It has been a grim few weeks for most Big 12 Conference fans as Oklahoma and Texas announced their plans to join the SEC in 2025. There is no doubt most fans of the other eight teams in the Big 12 are a bit nervous as to where their school will land and the impact it will have on their school.
I, however, am an optimist. I see an opening.
This could be a revolution in American sports brewing. America seems to have this connotation that socialism and communism are a horrible idea that never works. Despite this thinking, our sports are exactly that. For decades, there has been a buzzword called “tanking” in American professional sports. Americans root for their teams to lose every game when they feel there is no chance at a championship. The reward? The first overall draft pick. It is a redistribution of wealth. American sports rewards teams for being the worst and punishes teams for being the best. The champion typically gets the worst picks of their respective draft. In college football, this is never true. In fact, the rich get richer. Alabama becomes stronger while Kansas becomes weaker.
College football will never have a draft. However, just as Mike Leach’s Air Raid offense evolved the NFL to the point where Kliff Kingsbury is hired as an NFL Head Coach after being fired by a college team, the college football landscape can evolve American sports.
Punish the Worst
Why not punish the worst teams? If you don’t win a single game, you are clearly inferior. You shouldn’t remain in the elite leagues.
If the Big 12 breaks up and four super conferences emerge, it is time for promotion and relegation to become a part of American sports. The Boise State’s of the world deserve their opportunity. Who really wants to see Alabama vs. Vanderbilt again? Alabama has a 62-18-4 record against the Commodores. Only twice in the past 60 years has Vanderbilt defeated the Crimson Tide. The Crimson Tide is currently on a 22-game win streak against Vanderbilt. We don’t need to see this matchup again. This is what you call “BORING”. Honestly, UAB and Troy would put up better fights. Hell, let’s get Mount Union up against Alabama.
How to Partner Conferences
It is time to relegate the likes of Vanderbilt, Rutgers, and dare I say it? Kansas. If the power conferences becomes four 16-team super conferences, then let’s make some affiliations. Place the Sun Belt in below the SEC. Conference USA can be the second tier to the ACC. It’s obvious the Mountain West should be the second league to the Pac 12. Attach the MAC to the Big Ten. Have third, fourth and fifth tiers. Guess what! The WAC is bringing football back. It can be viewed as the third tier for Western teams.
There will still be a playoff. There can still be a second tier of postseason as well. In European soccer, the Champion of the second tier playoff tournament (Europa League) earns an automatic bid to the next season’s Champions League.
If the Big 12 Conference is going to vanish, then it’s time for the evolution of American sports to start. Stop with this nonsense of 0-16 NFL teams being rewarded. If the Miami Marlins are the worst team in baseball, then replace them with a AAA franchise. It starts with college football. Give the worst teams an incentive to win.
And if not, well. We can expect the SEC to dissolve in 20-30 years from now. Whatever conference the Texas Longhorns seem to touch, never seems to survive. First, the Southwest Conference after the departure of Arkansas. Second, the Big 12 conference after the initial departure of Nebraska. Texas A&M is already calling it quits in the SEC. How long with the SEC last? Will it even make it to 2030?
I guess we shall see. If college football was smart, they’d implement promotion and relegation.