31 January 2011

Conference Realignment

We all know about it, but for those that haven't yet heard- where have you been?  The NCAA has agreed to a major shift in the conferences, only the second in nearly 20 years.  TCU is going to the Big East, which is on the verge of losing its automatic qualifying berth in BCS games.  Boise State is going to the MWC.  Colorado is on their way to the PAC10 and the Nebraska Cornhuskers are on their way out to the Big Ten.

Missouri was the original frontrunner for the Big Ten, until some shady backroom deals done by Nebraska's athletic director Tom Osborne, the university president and the commissioner of the Big Ten, Jim Delaney..as reported by the Omaha newspaper.  What if MU had been taken over the Huskers?

For starters, more airtime on TV with the Big Ten Network.  More TV exposure means better recruiting, and even more importantly, more money.  The Big Ten pays out the most of any other conference and every school in the conference gets a share of the BTN revenue.  Last year, the Big Ten paid out between $22 and $24 million to their schools, second was the PAC10 at $12-13 million.  The University would have needed a stadium renovation.  Anheuser-Busch was willing to front the money needed for such a renovation, which was estimated at $48 million.  The payout for MU's first three years in the Big Ten?  $16 mil/yr.  Stadium paid for after three years in conference.

But, the Tigers were not taken, and instead one of our fiercest rivals is on the way out, and with them, the "world's classiest fans".  No longer will the Big 12 be the poster boy for the criminally insane fans and players that play in Lincoln.  Instead, the team that wound up winning a national championship on a 5th down goes to the PAC10.

Instead of the Big 12 championship game that has been so detrimental to Mizzou, the conference will employ a round-robin style format, where whomever has the most conference wins, wins the championship.  How will Missouri fair in the new conference?  We will just have to sit back, watch and enjoy the ride.

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