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Short Post on Penn State

I was originally planning on writing a long blog post on the scandal at Penn State, but I don’t think I can add anything that has not already been said. It is an affair that is sad in every sense, and will probably go down as the worst sports scandal of my generation. I will not go into whether or not I think Joe Paterno deserved to be fired after 61 combined years of upstanding service, because I do not know the full extent of his knowledge of the situation. I do, however, know that the move needed to be made, whether he deserved it or not.

A part of me hopes that Paterno had only heard of the one incident mentioned in the indictment, and that since he was in his late 70’s, he did not fully grasp the gravity of the situation. If that were the case, his reputation would certainly be tarnished, but then I do not think we could say he was a horrible person. However, if his understanding of the matter proves to be much more sinister, then I think you have to throw out his outstanding 46 years as the head coach that built Penn State and admit that he was a hypocrite and a coward.

Make no mistake, this is not over, and things are going to get much worse. I would prefer the legendary Joe Paterno not be involved in any of the disgusting events that have yet to be revealed. But, if he is, I will have no problem saying that he tricked all of us for a half century into thinking he was an honorable and decent man. I hope that is not the case.

But then, that’s just me being selfish. I hope his reputation is not forever ruined, because that will force me to reexamine everything I thought I knew about college football and the men who run it. If this scandal has taught us anything, it is that terrible things can happen anywhere. So many college football fans held up Paterno and the Nittany Lions as a shining beacon of hope in the bleak landscape of college sports. Now, with the downfall of Paterno’s “great experiment,” I urge all of you that are taking pleasure in this and belittling the university to not be smug.

There are twisted individuals in all walks of life. If it can happen at Penn State, it could happen at your school.

NotFantasyFootball Week 10 Podcast

Joe Parello and Jeremy Conlin discuss the upcoming weekend of NFL football while Heidi Leach takes a nap.

 

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Belichick’s Greatest Hits(and misses) Vol. 3: The Non-Super Bowl Years

Patriots coach Bill Belichick has had little to smile about with regards to his roster moves the past several seasons.

Patriots coach Bill Belichick has always appeared to be a step ahead.

When fans whined about him letting go of veterans Ty Law and Lawyer Milloy, he responded by continuing to win Super Bowls. When the media claimed that veteran malcontents Correy Dillon and Rodney Harrison would disrupt team chemistry, he turned them into model citizens on championship teams.

But, with Tuesday’s news that the Patriots have cut defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth, and the appearance that Chad Ochocinco is STILL not on the same page with quarterback Tom Brady, is Belichick losing his edge on personel decisions? The signings of those two veterans before this season, the horrid state of the defense and the offense’s inability to be consistently productive when Brady is even a tiny bit off seem to say yes. Well, you can be the judge. Here are some of Bill’s more(and less) brilliant moves since the Patriots’ last Super Bowl appearance in 2007.

Best Moves

1. Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez in the 2010 draft: Beyond Wes Welker, the Patriots receiving corps is limited. Their young group of tight ends, however, is not. Gronkowski, a second round pick in 2010, has the combination of size and speed that offensive coordinators dream of and defensive coordinators have nightmares preparing for. At 6-foot-6 with good speed, Gronk is the biggest matchup problem on the Patriots’ roster.

Hernandez is a bit smaller, but very quick for a tight end. He also has a wide frame which he uses to box out corners on third down. There is a reason Brady enjoys using two tight end sets so much, he has two of the best in the league. When both are healthy, which is now the case, New England can work the short to intermediate passing game as well as any team in football.

2. Jerod Mayo: Though he has been banged up this year, Mayo is still the defense’s best player. He is a tackling machine and an instinctive play-maker against the short passing game. The Patriots have missed him in that regard, and he does not look to be back to full speed quite yet.

