Already much on the line with the University of Louisville-UConn football game. Let’s raise the stakes.
Why not let the issue of conference realignment be decided at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium?
This is presuming, of course that the Atlantic Coast Conference has to add another new member after losing Maryland to the Big Ten and Rutgers will decide to leave the Big East this week and that the top two choices are UofL and UConn. Both present impressive credentials.
UConn would bring a larger TV market and higher academic ratings, the home of the ESPN cable network. That would seem to be enough, based on the Big Ten’s selection of Maryland’s largely bankrupt program, which had been forced to drop some sports. However, Boston College, a current ACC member, has had issues with UConn in the past. Fans of schools like Florida State and Clemson decry UConn’s shortcomings in football.
On the other hand, Louisville offers a resurging football program, an improving academic profile and a fan base that travels well. UofL also has one of the most successful athletic departments in the country, nationally competitive in almost every sport, and quality facilities for all sports.
If the conference realignment issue is about football, why not let the issue be decided on the football field. Winner takes all. Gather all the good old boys at ACC headquarters for the ultimate game-watching party, complete with all the trappings and a sumptuous buffet. The ultimate tailgate party, but with all the drama of a high stakes football game.
This, of course, is never going to happen. But it makes as much sense as some of the criteria used to make conference realignment decisions in the past.