No story in sports gets the rumor mill rolling like conference realignment. The model has been similar over the years. First, someone breaks the big news like Oklahoma and Texas leaving for the SEC and USC and UCLA heading to the Big Ten. After the big headline takes place the game is on. The game is college football media and fans trying to decide the next move of the conference impacted by the departure of a couple schools.
Shortly after Oklahoma and Texas made their big news, the Big XII quickly added UCF, Houston, Cincinnati and BYU. The usual media reaction was to question if the Big XII would remain a Power 5 and give reasons why the league should not. Now the spotlight is on the Pac 12 after losing its two Los Angeles teams and now some wonder if the Pac 12 will survive and what the league should do to stay relevant.
But the moves and anticipation of such moves do not typically happen as fast as everyone following the story wants. There are billion dollar TV deals involved, buyouts, due diligence of possible new members and much more that takes place and that usually takes months, not weeks or days.
But now that we are a few weeks removed from the USC/UCLA to the Big Ten news, things are not settling down but in some ways they are. Yes, the Pac 12 is trying to figure out what to do and how they can make it appealing for schools like Oregon and Washington to stay. That may come in offering them more money to stay, expanding,not asking for a long Grant of Rights deal and anything else that might make them want to stay. The Big XII is waiting and ready to pounce. Many believe the Big XII is ready to offer four current Pac 12 schools memberships the moment those schools ask to join.
But as fun as the speculation may be and as silly as the media propaganda at times is, it's ok if both conferences survive. The Big XII has its new-look 12 schools. They league has an idea what the media value of that dozen is and likely knows exactly how much any of those Pac 12 schools would add to the pot of cash as well. The Pac 12, by now, knows what their media value is with the remaining 10 members. The Pac 12's exclusive negotiating window with ESPN may have been extended. The league is trying to maximize all revenue as they should.
Just because the SEC and Big Ten have moved to 16 teams doesn't mean everyone else needs to get to that number today or even in three years. Strength in numbers is nice when it applies. It works for the SEC and Big Ten to do what they've done because their media partners supported the idea financially. Both of those leagues do not have to grow again anytime soon despite the fun rumor games fans and media play.
I've said I understand why all this has and is happening in college football but I don't necessarily like it. I like having different styles of play in different leagues. I don't think college football is better if there's two large conferences. College football does not need to mirror the NFL. The two are not the same and should never be the same.
We've had "alliances" and talks of mergers and plenty of ideas to make things bigger. There may be nothing anyone outside of the SEC and Big Ten can do to catch up to the media money members of those conferences will get. But life is not fair all the time and if some media members and network pregame shows stopped the propaganda machine and just recognized that some leagues make more money than others but it doesn't mean all members of those leagues are better than anyone outside of the Big Ten and SEC.
My guess is more change is coming but I don't know when. Maybe it will be next month. Maybe it will be in the next year or three years. But college football will survive if the Big XII and Pac 12 exist on their own and there's nothing wrong with that...
Nuggets: Dolphins' owner Stephen Ross is 82 and desperately wants to win a Super Bowl. Ross' tenure as owner of the Dolphins is one not filled with a lot of playoff wins and no titles. The NFL levied a $1.5M fine to Ross for tampering violations. Ross has to basically stay away from the team until mid-October and the Dolphins lost their 2023 first round draft pick and a third round pick in 2024. The league said Ross broke rules by having contact and communication with people under contract with other teams and he also made comments about "tanking" to his then-coach Brian Flores, although the league said it was more in jest. Look, Ross got caught and there are consequences for his actions. But in a way, give the old man some credit for trying here. He was trying to lure the greatest quarterback in the game and also add one of the best coaches in Sean Payton. If he pulled it off, the Dolphins would have become must watch TV for many reasons. Sure, the team has added Tyreek Hill and there is a buzz about new coach Mike McDaniel but they ain't Brady and Payton. I would think tampering happens more than we know and Ross got caught and now deals with the penalties. But the guy is desperate to win and he went after two of the biggest names in the NFL to get that elusive ring...Another Orlando City stinker and now the team sits outside the playoffs. While there is the US Open Cup final, this year has become a disappointment and the club's home record is awful at 5-7. No team has more home losses. The Lions cannot score and seem to keep adding promising players but not anyone that can put the ball in the net. It will be interesting to see what new ownership does with Oscar Pareja. While Pareja has the team in position to win a trophy, will that be good enough to keep his job if Orlando City fails to make the MLS Playoffs...The video went viral and it was the buzz of social media showing Atlanta Hawk Dejounte Murray making a move and tossing the ball off the backboard and dunking it on Paolo Banchero at a Pro-Am game and then talking to Banchero while then tossing the ball at him after the dunk. No one knows where the beef came from and Paolom posted on Instagram that Murray unfollowed him and wondered what made things personal and then challenged Murray to guard him come NBA season and to stop sending double teams. Forget Paolo vs Chet or Jabari. We've got Paolo vs Dejounte! It's on!...Mets' closer Edwin Diaz' entrance from the bullpen with the trumpets playing is the best thing in baseball right now...Pete Rose belongs in the Hall of Fame because of his playing career. His plaque in Cooperstown should tell the story of his on-field performance and why he was suspended from the game. Pete Rose is still a jerk and his actions in Philadelphia from Sunday confirm the 81 year old Rose is a jerk...Finally, the buffet is the only place where one justifies plating an egg, clam and meatball and finding it appealing...
Final note: Scandanavians claim they invented the buffet in the 16th century.