Saturday, June 5, 2010

The End is Near

It appears, by almost all accounts, that the Big 12 conference is about to dissolve and the world of college athletics is going to change once more as we start to move more towards the Super Conferences.

Where there is smoke, there is fire.....and right now the smoke is so thick the firefighters are having to exit the building.

As it stands now, Nebraska is possibly going to join the Big 10 along with Missouri which would be the first domino to fall in a complete and total anarchy as each school works on aligning itself up with a new conference.

Right now there looks to be three options for our Aggies.

Option #1:
On Monday it is alleged that the Pac-10 is going to formally invite us, texas, Colorado, Oklahoma, Okie State, and tech to join them in what would be a Pac-16. The conference would be divided into two eight team divisions:

Arizona, Arizona St., Colorado, Oklahoma, Oklahoma St., texas, TAMU, texas tech

Cal, Oregon, Oregon St., Southern Cal, UCLA, Washington, Washington St.

For football we would play the eight teams in our division and rotate playing two from the West each season.

Option #2:
A&M goes to the SEC and lets everyone else fend for themselves.

Option #3:
texas and A&M get invited to the Big 10

My least favorite of the three options is #3. They would have to give us Uncle Scrooge style-stacks of cash because we are sooooo far away and the travel expenses would be unbelievable. Plus, I think the Big 10 is the least exciting, I hate the cold, and I don't have any really strong connection to any of those schools.

I'm torn between #1 and #2.

I love the idea of joining the SEC. That is the most passionate and prestigious region for both college football and college baseball, which just so happen to be the two things I love more than anything outside of my family. I also like the idea of being the only school in the state of Texas that can say, "Come play here. We're in the SEC. The SEC is the best conference." I also LOVE the idea of playing such traditional powers - Alabama, Georgia, LSU, Auburn, Tennessee, Florida. My bucket list includes seeing A&M play at several of those schools.

What I don't like is the slimy feel I get from SEC recruiting....I think of it like OU recruiting on steroids. Even if we go into the SEC, we're still going to be fighting t.u. and Oklahoma for in-state recruits and I'm afraid that those schools I just mentioned above will get a foothold in the state and start taking our kids - then we're fighting a bunch of national powers for the same kids we're currently fighting only a couple of national powers for.

I'd like to think we'd win those battles but there isn't really anything historically to say that we would. Talk about getting egg in the face - going to the new conference and then opening the door for them to beat us up in our own backyard on the recruiting trails.

The other thing that concerns me is that if we walk into the SEC and get stomped and never get our foot in the ground. Let's face it, we haven't done all that hot against our last several SEC opponents ('09 Arkansas, '09 Georgia, '04 Tennessee, '00 Mississippi State). My biggest fear would be that we wouldn't be ready and turn into another version of South Carolina football.

But then again we haven't done well against any of our big OOC opponents ('07 Penn State, '07 & '08 Miami, '06 Cal, '05 Clemson, '04 Utah, '03 Pitt, '02 & '03 Virginia Tech, '00 Notre Dame) - the only wins we have since '00 against big name opponents were '01 Notre Dame (a bad ND team; at home), '02 Pitt (on the road); '03 Utah (at home; just before they were really good), '04 Clemson (at home).

And we're never going to get better if we don't play them. It just seems like a slippery slope - if everything goes perfect it would be awesome but there seem to be too many opportunities to push us back even further.

I think the pure, passionate, primal college football fan in me wants this but I don't know if it is really the best thing for our program as it stands right now.

Option #1 seems to be, for the most part, the most practical. It keeps the Big 12 South intact - minus poor Baylor (who needs to send flowers over to UH and Rice really quickly and say, "Sorry about the whole SWC/Big 12 thing") and adds two solid schools in Arizona and ASU. I certainly wouldn't mind taking a trip out to The Grand Canyon state - but it is awfully far for a regularly scheduled roadtrip like Baylor is. Regardless of where we go, the number of road games I go to will probably be cut down a bit.

Option #1 just isn't as sexy to me - but it probably is the best fit.

Is it bad that I hate the fact that tech gets to go with us....I was really hoping that they'd get screwed in this whole deal and end up having to join the MWC or Conference USA.

No matter what plays out, the non-revenue sports are going to hurt the most....but this isn't about anything other than $$$$$.

We'll have to wait and watch how this whole things plays out.


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