The transformation of the college football landscape is underway and my efforts thus far have yielded modified arrangements of the Sun Belt, Conference U.S.A., the M.A.C., the Mountain West, the newly-created Central Conference, and the restored Pacific Coast Conference.
Conference realignment proceeds apace, but I have Myles to go before I sleep, Myles to go before I sleep.
Our focus now shifts from one coast to the other, as we look to the intersection of the Upper South, the Northeast, and New England, where we find the following arrangement for the newfound Eastern Conference:
I was somewhat leery about breaking down the conference vertically rather than horizontally, since belonging to the inland division of the league would make a team a member of the "East West," which is a bistro in Athens, but it couldn't be helped.
Quite frankly, the Eastern Conference is what the Big East should have been: the home to late 20th-century eastern football powers. This arrangement preserves such rivalries as the Backyard Brawl while reviving such series as the Keystone State showdown between the Panthers and the Nittany Lions.
The present Big East is subjected to constant questioning as to its worthiness for a B.C.S. bowl bid; no such doubts could be entertained with respect to the Eastern Conference, which concentrates quite a lot of quality football into a geographically contiguous region. The Eastern Conference would be a bruising, physical league filled with intriguing matchups on a weekly basis.
Now that I have satisfied my readers' insistence upon a Kristin Davis photograph a day, I am contractually obligated to show someone from the opposite end of the human attractiveness spectrum. Fortunately, Joe Paterno was relevant to the topic at hand.
The Hokies and the Mountaineers, whose rivalry currently has survived V.P.I.'s departure for the A.C.C., would serve as permanent interdivisional opponents in the Eastern Conference. The Cavaliers and the Thundering Herd also would meet annually in a clash of what, in the antebellum era, would have been in-state rivals. (On a related note, permit me to wish everyone a happy Confederate Memorial Day today.)
Boston College and Penn State would make fitting permanent opponents for one another. Pittsburgh would be paired with Maryland, Buffalo would confront U.Conn. each autumn, and I am sure the Naval Academy would agree to do battle with Syracuse on an annual basis, provided that the Orange (ne Orangemen) did not require the squad from Annapolis to undergo a reciprocal neutering that would render them merely the Midship.
As Syracuse learned the hard way, not all surrenders of one's manhood work out as well as the transformation from Rex Reed to Raquel Welch.
Once the division champions are decided, I vote they duke it out in Giants Stadium to determine which of them is guaranteed of a deserved major bowl berth. That's the one Jimmy Hoffa is buried in, right?
I present with pride the Eastern Conference.
Coming up next . . . the revival of the late, lamented Southwest Conference.