Over the past few months, we've pounded away at a few ideas about expansion
and the like. We pointed out that most of the big conferences have shown a lack
of stability and that schools are bouncing back and forth, or are threatening to
bounce back and forth between conferences, and thus their identities, and historic rivalries, are
blurred. The rivalry Arkansas has with LSU is dwarfed by the old
Southwestern rivalries. Missouri is rumored to be jumping to the Big 10,
but would sacrifice the intense rivalry with Kansas. The Big East is
increasingly unwieldy, various conferences have expanded and then disintegrated, and so on.
Who needs it?
We're glad to see someone else pick up on some of this. While we're not
arrogant enough to think that Barry Jacobs gets any inspiration from this site -
it's much more likely to be the reverse - we are very happy to see him weigh in
on expansion, on the idiocy of UNC's palatial football digs, which they clearly
can't afford, and comparing the whole business to an arms race. Quite so. We
wish we'd made the analogy. We were also glad to see someone else suggest
eliminating liberal substitution, which would certainly reduce costs and, in our
judgment, make a much more interesting game.
He points out, quite rightly, that everything financial is geared towards the
schools and precious little towards the athlete, and that the ACC is on the
verge of sacrificing much of what makes it special.
You can certainly find any number of light-weight,
poorly conceived opinions about expansion,(this article says on the one hand that the basketball camp is afraid of ruining
hoops via expansion, but then portrays the football,
pro-expansion camp as being afraid of the SEC and of FSU threatening to leave if
the conference doesn't expand. If FSU leaves, to paraphrase that memorable UN Ambassador's comment, we'll be down at the dock to wave
goodbye. More to the point, if basketball is secure and football is
worried, who's scared?)
but as far as we're concerned, you can have them. The ACC is not and should not try to be the SEC or the Big 10
or the Pac 10. If you want to have some big fun, try being a non-revenue
athlete at Arizona or ASU and taking the trip to Pullman. Ugh, ugh, triple ugh.
That's just a nightmare. Going from, say, Miami, to, say, Rutgers, would
also be horrible.
Anyway, read Barry's column. It cuts through a lot of the nonsense in ways we
only wish we could do.