The news today that Colorado has officially accepted an invitation to join the Pac-10 is just the beginning of what will be a very interesting weekend. Thinking about what could happen this weekend is confusing and scary, but whatever does transpire it will shape the future of college athletics for the next decade(s). This is only the first domino. There’s already been reports that Nebraska will join the Big Ten with it being officially announced on Friday. That’s the only two things that look certain. From here it starts getting blurry.
Some reports have Texas, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, and Oklahoma State joining Colorado in the Pac-10. Then there are other reports that have Oklahoma State to the Pac-10, Texas and Texas A&M to the Big Ten, and Oklahoma to the SEC. All this is great if you live in the midwest … well except for those living in the state of Kansas … but how does it affect us over here in ACC land? Who knows, but it sure seems that the SEC is ready to counter all this conference expansion and nobody knows just what schools they are looking at. I’ve seen Florida State and Virginia Tech listed as realistic possibilities. And of course everybody under the sun expects Georgia Tech, Clemson, and Miami to be in consideration as well, but I’m not so sure about any of those. There’s no doubt that the SEC will want to make a statement. I just hope it’s not at the expense of the ACC.
That’s not the end of the end of conference expansion talk involving the ACC. There have been numerous reports that Maryland could be a target for the Big Ten. Is your head spinning yet? I’m so confused by all this that I just want it to be over with and, by all accounts, I should get my wish. I have a sneaky suspicion that somehow Notre Dame will be a big player in all of this. I don’t know what to think and I’m not even going to try to predict what the college landscape looks like at the end of all this. I will say that I’m not a fan of the ‘mega’, ‘super’, [insert your favorite adjective here] 16 team conferences. Call me old fashion, but it just has a professional sports feel to it that I don’t like. Give me the down home college feel that has made college sports what they are. I just hope all this expansion doesn’t ruin college sports that the ACC is still standing when all the dust settles. Strap your seat belts and get ready for a roller coaster ride.
Update: I just wanted to add this quote from Oklahoma AD Joe Castiglione, “I’m still trying to get my mind around why that’s (jumping to the Pac-16) better than what we already have. I’ve never understood why people don’t see that if super teams come together to make a super conference, they don’t all stay super every year.” This is exactly why I don’t like the super conferences. Bravo Mr. Castiglione!