With college athletes now allowed to make money off their name, image and likeness (N.I.L.), more money is flowing in. For college football, money matters more than anything.
Oh, wait. You thought I was going to say tradition? You’re adorable!
Traditions in college football have been dying over the last 20-plus years with conference realignment, where teams are jumping to other conferences, abandoning long-time rivalries for more money, as their old conference slowly decays like an abandoned Olympic venue.
Late last week, word came that Texas and Oklahoma were bolting to the SEC, and on Monday, told the Big 12 Conference it would not renew its media rights in 2025.
My work in radio took me out to Oklahoma from August 2016 to 2018, and those people live for the Oklahoma-Oklahoma State rivalry, hate Texas, and for Sooner fans, the expectation is always Big 12 championship, while in Stillwater, Cowboys fans dream of reaching that point.
With the move imminent, this will cause another seismic shift in college football. When Texas and Oklahoma leave, other schools in the Big 12 will try to go elsewhere. Thoughts are some like West Virginia would try to get into the ACC, Kansas into the Big Ten (for the basketball. Don’t be naive) and maybe Oklahoma State goes further west to the Pac 12.
Either way, it is gonna be a mess.
The Big 12 has done very little to keep up with the other major conferences.
Their TV deal is awful. While the SEC and ACC have their own networks through ESPN, the Big Ten has one via Fox Sports. And while the Pac 12 Network isn’t that sexy, the conference at least has a presence. If Texas had any decency, or cared just a little about their current conference, they would have restructured the Longhorn Network with ESPN to become the Big 12 Network.
As the other big conferences expanded, the Big 12 was content to watch Nebraska bolt for the Big Ten, Colorado to the Pac 12, and Texas A&M and Missouri head to the SEC, while doing nothing to fill the void.
Programs like Cincinnati, UCF, BYU and Houston are looking a lot of better after today, huh?
I mentioned the three American Athletic Conference teams because the Big 12 is going in the direction of the AAC. Maybe the impending square dance will see the American crumble as the Big Ten, ACC and Pac 12 try to keep pace with the Goliath SEC.
As a Notre Dame fan, it’s fun to watch the chaos, but the Irish did get a taste of playing football in the ACC during the 2020 pandemic season, and with rumblings of an expanded 12-team College Football Playoff that would work against them, maybe they finally say goodbye to Independence someday?
Here’s your Mix & Match Monday: Week of July 26 Edition
–The Summer Olympics are happening, even though they shouldn’t be happening, but they are fun to watch. Sports we only care about every four years (five in this case) re-enter our lives.
Gymnastics always get the eyeballs, along with swimming.
The one event I would never see myself wanting to do is the Triathlon. I watched part of it over the weekend, and it looks painful. Biking, swimming and running.
I’m good. I’ll just eat my $20 pizza and watch them nearly fall over from exhaustion…
-Why are the “Shrek” movies on every weekend now? Don’t get me wrong, I liked the original as a kid and the second one was good, but I never got into any of the other films in the franchise, but it feels like Viacom’s cable channels are just scheduling “Shrek” marathons each Saturday. One weekend, it is on Comedy Central, then Paramount the next.
-The NHL Draft was a couple days ago. Watched the first ten picks and then watched something else.
In other hockey news, this guy will look to lead the U.S. to a gold medal in next year’s Winter Olympics…
-The NFL told its unvaccinated players that if they cause a COVID-19 outbreak, their team could end up forfeiting games? GOOD!
In 2020, there was no vaccine and the league had outbreaks on teams. In that situation, all you can do is change schedules and move games to complete the season. Now that we got a vaccine, that is free and widely available, there’s no excuse for postponements. The league isn’t going to move games to Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Crowds will be back and I am not watching Steelers-Ravens on a Wednesday afternoon again.
Also, this talk of them putting something in their body they’re not sure about. Give me a break. Like they’re not doing that already.