POSTED ON NOVEMBER 2, 2011:
Reorganizing college sports the sensible way
You're gonna need a bigger boat." It's true, but instead of talking about an angry supersized shark, we are talking to the rats sinking the Big 12 boat.
Tulsa, I need your help. Which of the following two scenarios better describes the chaos we are witnesses too?
Have you watched a youth soccer match? Not a 10-year-old semi-competent game. Nope, we're talking about the little ones running around aimlessly. They simultaneously try to score the goal. Think ants converging on a piece of food.
There is usually one boy or girl on each team standing alone away from the scrum. They get it. They understand spacing and figure eventually the spastic ones will figure it out too. They wait for another kid to make the correct decision and knock in the pass for an easy goal.
Let's just say the two kids who figured it out are the SEC and Big Ten leaders. The scrum belongs to the rest of the league commissioners.
How about this scenario? A four year old has a birthday party. The kids are corralled for a game of pin the tail on the donkey. How accurate are the tails placed?
Chances are the stickers will cover the entire poster and some of the wall. Just a random scatter shot, but hey, the kids all had fun.
Isn't this the same way some scaredy cat, behind the eight ball, non-forward thinking commissioners are reaching out to perspective conference members? West Virginia to the Big 12? Boise State to the Big East? Are these decisions being made by four-year-olds with blindfolds at a birthday party?
Senators, university presidents, conference commissioners among others have failed us. Again. No one is looking out for the best interest of college sports. The good old boys in charge think leadership hinges on greed.
Here is a solution. Grab a pen and paper (or just print this next section out) and spread the word.
The term super conference has been tossed about. What does it mean? Well, there are several versions but the one most commonly referred to includes four mega conferences. Let's work off that model.
Take a look at a map of the United States. Grab your highlighter and a pair of scissors. The most obvious divide runs down the middle of our great country. The initial split should divide the East and West. Cut between Texas and Louisiana all the way up to North Dakota and Minnesota.
Now with the Western half of the U.S. we have two options. Either a cut between Oklahoma and Kansas running west and splitting California in half. The other option would be another north/south split which would have Oklahoma playing Nebraska again, but missing out on potential matchups with Arizona and USC. Let's take the horizontal road, so to speak, and split California.
The Eastern U.S. is definitely a split across the top of Arkansas running straight to the North Carolina/Virginia border.
So now we have four sensible, regional conferences. The Northeast, Southeast, Southwest and Northwest. Who is against this model?
Ok, I can read minds. You may think we have an issue of population overload, too many schools in a conference, etc. You would be wrong. Stop thinking like the College Board members who put us in this predicament to begin with.
Football is popular in America, but soccer across the pond is an equal. So let's steal one of their ideas.
Each super conference starts with sixteen teams in Division 1. Yes, we are calling it D1 again.
Each year we relegate (demote) the bottom two or three teams in each conference. Meanwhile, the top two or three D2 teams in these same conferences played a full season in the relegated division. Those teams are now in the D1 conference with a fighting chance. Swap the best of the worst with the worst of the best.
Here is an example. Let's use our newly formed and highly competitive Southwest Conference. We would start OU, OSU, UCLA, USC and some of the obvious contenders in the D1 portion of the conference.
Now the season winds down and Baylor plays Arizona State in a must-win matchup. Why is it a must-win? Because the loser of the contest finishes 15th and thus gets relegated to D2 the following season.
Meanwhile, the University of Tulsa battles New Mexico State for a spot with the big boys in D1 the following year.
Who is against this idea? You know presidents of the "haves" like OU and USC would vote this down. But if majority rules, we can vote them off the island.
Another college football crisis solved.
Hurry up and wait. Bubba Cunningham accepted the University of North Carolina job three weeks ago. His official duties with the Tarheels begins Nov. 14. Good luck Bubba, we will miss you.
In the meantime, Deputy Director of Athletics Ross Parmley took over on an interim basis. The university released a statement on Oct. 14 stating President Steadman Upham will defer the hire of a new athletic director to the new president of the university.
I asked the university for an update of any type last week. They resent me the original release from the 14th. Alrighty then.
It is possible, by the time you read this column, the university will have hired its man or woman.
Expect the unexpected. Some have tossed out familiar names like Steve Largent. Not sure of his qualifications, but if I were a betting man, I'd say the national search committee will turn up another Bubba.
Perhaps his female clone: Sissy
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