A word on Big 12 contraction
As of this writing at 10:30 a.m. ET on Tuesday Aug. 30, 2011, here's where things stand with the ghastly carousel of college football conference realignment: Chip Brown's sources say Texas A&M will withdraw from the Big 12 today. The New York Times said the move has already been formalized within the conference via a letter. No, there was no letter. No, it was a phone call.
Notre Dame doesn't want to join the increasingly inaccurately named Big 12 -- unless it does. Dan Wetzel thinks TCU should bypass the Big East entirely and join God's Own Conference. And no one, except commenters in varying states of high dudgeon, is taking my ardent wishes to court Boise State and Ohio State seriously.
And I say to you, brothers and sisters: Wouldn't we all rather be breaking down Louisville-Murray State?
I beseech you, forces behind any and all realignment efforts in conferences coast to coast: Stop it. We're creeping up on the 48-hour mark here. Just more than two days remain until the most tiresome and disheartening college football offseason in recent memory is itself a recent memory. And really, who on God's green Internet wants to carry baggage from the summer of 2011 into football time? Murray State-Louisville, Western Illinois-Sam Houston State, Illinois State-Eastern Illinois and West Alabama-South Alabama kick off a largely lackluster slate of Thursday-night action the day after tomorrow, and each of these games is a thousand times more compelling than speculating if a Florida-Alabama-South Carolina voting bloc would move to thwart the addition of Florida State for recruiting purposes. (It totally would. How is this even a discussion?)
A couple weeks ago on Twitter (mild language warning), I pinpointed the source of my displeasure with this latest round of institutionalized slap-fighting: It belongs in the spring. Before the spring, even. Who would complain about the implementation of a realignment dead period, a no-contact no-man's-land on the calendar where all teams and fans (and writers, too) could give themselves over to the anticipation and enjoyment of America's beautiful game? John Infante, the NCAA's compliance blogger, did me one better, proposing (in an unofficial capacity) a full-stop date of July 1 and penalties for schools that tamper with conference structure beyond that date.
All our teams are days away from action. You'd rather be reading about them. We'd rather be writing about them. And until some real, tangible movements occur, there will be no further discussion of Texas A&M or any moving piece on this board in this space. (And even when it's called for, please know it will be written about with the utmost disdain and grudge-holding, because unless this all wraps up today, it's going to interfere with the season, and that's just unpardonable on everybody's part.) And if there's anybody out there reading this with the power to effect real change -- you know who you are. Hear our plea. Let football ring.