If there was ever any doubt that football reigns supreme in college sports, it should be crystal clear by now. Football is the only thing driving conference expansion decisions.
Unless some emphatic denials are issued soon, one can assume the conference dominoes have begun to fall. The lynch pin appears to have been an informal decision by the Nebraska board of regents to accept an invitation to the Big Ten Conference.
At least six Big 12 schools have been invited to join the PAC 10. This leads many to conclude that the Big 12 Conference is done. But Texas and Texas A&M are convening a meeting Friday to attempt to salvage things.
Then there are unconfirmed reports that Notre Dame, Maryland, Rutgers and possibly Syracuse have been invited to join the Big 10.
There goes Big East football if true. Should the Big East football schools immediately withdraw from the conference? If so, the best basketball conference in the country becomes history almost over night.
Rutgers can thank itself for all the TV sets in the region. Maybe watching a lot of TV has some positive educational benefits after all. But that’s probably sour grapes. Rutgers in the Big 10. Really?
If Maryland is gone from the Atlantic Coast Conference, Pittsburgh is the first choice to replace the Terps. Never mind Pittsburgh’s long-standing rivalry with West Virginia or the fact that they have little in common with other ACC schools.
Some have suggested a merger between the Big 12 and the Big East football schools. Stranger things have happened and they probably will.
Many universities, including the University of Louisville, have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in facilities and Title IX to secure their future only to be faced with uncertainty. Don’t count on any members of Congress coming to the rescue. They’re too busy trying to save their own butts.
Conference expansion is about to wreak havoc on the college sports scene, and it could get ugly quickly. Many schools are going to be forced into some hasty, very bad decisions without any ability to redress their grievances.