Monday, September 5, 2011

Washington Post Column: Consolidation talk follows trauma of college football's offseason

Here is the newest column for The Washington Post -------

For those who love college football, the hope was that the game itself would rescue everyone from the traumas of the spring and summer.

Sure enough, within hours of opening night — which now comes on a Thursday because most of the sport’s grand traditions have been squashed by greed — there was a spectacular game: Baylor kicking a game-winning field goal with around one minute left to upset TCU after the Horned Frogs had scored 25 fourth-quarter points to take a 48-47 lead.

To some, TCU is the closest thing college football had to a national champion last season. It went 13-0, won the Rose Bowl after the arbitrary rules of the BCS kept it out of the so-called national championship game and, unlike Auburn and Oregon, (which did play in that game) is NOT being investigated at the moment by the NCAA.

But before the celebrating in Waco had ended, the seismic cracks in the sport surfaced again. Only a few days after Texas A&M announced that it intended to leave the not-so Big 12, Oklahoma President David Boren was making noises about his school departing too, perhaps to join the newly minted Pacific-12 Conference. Oklahoma State would no doubt follow and Texas — which almost went west a year ago — and Texas Tech might join the party.

Oh God, here we go again. Next thing you know college football games will be taking six hours. Oh wait, that already happened — Saturday at Notre Dame.

While the Flailin’ Irish were finding a way to lose to South Florida between lightning delays, Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott was meeting with the media in Dallas before Oregon’s loss to LSU. (Not a good weekend for the Pac-12 when you throw in UCLA’s loss to Houston and Oregon State’s stunning overtime loss to Sacramento State.)

Scott’s bio notes that he speaks French. He also speaks a language unique to college administrators, whether they are presidents, commissioners or athletic directors. In Scott-ese, expansion doesn’t exist.

“We don’t have any specific model or formula in mind,” Scott told the reporters in Dallas. “All I’ve said is that I expect that you will see further consolidation given the fragmentation of college sports.”

Click here for the rest of the column: Consolidation talk follows trauma of college football's offseason


Gunnar said...

Who designed the Maryland uniforms? I think they are the worst football uni I have ever seen.

Larry Scott knows how to make money, and I think that is how you keep score in this age of the student-athlete...

Paul said...


I think the whole thing is sad. I was a huge college football fan up until this year. The violations at Ohio State, North Carolina, and Miami, with investigations going on at other schools has really made me change my attitude towards the sport: I simply don't care. So while I would normally be saying that I think the whole re-shuffling of the conferences is a travesty, really I'm just sick of the entire world of NCAA football. It takes a lot for me not to care. I've come back to MLB after the strike and the steroids revelations, I've been sickened by the labor strife and criminal activity in the NFL but still find I watch the sport quite a lot. I even came back to the NBA (albeit in a very very very small way--I pat attention to the scores, that's about it)after the late 1990s turned me off. However, I'm pretty sure the combination of teams jumping to new conferences and the revelations that cheating are an inherent part of the way college football works (though I always knew this, it's just now right there in my face, with nowhere for me to hide or no way for me to ignore), I'm pretty much done with it.

Good article by the way.