Conference Swaps a Pathetic Money Grab
It's the college sports equivalent of trading up for a trophy wife or moving to a haughtier zip code, the difference being that American universities are supposed to prioritize academia over high-stakes status swapping. Princeton Review rankings? By dumping conferences and moving to new ones, schools are mocking the educational imperative and reminding us that money grabs are more important to them than how they're perceived in the classroom.
To hell with memories, loyalties and geography. A chaotic game of musical chairs is ripping the traditional paradigm from its roots, prompting a mad rush for the best options -- i.e., superconferences that generate the most television revenue -- before the music stops and losers are left to settle for humbler digs. Whether it's Nebraska heading to the Big Ten or Colorado leading a charge to the Pac-10 that inevitably includes Texas, Oklahoma and two other Big 12 schools, everything we've known about tradition and regional rivalries is about to undergo a seismic shift.
Remember how solid and prestigious the Big 12 seemed the last several years? As soon as Tuesday, when regents at Texas are expected to approve the Pac-10 move, the conference could cease to exist.
Meanwhile, the Pac-10 could have as many as 16 members while the Big 10 could expand to 13 or more, which will demand the conferences get the math right and change their names, among other surreal developments.