5 Thoughts - Yes, You'll Like Realignment
Texas QB Case McCoy
Texas QB Case McCoy
Posted Sep 19, 2011

Realignment is here, and it'll be a good thing ... eventually

CFN Analysis 

5 Thoughts, Sept. 19

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Week 2 Thoughts  2010 5 Thoughts | Week 1 | Week 2

- Fiutak: Yes, you will like realignment
- Cirminiello: Bring on OU vs. Bama, but ... 
- Zemek: It's September. Relax. It's Early
- Sallee: Houston Nutt has to got
- Fiutak: The problems with the schedules    

E-mail Pete Fiutak

Oh no, with all this conference expansion and realignment, college football is going to look more professional.

Oh no, college football is going to become more like the NFL.

Oh no, the world is changing and there's nothing that can be done to stop it.

Oh no, it's all about money and the business side of the game.


College football purists everywhere, along with those with an antiquated and misguided notion of what amateurism is and what is should be, are dreading the seismic shift in the landscape that's changing the college athletic world by the day. With the dominoes starting to fall, and the rise of the superconference seemingly inevitable, the fear of the unknown is growing, and many aren't happy.

"I'm spending my day figuring out what building to jump off of," wrote in one ACC fan after it was announced that Syracuse and Pitt were moving leagues.

"These commissioners are ruining college football for their own greed," wrote a Big 12 fan.

"If I wanted to watch the NFL, I'd watch the NFL," chimed in a Texas die-hard.

But that's sort of the overall point that the college football world has to realize and realize in a hurry; it's a good thing to be the NFL.

Have you seen the TV numbers the NFL is cranking out? They're off the charts insane. They're unbelievable to a ridiculous, unstoppable level, partly because the game is great, partly because of "investing," and now, more than ever, partly because everyone has a fantasy team.

It's so big that the world stops for these games. No one dares to schedule any sort of a function in an NFL city on a Sunday when the hometown team is playing, and no network can program anything of substance against it, with most giving up going after the male 25-54 demo on Sunday and Monday nights.

And college football can get close to that level.

College football will never be the NFL – the fantasy side will never kick in – but with the rise of the superconferences will come bigger, better, more important matchups, more money, better access, and more exciting and meaningful games. Whether you know it or not; you want this.

If you're really freaking out about this, think about Texas A&M vs. Arkansas as an SEC game. Imagine if Texas vs. USC was for the Pac-16 South lead. Allow yourself to accept the idea that Missouri vs. Illinois vs. Nebraska vs. Iowa vs. Minnesota vs. Wisconsin would set up a great bunch of regional showdowns that would captivate the northern midsection of the country.

Think about how everyone in the sports world was talking about Michigan's win over Notre Dame, and how most of the radio shows last week discussed the possible reemergence of Florida State as a powerhouse Now imagine that level of excitement every week on an even bigger scale than it is now, because with the superconferences will come the bigger TV money, and with the bigger TV money will come more exposure and promotion, and with that, college football can solidify itself as the No. 2 sport in the country and can be to Saturday nights what the NFL has become for Sunday and Monday programming.

But I get it. You're still not convinced.

You don't like the idea of college football getting more corporate, and you probably don't like the thought of what it might mean for the game to go to another level of hype. But if you don't like what the superconference might ultimately bring, ask yourself this: why do you like college football?

If you like it for the notion that these are college kids stepping out of the dorms and onto the field and back to the dorms, then become a fan of D-II or the Ivy League. There are pure elements of college football out there – with actual amateurs playing the game – but that ideal doesn't exist at the highest level of college football, and it never has.

Do you like the game for the epic mismatches? Does it do something for you when California is taking on Presbyterian or Baylor is welcoming Stephen F. Austin? There would still be some of that is there were four or five 16-team leagues, but not as much. With all the TV money involved, A ten-game conference slate might be a must, and again, the more big conference games between top programs, the better it is for the fans.

Or maybe you just don't like the idea of change. Maybe this new world of college football would alter what the game meant to you in the first place. Maybe it's all happening just a little too fast and this is all just a little too weird.

Remember, there was plenty of squawking and screaming about how college football was going down in a bucket after the Southwest Conference and the Big 8 were being broken up and combined into the Big 12. While the cachet of the annual Oklahoma – Nebraska rivalry was destroyed, the new league turned out to be a whole bunch of fun.

There was plenty of weeping and gnashing of teeth over the ACC raiding the Big East for Miami, Virginia Tech, and Boston College, and both leagues survived and the world kept spinning.

You'll get used to the new superconferences in a hurry, and you'll actually grow to like it. You'll have more access to games, more coverage, and more excitement for the big matchups than ever before. It wasn't all that long ago when a college football fan in Florida would never see Nebraska play until the Orange Bowl, and it was just a few years back when someone in California couldn't tune in to the hot ACC game of the day. Now, college football is everywhere.

Almost every game is on the computer or in a TV package of some sort, and if you really want to find a particular game, it's not hard. Now there are several games to choose from on a Saturday night, and you can check in or out of the ones that are the most interesting. As a fan, you have more access to the game than ever, and that's because of all the money that's involved thanks to the way the big conferences and the big schools have positioned themselves to be even bigger. College football is already being covered like the NFL, only the change was so seamless that it was barely noticeable.

As a college football fan, are you better off than you were four years ago? How about ten years ago? You'll be asking yourself the same thing a few years from now, and you'll be wondering how you ever lived without the mega-conferences and the better schedule of games on a weekly basis.

College football realignment and expansion is coming, and it's the end of the world as you know it.

You'll feel fine.