Friday, June 11, 2010

The day in college athletics

Wow. I don't know what else to say.

It was quite the day in college athletics. And this seemingly is only the beginning as the face of college sports is about to go through some major plastic surgery.

We first were treated to the press conference in Boulder, Colorado as the University of Colorado accepted an invitation to join the Pac-10. This shift, if you really think about it, makes perfect sense for both the Buffaloes and for the conference. Colorado has always had ties to California--they have a large amount of students who migrate to Boulder from there, they have a sizable alumni base there, and they actively recruit there. Culturally, CU is more of a "western" school and has always been mentioned as a possible school for the Pac-10.

I felt the administrators who spoke at Boulder, along with Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott, handled the news with the proper diplomacy, talking very positively about CU's time in the Big Eight and Big 12 but also pragmatically explaining why this move west made sense for the institution.

Contrast that to what happened in Lincoln, Nebraska an hour or so later. In what was one of the most brazen 12 minutes of public speaking ever, Chancellor Harvey Perlman did everything in his power to say "we didn't break up the Big 12," and "it's all MU's fault, who started the public flirtation with the Big Ten, and Texas, who got its Big South brethen to talk to the Pac 10." Maybe you agree that MU should be held accountable for starting all this realignment talk. Or, maybe you hold Texas as the culprit given that they were invited to join the Big 12 and immediately shifted the power of the conference to their state. Regardless, what Nebraska's leadership did, in a public forum, was petty and classless. They did what they needed to do for their institution. They just handled it in a very public, very negative way.

What's to come? Who the heck knows! I think the Big 12 is officially done--losing the Denver TV market and the marquee football program in the North Division puts a major dent in the conference. And, what the Pac 10 is dangling to Texas, Oklahoma and others, in the way of potential TV revenue, is incredibly compelling.

Who would have thought that we'd see the day when Kansas, Missouri and Kansas State very likely will end up in different conferences?

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