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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Conference realignments on hold...for now

Thursday, September 22, 2011

We've all heard it by now. Texas A&M to join the SEC. Pitt and Syracuse are joining the ACC.

When will it all stop?

Unfortunately, not anytime soon.

This mass movement of schools jumping ship is occurring all around the nation.

In five years the major Division I conferences will look nothing like they do now.

In fact, some won't even exist.

This mass exodus is the beginning of a movement of biblical proportions in college athletics towards four "super conferences."

When all is said and done, the major contenders in the nation's premier leagues will represent four major leagues.

So what does this do to current rivalries and competitiveness?

It completely wipes them out in some cases.

Conference rivalries that could ultimately produce a conference championship will no longer have any significance.

Take Pitt and WVU football, for example.

Their "Backyard Brawl" will no longer have the same implications that it has in years past.

Once the move becomes official, it will have become just another meaningless game.

Another game soon to be of the past is Texas A&M and Texas.

Sure, fans will want their respective team to win, but what does that mean for the overall conference standings-- nothing.

There are already talks swirling of the Big East merging with the Big 12, but honestly, what's the point?

When you have flagship schools jumping ship with greedy money signs in their eyes, you'll never have the same commitment to producing the best on-field (or court) athleticism.

And therein lies the problem with athletics these days -- greed.

It's all about the money now. Old school rivalries and conference allegiances mean nothing next to a heap of greenbacks.

Again, when will it all stop?

The idea is there will be four major conferences with 16 teams each, which has the experts' opinions split on whether it will actually be beneficial or harmful to the collegiate atmosphere.

While the schools seek to change conferences for financial gains, coaches are split on why they would or wouldn't want to join a particular conference.

Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski supports the moves by Pitt and Syracuse to the ACC, and actually welcomes the prospect of bringing more schools to the conference.

It's rather obvious why Coach K supports bringing the two schools to the ACC. The additions of Pitt and Syracuse all but ensure the ACC will be the top basketball conference in the nation.

With the prospects of Connecticut and Rutgers joining the likes of the Orange and the Panthers, there is no doubt.

The move by Pitt and Syracuse not only give instability to the Big East but also put TCU, which is set to join the Big East in 2012, in a tight spot.

So in building the superior basketball conference, the moves completely destroy any competitiveness the Big East had in football.

Expect the same moves to happen all over the nation.

But for those who are against the moves to the "super conferences," a bit of good news broke on Wednesday morning.

Big East officials have stated that schools currently in the conference have pledge to stay.

Officials for the Pac-12 also expressed interest with remaining at 12 schools, opposed to expanding.

For now, it seems the conferences will be safe from dissolving and forming the super conferences.

Chris Siers is sports editor of the Times-Gazette. He can be contacted at sports@t-g.com.

Chris Siers
The Extra Point
Chris Siers is sports editor of the Times-Gazette.