3. Zoltan Mesko: Isn’t it sad that No. 3 is a punter? Well, a little bit, but Mesko is already one of the league’s best, averaging over 45 yards a punt and helping New England flip field position over in their favor. If only the defense didn’t give it right back…

Worst Moves

1. Getting too cute on draft day in 2009: The Patriots had traded down from the 23rd pick to the 26th pick in the first round and had an obvious, glaring weakness to address: pass rusher. Sure, Tully Banta-Cain was okay, and Mike Wright could eventually track down a quarterback, but the Patriots needed a game-changer. Staring them right in the face was UCS linebacker Clay Matthews. They had worked it so perfectly, they had traded down and their dynamic pass rusher was still there. So what do the Patriots do?

They promptly trade the pick to Green Bay, along with the fifth round pick they had received from Baltimore, for a second round pick and two third round picks. The Patriots used their second round pick on Darius Butler, traded one of their third round picks to Jacksonville and used the other third round pick on Brandon Tate. The third round pick they sent to Jacksonville eventually became Julian Edelman in return, and he is the only player from this deal still on New England’s roster(though he may be gone soon enough due to a Halloween groping incident and expendable play).

The Packers, on the other hand, selected Clay Matthews. In the Packers’ 3-4 zone blitz scheme, Matthews has become an All-Pro linebacker and one of the league’s most feared pass rushers. Green Bay would go on to win Super Bowl XLIII with Matthews making one of the game’s biggest plays, forcing Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall to fumble when Pittsburgh had fought back to pull the game within a score.

2. This off-season’s veteran signings: While the Patriots did not pay much for them, Chad Ochocinco and Albert Haynesworth have provided distractions and done nothing to help them win this season. Obviously, the Patriots literally cut their losses by parting ways with Haynesworth, but that came after the massive defensive tackle never seemed to be in football shape for the first half of the season. The Patriots changed their defensive alignment to a 4-3, the type of defense Haynesworth cried about not playing in while he was a Redskin, but he still didn’t provide the inside pass rush that made him a force in Tennessee. Heck, he barely saw the field.

Ochocinco, on the other hand, has just been incredibly unproductive. Eight games in, the receiver formally known as Chad Johnson has only nine catches for 136 yards and no scores. In the early goings, Ochocinco failed to create separation from defenders down field, but last week against the Giants he just looked completely lost and out of sync with his quarterback. Brady targeted Ochocinco five times in that game, and four times he appeared to be open, but the former Bengal star couldn’t even haul one of them in.

3. Trading Richard Seymour: It is hard for me to say this is a terrible move, because, at the time, it made a lot of sense. Both Seymour and Vince Wilfork were set to become free agents soon, and the Patriots chose to extend the younger player and pick up a first round draft pick for Seymour from a terrible franchise, the Oakland Raiders. The only problem is that the Patriots now have zero pass rush and the Raiders went 8-8 last season, leading to that pick coming at No. 17, rather than in the top-5 or 10 like Belichick probably anticipated.

Jury Still Out(but lookin’ good)

1. Nate Solder: So maybe the Seymour trade was not a total wash, because it did lead to the Patriots drafting Solder. In limited action this season, the big tackle from Colorado has been solid. His biggest strength is his size and, at 6-foot-8, not many defensive ends can get around him.

2. Brandon Spikes: He’s a little bit slow, but Spikes is just incredibly instinctive and has the ability to deliver big hits. His versatility has helped him see the field early as injuries have popped up on both the inside and outside of the linebacking corps. He is versatile in New England’s current 4-3, but Spikes is really best suited to play inside in a 3-4 where his lack of speed is masked and his instincts and solid tackling are accentuated.

Jury Still Out(but not lookin’ great)

1. Shaun Ellis: New England made another splash in free agency by acquiring Ellis from the rival Jets. Unfortunately, Ellis has been hampered by injuries, and will actually be inactive this week when the Patriots visit his old team. New England hopes he can come back and provide some kind of push up front, but at 34, Ellis may never contribute anything of note to the Pats.

2. Jermaine Cunningham: The former second round pick out of Florida is only in his second season but has rarely seen the field, despite injuries at linebacker. Whether that shows a lack of understanding of the defense, or a lack trust from the coaching staff, it is not a good sign. Cunningham has also contributed little this season on special teams.

