College expansion is here.
We just don't know all the details yet.
Eventually, the dominos will start falling and the picture will become more in focus.
Lest we forget, this is all about money. About forming bigger conferences to get bigger TV contracts.
Obviously, that is going to happen.
But there's another side to this, one I'm not sure too many of the gung-ho administrators craving change have given much thought.
Geographically, many of the moves just don't make sense.
For example, Nebraska has joined the Big 10.
A great school with a rich football tradition is joining a great conference.
That's the positive side.
But look at the geography.
Nebraska will be traveling to Penn State, not just in the major sports, but in all of them. How would you like to travel from Lincoln to State College to play softball? Or soccer? How would you like to be the one paying the bills?
I've watched Parkersburg High be the northernmost school in the Mountain State Athletic Conference and Parkersburg South be the southernmost school in the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference.
What has happened?
In both cases, any road game requires a long, expensive trip, thus increasing travel expenses, not to mention time away from academic activities for the participating student-athletes.
The other downside to joining a new conference is losing old rivalries, for it is quite difficult to make new ones.
Nebraska-Northwestern? Nebraska-Minnesota? Not going to catch on.
Nebraska soon will miss its old rivalries like Oklahoma.
It's amazing that PHS and South are in different conferences, yet remain each other's biggest rival.
I'm not sure South has a big rivalry with any school other than PHS, with the exception of Woodrow Wilson in basketball.
And lest you forget, Woodrow Wilson is a member of the MSAC, the conference that claims PHS, not South.
Take Marshall University, for example.
The Herd had built up a lot of rivalries in the Mid American Conference. Then it left for Conference USA, where it is just another team and all of its opponents are viewed that way. If Marshall has an intense rival in that league, I don't know who it is. Plus, look at the difference in travel between the MAC?and CUSA. The increase in expenses is astronomical.
So while schools are interested in taking the money and running to a bigger league, they need to understand there are going to be some negative consequences involved in such a decision.
Much longer road trips and loss of long-time rivalries topping the list.
Of course, that's not going to stop them.
Not with the almighty dollar involved.
Let us never forget that college football is a business.
Contact Dave Poe at firstname.lastname@example.org