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Why I Officially No Longer Care Whether the Big Ten or the Pac-10 Expand

As I noted previously, this posting, originally scheduled to appear shortly after midnight, was written before all Hell broke loose. Consequently, my verb tenses now appear to be wrong, but my point still stands. Due to the swiftness with which events appear to be unfolding, however, I thought it prudent to move up my posting schedule. So much for this being my planned Thursday content. . . .

I admit it: I got caught up in all of this conference expansion talk, too.

I speculated about the Mountain West. I speculated about Texas. I speculated about the Pac-10. I speculated about Texas again. I speculated about Texas some more. I speculated about Texas A&M. For crying out loud, I even speculated about Baylor!

Then I read MaconDawg’s two reports from the Peach State Pigskin Preview right after I was interviewed on the radio about the Georgia Bulldogs, and I arrived at an important realization. I had what I would call an epiphany if I had attended a school that was more interested in bragging about its academics than in providing a quality education without being all showy about it.

I don’t care. I really don’t.

I don’t care whether the Nebraska Cornhuskers play football in the Big Ten or the Big 12. I don’t care whether the Missouri Tigers play football at all. I applaud the Texas Longhorns for the way they have positioned themselves so shrewdly, but I’m not terribly concerned with which conference they choose to have write them a blank check. I have come to agree with Poseur that I don’t want the league the Longhorns bilk to be my own, but it’s pretty clear that Texas doesn’t want that, either, so I think we’re all agreed that they’ll have their thing over there, we’ll have our thing over here, and we’ll just stay out of one another’s way.

Obviously, I don’t care what the Notre Dame Fighting Irish do. They haven’t been relevant in nearly two decades, they hypocritically tout their vaunted athletic independence while claiming Big East membership when it suits them, and they deserve to be the odd man out when the music stops.

Other than hoping the Boise St. Broncos get the Mountain West Conference membership they have earned, I’m really not concerned with what the Big Ten, the Big 12, or the Pac-10 do.

Please don’t mistake that sentiment for condescension, dismissiveness, or East Coast bias; the leagues in question are significant and many of the programs in play field good teams that properly belong in the national conversation.

As a Southerner, though, I believe in practicing the form of tolerance embodied in a federal system of government featuring reserved powers; namely, indifference. If what other people do in other places does not harm me, then it does not concern me. If the Pac-10 wants to add the Colorado Buffaloes, wants to add the Big 12 South, or wants to add no one at all, well, that’s their business. Like Vito Corleone, I wish them well in their ventures, to the extent that their interests do not conflict with mine.

The Big Ten may add five, three, one, or no teams? When the Red and Black receive a bid to face one of those rumored new teams in the Outback Bowl, I’ll be interested. Until then, it’s their decision and their concern. Good luck to all involved, and we’ll see y’all in the Sunshine State on New Year’s Day. In the meantime, it’s none of my concern until someone from the Midwest shows up to claim the Chick-fil-A spicy chicken sandwich I promised him.

Until something actually happens, conference expansion is the offseason meme that cried, "Wolf!" Colorado has called a secret meeting on Tuesday so they can leave on Wednesday? Well, except they were only exploring options. Nebraska is leaving on Friday? Well, maybe. There’s a deadline of June 14, June 15, or June 17? Call me when the pick is in, not when Nebraska is on the clock.

When my wife and I decided to start a family several years ago, one of the first decisions we made was not to tell people that we were (in the popular euphemism) "trying." Among our reasons for the decision was the realization that there’s no benefit to telling people, "It is our goal to have news to report in the near future, so we are going ahead and letting you know, just so you’ll be prepared for the possibility of news, even though there is not presently any news and we are not able reliably to project the precise timetable upon which news might become available."

Quit telling me the Big Ten is trying to get pregnant. Tell me when they’re having a baby. Right now, there are twelve teams playing in the Southeastern Conference. In all likelihood, once the dust settles, those same twelve teams still will be playing in the Southeastern Conference, no more and no fewer. You say the world may end on Friday? That’s why, in these parts, we say every day should be Saturday.

This weblog happens to cover one of the aforementioned twelve teams. Until something actually happens, and probably even afterward, that’s where my focus will be.

Go ‘Dawgs!