Panic. That’s the one word that best describes what’s going on in college sports. I suppose “greed” also works as well but that’s not exactly an unusual concept in college sports.
When Texas A&M announced it was leaving the Big 12 for the SEC and Baylor announced its plans to block the move, it was pretty clear the college conference scene was going to get chaotic.
Actually it’s been trending that way ever since Colorado announced it was leaving the Big 12 for the Pac-10 last year, which is now the Pac-12. Colorado was joined by Utah, which moved from the Mountain West. At the same time, TCU decided to leave the MWC for the Big East because nothing says “East” like a school from Fort Worth, Texas. But now the University of Pittsburgh and Syracuse University have reacted to all the drama by deciding to leave the Big East for the ACC.
Confused? You should be. The best I can explain it is that a lot of Division I schools have decided that two of the biggest conferences, the Big East and the Big 12, are unstable and don’t have much of a future. So right now a bunch of big-time college programs are frantically trying to switch conferences.
Each time that happens, the conferences try to replace the schools they’ve lost by swiping from other conferences. And while football and basketball are the sports driving all these moves, college athletes in “non-revenue” sports like golf and tennis have to go along with the changes too, even with the exhausting amounts of travel involved.
It’s all more than enough to give you a headache. I’m just glad Ithaca College hasn’t tried to leave the Empire 8 while I’ve been here. That would be a hard conference carousel to keep track of.