Jury Still Out(like, really, it’s out)

1. Devin McCourty: Entering his second season, McCourty seemed to be a budding star. But, after a fantastic rookie season where he finished with eight interceptions, McCourty has struggled to take his game to the next level as the team’s top cover corner. He has shown flashes, but the league’s better receivers, especially the ones with size, have abused him this year one-on-one.

2. Patrick Chung: The safety from Oregon is actually second on the team in tackles(behind only McCourty, oddly enough), but his coverage skills have looked average at best. The Patriots want him to be an enforcer, but he also cannot routinely give up the big plays down the field he has this year. Like McCourty, there are flashes of great play, but consistency and focus have been a struggle.

College Football Power Rankings IV: The Quest for Peace

But there will be no peace.

No, not on the weekend of college football’s Armageddon. The game every college football junkie has been waiting for is finally here, and big hits are sure to be in order for the SEC West’s shining moment. When No. 1 LSU makes the trip to Tuscaloosa to tango with No. 2 Alabama, it will be the first regular season matchup of top ranked teams since No. 1 Ohio State defeated No. 2 Michigan in 2006. It will also be the first time SEC teams have met in conference play as top ranked teams. This has the makings of as national title elimination game and, since both teams had byes last week, the hype machine has been pushing it for two weeks now.

But seriously, no pressure.

While those two were off last week, two BCS conference unbeatens fell by the wayside. Kansas State was fully exposed by Oklahoma, while Clemson was blasted by Georgia Tech. That leaves four undefeated teams from BCS conferences, with one guaranteed to lose the LSU-Bama game. Alongside the nation’s two top teams, Stanford and Oklahoma State have yet to fall. The Cardinal escaped the Colosseum last week in triple overtime against USC while the Cowboys’ offense has looked unstoppable all year. Boise State also remains unbeaten, but with Stanford jumping them in this week’s BCS poll, consider it the beginning of the end for their title hopes.

Here are this week’s rankings.

1. LSU: 8-0

I guess we will know how to rank them after Saturday night.

2. Alabama: 8-0

See above.

3. Stanford: 8-0

Andrew Luck threw a pick-six that gave USC the lead with just over three minutes left. He didn’t blink the rest of the game, leading a touchdown drive for the tie and three scoring drives in overtime for the win.

4. Oklahoma State: 8-0

That offense is just phenomenal, but the defense did a nice job of keeping Baylor’s spread attack in check.

5. Boise State: 7-0

The Broncos were the “other” undefeated top-5 team on a bye last week. UNLV should offer Boise little resistance this week as they prep for TCU.

6. Oregon: 7-1

The Ducks have scored at least 40 points in their seven consecutive victories. They continue to trend upward towards their November 12th game at Stanford.

7. Oklahoma: 7-1

Wow, that was easy! The Sooners were absolutely dominant against previously undefeated K-State. It’s a shame they lay one egg every year.

8. Nebraska: 7-1

The Huskers flexed their muscles against a scorching-hot Michigan State team last week. Nebraska kept it simple and loaded the box against the Spartan rushing attack, while keeping it on the ground offensively. That will be their recipe for success this year, until they run into another team that can beat them throwing it down the field. Good thing that won’t happen, if it ever does, until they get to a bowl game.

9. Arkansas: 7-1

Another slow start for the Razorbacks, this time against Vanderbilt. That’s two conference bottom dwellers in a row that they have had to come back on. I am officially worried about my proclamation that Arkansas is, in fact, really good.

10. Virginia Tech: 8-1

These guys are just going to move up slowly as other teams lose. As I said, they play nobody of note and are just going to keep winning until the ACC championship. That is, unless newly revitalized Georgia Tech can knock them off this week..

11. Houston: 8-0

Case Keenum threw for nine touchdowns last week! To show you how crazy that is, if he had thrown one more, it would be proper AP style to begin using numerals for his single-game touchdown statistic rather than spelling it out. Insane!

12. Michigan: 7-1

The Wolverines turned the ball over early, but dominated both sides of the ball against a Purdue team that had been playing well in the trenches of late. A good sign for Michigan, because physical defenses from Iowa, Nebraska and Ohio State loom in the next four weeks.

