|The Red River Rivalry since 1900! "Do we really want to see this go away?"|
What makes the game so exciting is the regional element of it. What they do in the Big Ten is completely different from what they do in the SEC, ACC, Big 12 etc. The atmosphere changes depending upon what part of the country you go to. It changes because the culture of the people change.
That’s why I’m disappointed that all of these college president’s have lost sight of the greatness of the game and it’s culture at the expense of making more money by talking about going to only four power conferences. We’ve already seen movement last year with Nebraska leaving the Big 12 for greener pastures in the Big Ten. Next year TCU will bolt to the Big East(now they've decided on the Big 12) and now Oklahoma and several others from the Big 12 are eyeing the PAC 12(recently decided to Kissy: stay put).
My problem with many of the changes is the loss of some of the regional rivalries that have made college football so strong over the years. Also the negative effect that it will have on recruiting. How many kids from Texas will TCU continue to sign if they’re closest road game south is in Louisville? How many kids will continue to cross the Red River from Texas to play at Oklahoma if they go to the PAC 12? That changes the whole dynamic of recruiting future players. How many OU families can afford to travel on a regular basis to Oregon, Washington state, Arizona, California etc to see their kid play if they make that move?
Keep in mind that more than 50% of the Sooner roster is from Texas. That will definitely have a negative effect on their ability to recruit Texas going forward. When they were in the Big 12, Big Momma could pretty much make it to every game because they played more than 85% of those games in Texas and Oklahoma. The only games she didn’t make it to were Kansas, Kansas State and Mizzou which wasn‘t worth traveling to anyway.
I know that the schools stand to make a lot more money if they go to these power conferences. However, at what expense to the game of college football and their individual programs are they willing to sacrifice? If it hurts recruiting and the team starts losing ball games as a result, was it worth the jump? The game is just fine the way it is. It’s stupid for teams to play in conferences that aren’t even geographically close. The Nebraska move was the only one that even made sense.
At the beginning of the year when teams play non-conference games it makes it more exciting. Like this weekend's match up between #1 Oklahoma and #5 Florida State. Now I'm an Oklahoma fan but I can't wait to see Chief Osceola and Renegade(Florida State's mascot) run out and throw the flaming spear into the field and see the crowd go crazy! To hear the fans singing the war chant all game long will be amazing.
It's what makes the game of college football exciting. Not to mention the traditional rivalries that have existed for more than 100 years. Where players actually choose a school because of the rivalry they've seen since they were born and have always wanted to be a part of it.
The kid playing at Alabama has been wanting to play in the Iron Bowl against Auburn his entire life. When the superstar from Texas crosses the Red River to play in Oklahoma the rivalry only deepens. "The Game", Ohio State vs. Michigan isn't just a game! In 1835 & 1836 the State of Ohio and what was Michigan territory at the time engaged in a bloody border dispute called the Toledo War. Some have proposed that the game is simply an extension of the heated battle which has been played since 1897.
The game of college football is bigger than a pay check. It’s culture, pride and self esteem for a lot of people. You can’t put a price tag on that. I can’t imagine seeing many of the traditional rivalries go away. We’ve already seen Nebraska/Oklahoma vanish. How many others will go away as a result of the power conferences? On so many levels the powers that be just don’t get it. How can you completely destroy a game that has been strong for more than 100 years to make money that you can’t even spend! How much is enough?
Holler At Yaw Boy!