Next week will be the 118th time the University of Texas will play Texas A&M in football. And it looks like it’ll also be the last, at least for the foreseeable future. As of July 1, 2012, A&M will be part of the SEC, and the historic intrastate rivalry between the Longhorns and Aggies will officially come to an end. Of course, it’s not the first rivalry to be torn asunder by the seismic shifts of conference realignment over the past couple of years, but it’s arguably one of the best and certainly one of the most personal for anyone who grew up in the state of Texas. Whether you went to Texas or A&M or not, whether you even knew anyone who went to Texas or A&M, you were a fan of one or the other. Even if you bled Red Raider red, you came down on one side of the fence or the other. There was no escaping it.
Posts Tagged ‘Oklahoma State’
I just fixed the college football conference realignment mess.
Actually, to be fair most of the work was already done. TCU is already set to move the Big East next year, Texas A&M is still hoping to go to the SEC, and today the ACC officially announced that Pitt and Syracuse are moving over from the Big East. The rest is just details.
Under my plan, the six BCS automatic qualifying conferences are reduced to five, each with 14 teams. Yes, I know people keep talking about 16-team superconferences, but my plan gives you six extra teams, and if nothing else, I’m all about extra value.
So here goes:
How many teams does the Big 12 Conference have to lose before it stops being the Big “12″? And when exactly is it no longer considered “Big”? We may find out pretty soon now that Texas A&M has officially declared they’re packing up their marbles and leaving the Big 12 for a shot at the bottom of the SEC.
The Aggies apparently weren’t too keen on their intrastate rival Longhorns getting their own television network, despite the fact that the Longhorn Network will be available to exactly seven households in America, none of which are in Austin. But logic has never been A&M’s strong suit, so they’ve chosen to abandon 100+ years of tradition and possibly as much as $30 million in exit fees in hopes that the SEC will let them in to their exclusive club. Yeah, good luck with that. Let’s see, how many Big 12 football titles has A&M won? How many BCS games have they gone to? How many National Championships have they won since the rise of the BCS? Zero. And yet they really expect to do better against the likes of Auburn, Florida, Alabama, and LSU?
I’ve largely stayed away from all the various NCAA conference expansion and/or realignment rumors floating around the interwebs the last few months because, well, they’re just rumors. One day you hear the Big Ten is going to steal the University of Texas away from the Big 12, the next you hear Texas is going to the SEC. One day the Big 12 is imploding, the next it’s expanding. Publicly, athletic directors declare their undying love for their conferences, but then they’re supposedly working vigorously in the shadows to broker a million other deals. And all the while, state legislators are trying to influence the process for their own particular benefit.
Is this college sports or As The World Turns?
The latest rumors have the Pac-10 asking Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, OU, Oklahoma State, and Colorado to be their new BFFs, thus elevating the Pac-10 to a 16-team superconference and completely decimating the Big 12. That would leave Baylor out in the cold, a result that doesn’t sit well with Waco’s state senator, David Sibley, who is apparently now fighting to have the Bears superglued to the other Texas teams. Meanwhile, the Big Ten, which has been rumored to be courting everyone from Texas to Nebraska to the North Dakota School for the Deaf, is supposedly focusing its efforts on Notre Dame. And Boise State, which was a lock for the Mountain West, is putting its plans on hold to see how everything else shakes out.
And of course, everything in the previous paragraph will be null and void by the time you finish reading this post.
Last year, I posted my picks to win the NCAA men’s tournament while admittedly not knowing enough about the teams to make even a reasonable guess. And of course, I completely blew it. (Thank you, Pitt.)
But I’m trying again this year, a little more educated and a lot more hopeful. OK, so I really don’t know how hopeful I am, but who knows, maybe I’ll get lucky.
Breaking it down by region:
Midwest. aka “The Group of Death.” The Midwest is tricky because there are a lot of wildcards, teams that are probably seeded too high (Ohio State), and others that are probably too low (Tennessee). I think the Buckeyes will make it past Oklahoma State, but the Vols will knock them off to make it to the Elite Eight. No. 1 Kansas should survive, though, and win the region.
First, a quick rant. Thanks to the Louisiana-Monroe game being on pay-per-view and the Wyoming game being on the Versus network (which was just dropped by DirecTV over a financial dispute), it looks like I’m going to miss the first two Texas football games of the season, which really blows. I mean, I’ve been jonesing since January for some college football, and now that it’s finally here, I’ve gotta wait two more weeks? Argh! It’s killing me!
OK, rant over. Deep breath. Serenity now! Ah, much better.
So last year I tried a season-long experiment in which I played NCAA College Football on the Wii every week, pitting the Longhorns against that week’s opponent to see if the video game score was any indication of the real score. The answer was that, well, no, it wasn’t too accurate. So while I had fun playing video games every week, I won’t be repeating the experiment this year. Sorry to disappoint you.
However, I did want to weigh in with my thoughts about the upcoming season. Basically, it comes down to this: The Horns have to win. Period.
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