13.  Penn State: 8-1

This is the most boring and least explosive 8-1 team in the BCS era. The Nittany Lions have zero quarterback play(from two quarterbacks), a mediocre ground game, but an immovable defensive front. Joe Pa’s staff is finding ways to put it together, but you can’t win 10-7 every week, even in the Big Ten.

14. Clemson: 8-1

Oh Clemson, I had such high hopes for you! This was gonna be the year!! This was it! All those top recruiting classes that turned into Meineke Car Care Bowl losses, this was supposed to be the end of that! But no, you let a reeling Georgia Tech run all over you on their way to a 31-17 victory. Oh well, you’re still just two wins away from locking up a spot in the ACC title game.

15. South Carolina: 7-1

Man, I still have to rank this team high even though they no longer have their starting quarterback or running back? Well, they’re still the favorites in the SEC East, so I guess so.

16. Kansas State: 7-1

Oklahoma showed that if you slow down Kansas State on the ground and get a lead, the Wildcats can do zilch through the air. Dully noted. I look for them to get blasted again this week against Oklahoma State and drop to 25th in my poll.

17. Georgia: 6-2

The Dawgs scored a huge victory in “The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party” against the Gators Saturday. They still have yet to beat a ranked team, or even a team that currently has a winning record(Coastal Carolina sitting on 4-4.. Dammit!!). But, by 2011 SEC East standards, THEY.. ARE.. ROLLING!!

18. Michigan State: 6-2


The Spartans were physically man-handled last week, and senior quarterback Kirk Cousins was unable to cash in against a three-man secondary all day.

19. Wisconsin: 6-2


Another week, another last-minute Hail Mary loss for the Badgers.

20. Arizona State:6-2

Their blowout win over USC looks a whole lot better this week, but their loss to Illinois keeps looking worse.

21. USC: 6-2

Speaking of the Trojans, Lane Kiffin officially coached the most impressive game of his career. The only is problem is it came in a loss at home to Stanford. Kidding aside, the way USC played against a superior, more experienced Cardinal team legitimized them in my book.

22. Georgia Tech: 7-2

The Yellow Jackets bounced back by whooping Clemson last week. Their game against Virginia Tech could fully redeem their mid-season breakdown and land them a spot in the ACC title game.

23. Auburn: 6-3

The Tigers are sitting on fourth in the loaded SEC West. It’s a shame, because the reigning national champs would have a legitimate shot of winning any other league in the country.

24. Cincinnati: 6-1


Hey, somebody from the Big East has to be ranked, right?

25. Ohio State: 5-3

Much like Penn State, they have no quarterback, and their ground game has only been pretty good. But, they can stop people and have the athletes on offense to break a big one every once in a while.

Game I will definitely be watching

Endicott at MIT

Yes, of course I will be watching LSU-Bama that night, but don’t sleep on this New England Football Conference matchup. The Engineers are coming off their first NEFC victory, a 23-0 thrashing of Nichols, and hope they can ride work-horse back Justin Wallace to a shocking upset. Last week, in an October snow storm, MIT let Wallace carry the load, rushing 41 times for 190 yards and three touchdowns. As it stands, Wallace needs 108 yards to become the first MIT freshman ever to rush for 1,000 yards in a season.

But the real problem for the Engineers will be on the other side of the ball. Endicott’s offense leads the conference at just over 42 points a game, and is equally adept throwing it as it is running it…

Ok, this is a shameless plug. I’m doing play-by-play for this game. But seriously, it’s gonna be fun.

Game where the two schools’ athletic directors may need to be physically separated

Louisville at West Virginia

Now this could be awkward… Both of these schools were actively selling themselves to the Big 12, but West Virginia ultimately got the invite. In mid-October, it seemed WVU to the Big 12 was a done deal, but then Louisville AD Tom Jurich reached out to the conference and made a sales pitch for Louisville. It must have made an impression, as the Big 12 delayed inviting WVU and reports surfaced that the conference was now considering Louisville. This led to much angst and many cries of foul play in Mountaineer country.

