Funny how quickly optimism turns to pessimism in the never ending saga of conference expansion and realignment. A positive note for the University of Louisville one minute is replaced seconds later by a frustratingly negative report from the same source.
Day after day, week after week, month after month, interminable.
A media friend was certain the dominoes were finally going to start falling UofL’s way on Monday, possibly leading to inclusion in the Big 12. Bubbling with confidence, putting his credibility on the line so certain he was. He has excellent sources, no doubt about it, but the SEC presidents failed to act on Missouri. And on it goes …
- A conference commissioner saying one thing, college presidents in his conference saying completely the opposite.
- Leading members of a conference seemingly adamantly opposed to admitting a certain school but that school being the first one to be invited.
- A conference making overtures to a major university that is expressing interest. Then the school and the conference acting as if they may or may not be interested in tying the knot.
- School administrators admitting they’re consulting with TV networks for guidance on which schools to admit or block for conference membership. Such scholars they are.
- An athletic program investing hundreds of millions of dollars in new facilities, with a great tradition in basketball and recent success in football and non-revenue sports, being overlooked for a smaller school with limited success in football and in a redundant market.
- State schools selfishly overlooking the welfare of their states, blocking other schools in the state from conferences.
- Schools averaging 50,000 to 60,000 fans at football games wondering whether they will be left out in the cold.
Rarely have the preferences of so many fans/customers been so blatantly ignored in the atmosphere that prevails in the changing college conference landscape. There are few consistencies in the decision making process, no rules or guidelines, no ways of measuring progress. There is, however, more than enough petty thinking, jealousy, callousness, and paranoia to go around.
Big boys with their toys, pulling the strings, racking in millions for some, sowing seeds of disappointment and inequity for others, with little visible sense of purpose or direction.