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Conference Realignment Hell: an Update

Teams are moving to and from conferences with less and less reasoning behind it. Thanks, Jim Delany.

Justin K. Aller

The Big Ten has a way of setting off the worst bits of conference realignment.

The first move to grab Nebraska out of the Big X(( eventually destabalized the conference, led to further destruction of the Big East, a shift in power away from the already weakened ACC, and the expansion to 14 by the SEC. Now the Big Ten is at it again, grabbing up everybody's, well, like fifth favorite option in conference realignment talk, Maryland, and the one school that can promise a totally realistic (you guys) shot at capturing the thriving New York college sports TV market -- since if people from New York choose to follow college football, Rutgers is their first choice. This has been another destablizing move that is just going to make you hate college sports for another entire offseason.

Deadspin provides a handy visual aide in case you were curious just how screwed up the Big East (!?) has become in the wake of ever-westward expansion. The once northeastern conference panicked after the recent move by the Big Ten and added Tulane -- neither big, nor east -- and East Carolina (that's better). This means that over the last two years the Big East has replaced five of its most respected programs (Syracuse, Pitt, WVU, Rutgers, and Louisville) with a grab bag of ten programs. Four of which are west of the Mississippi. Two more are a stones throw east of it. Congrats, Big East, you're now the living embodiment of just how ridiculous this whole conference expansion mess has become.

Meanwhile, the ACC -- a well respected athletic conference that holds its academic priorities high (unless it involves football players) -- decided to fill its ranks with, um, Louisville. Which of these things is not like the other? That would be Louisville, a mediocre school nowhere near the level of Virginia, UNC, Duke, etc.

Ty Duffy, what say you?

The truth is talk of "academics" is pure blather. It is a cheap potpourri to make what has become a wanton cash grab more palatable to college presidents (let's give it a token inclusion in the postseason revenue distribution, you guys!). College football and men's basketball are professional sports with professional interests. The only time education matters is when it comes to paying taxes or to compensating the labor force.

Once again, all of this was brought to you by Jim Delany. You can thank him later.