Then reports came out that the conference may add both. Then they were all like, sike Louisville! Have fun playing basketball in that sinking conference! Needless to say, Jurich was not pleased, and now Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino has been crying about his program and how it is not being considered in these decisions to every writer that will listen(not particularly relevant to this situation, but annoying nonetheless). Perhaps cameras will catch a nice shot of Jurich and WVU AD Oliver Luck(yep, Andrew’s daddy) exchanging pleasantries during Saturday’s game in Morgantown.

Most interesting betting line

Vanderbilt at Florida(-11)

This is a tricky line, and I know I would not want to be the guy handicapping this one. On one hand, Florida is clearly the more talented team across the board. But, the Gators have had trouble in the second half of games lately, and quarterback John Brantley’s return from injury last week did not exactly inspire confidence. The inconsistent signal caller threw no picks, but only completed 35% of his passes and failed to convert any significant third downs in the second half against Georgia.

Also, running back Chris Rainey, Florida’s leading rusher, is expected to miss the game against the Commodores, who are playing surprisingly well this year. Jordan Rodgers may not have his brother Aaron’s Super Bowl arm, but the nifty quarterback has Vanderbilt moving the chains on the ground. They nearly knocked off Arkansas last week and played Georgia, the team that just beat Florida, to only a five point loss two games before that.

All that being said, if the Gators take care of the ball and just contain Rodgers, they should win this thing going away. But, the Gators have been a very inconsistent team this year, and have been prone to letting big plays against them linger. The game is in the Swamp, so I don’t think there is any way Florida loses this game straight up. But, with SEC East leader South Carolina looming next week, this does seem like enough of a trap game against a deceptively good opponent that it could end up being a seven to 10 point game.

Or Florida could be pissed that they haven’t won a game in over a month, during the longest Gator losing streak since the pre-Spurrier era, and win 50. Who knows?

Week 9 NFL Picks

I am, by no means, a betting man. That being said, predictions are just so much more fun when they are done against the spread. Anybody can tell you the Patriots are going to beat the Giants this week, but do they think it will be by more than a touchdown? Now we’re getting a little bit interesting. So, without further ado, here are my predictions. My picks will be in caps and have the line accompanying them.

Trust me, you don't want to mess with this prediction.

Stone Cold Lock of the Week

ATLANTA(-7) at Indianapolis

I don’t think this one needs much explanation. Sure, the Colts are at home and they played the Steelers and Bucs tough in night games several weeks ago, but now Indy is just beat up beyond repair. Joseph Addai is hurt, several key defenders have been playing with injuries and the epic “Painter to Garcon” connection seems to be cooling off. Look for the resurgent Michael Turner to run wild on the Colts’ 31st ranked run defense and for Matt Ryan to sprinkle in a few deep balls to Roddy White.

Oh yeah, and that’s the bottom line cause Stone Cold said so!

Stone Cold Stunner of the Week

BALTIMORE(+3.5) at Pittsburgh

Ok, I just couldn’t help myself, I had to put in another Stone Cold reference. Anyways, if you thought you were going to get all safe picks, you were sadly mistaken. This AFC North showdown is typically a blood bath, and usually the home team is slightly favored. I know the Steelers are riding high after their win over New England, but that victory took a heavy toll on them physically, primarily in their front seven.

The Steelers were already without starting nose tackle Casey Hampton, starting end Aaron Smith and starting linebackers James Harrison and James Farrior before Lamarr Woodley went down against the Patriots. The Steelers ended up using Troy Polamalu, their phenomenal safety, at inside linebacker for the majority of the second half. I am not expecting an emotional letdown from Pittsburgh but, with five starters out in the front seven, I am expecting a physical one.

Remember the Titans?

CINCINNATI(+3) at Tennessee

Seriously, do you remember them?

