conference and receive no TV money for years. Maybe in the last year of the deal some conference that really wants a team might pay them for one season, but this I doubt:there will always be weak conferences to raid. So kudos – someone got smart.

I bet that at least one non-BCS conference will overplay it’s hand and try to do this only to have schools rebel and then see some schools leave. The MAC maybe? They’ve been relatively stable lately. If you are guessing the Big East American Athletic Conference (kinda dig the name by the way – AAC isn’t bad either), you’re guessing wrong. They’ve been beaten down enough lately that they won’t be that stupid. We also will eventually see the most powerful conference, the SEC, do this – I wonder if they are holding off because they are complacently thinking no one would ever want to leave. I can also see some team challenging this in court, but think the odds would be long – everyone knows what they are signing.

I’ll be happy to see the end of these annual realignments. Fourteen team conferences are too big (guys won’t play every team in their conference over a four year career). I like the title games – which under current NCAA rules require twelve teams. It could be changed to allow ten team leagues to have one too. Once the college playoff goes to 8 teams (which it will) there may be talk of ending title games as playoff teams will have 3 extra games already. I bet it won’t go away – but will cap the playoffs at 8 teams for a long while. When they go beyond – which I think will take many many years – they may end them then. Football is a little too brutal to ask guys to play a potential extra five games.


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