They were the team that looked like they could be the surprise of the AFC last month. Tennessee had notched an impressive win over Baltimore, and veteran quarterback Matt Hasselbeck was back to his 2005 form. Their defense looked like it just might be one of the best in football, and it seemed a certainty that Chris Johnson would quickly get into playing shape and make them, once again, explosive on the ground.

Well, it didn’t quite work out that way. Tennessee is currently DEAD LAST in the league in rushing, and their defense has gone from elite to below average in three weeks. They bounced back last week with a win over Indianapolis, but had lost their previous two contests against the Steelers and Texans by a combined 55 points.

Now add in the fact that the Bengals bring in the league’s second best rush defense and they’re GETTING points, and Vegas is almost forcing me to pick Cincinnati on the road(a scary thought as well).

Also, while I’m posting videos, here is one of the classic scenes from Disney’s Remember the Titans. I watched the movie with my significant other last night, and in between emotional scenes about race relations and brotherhood, they actually put in a pretty good football speech. If this doesn’t make you want to buckle up a chin-strap and knock the snot out of somebody, well, then, clearly you are just not a very violent person.

NotFantasyFootball Week 9 Podcast

Joe Parello, Heidi Leach and Jeremy Conlin survey your NFL landscape for week 9. Who’s overrated? Who’s underrated? Which games are locks and which should you avoid? That, and more, in this week’s podcast.

 

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Out of the frying pan and into… the Big 12?

West Virginia's departure from the crumbling Big East to the volatile Big 12 represents many programs' futile search for profit and stability in an ever-changing college football landscape.

With West Virginia’s move to the Big 12 becoming official Friday, the question needs to be asked: Are the Mountaineers any more secure in their new conference than they were in the Big East ?

The answer is no, but they, along with many other schools, are running out of options.

The Big East, as an automatically qualifying(AQ) football conference, is teetering on the edge of annihilation, but the situation in America’s heartland is hardly a safe haven for WVU. It may seem like a smart move on the surface, but West Virginia’s move is actually lateral at best and represents the plight of every program that is not currently in a stable power conference.

Here is a quick look at what has led to this constantly fluid situation in college football(Yes football, not basketball. Football drives athletic departments, and none of these decisions were made with any other sport in mind).

Since the Big Ten added Penn State in the early 90’s and the Big 8 merged with the Southwest Conference shortly thereafter, the tectonic plates of major conference athletics had been mostly stable.   Sure, the ACC made a power play, adding Miami, Virginia Tech and Boston College from the Big East, but nobody seemed to be too fussed about it. But, it left the Big East weakened as an AQ football conference, and hinted at the changes to come.

Then came last June when the Big Ten dropped the first domino that would change the college football landscape. The midwestern conference added Big 12 power Nebraska, and had been in discussions with fellow Big 12 school Missouri. At the same time, the then-Pac 10 expanded to 12 by swiping Colorado from the Big 12 and adding Mountain West power Utah.

When Nebraska and Colorado left the Big 12, multiple reports surfaced that they were not pleased with the revenue split in the conference, which was not equal, and claimed that conference juggernaut Texas held far too much sway in conference decisions. Both schools found their way into equal revenue sharing conferences that seemed to be stable.

Nebraska is a historical power, so they were never in serious jeopardy, but Colorado and Utah lucked out.

Somehow, the Big 12 was able to survive without equal revenue sharing. It dropped to 10 schools, and Texas launched its “Longhorn Network,” much to the chagrin of rival Texas A&M. This led to A&M announcing they too would be leaving the Big 12, but for the SEC. It is almost a formality at this point that Missouri will follow them, pushing the SEC to 14 teams.

Earlier this year, the ACC once again raided the Big East, stealing two of the conference’s marquee schools, Pittsburgh and Syracuse. As it stands right now, there appear to only be four conferences that a school could feel comfortable in: The SEC, the Big Ten, the ACC and the Pac 12. The Big East was depleted enough with the loss of Pitt and ‘Cuse, but then soon-to-be member TCU accepted an invitation to join the Big 12.

This sets up a scary situation for the Big 12 and Big East. Clearly, WVU believes they are better off in the Big 12 since the Big East is now down to only five football programs with one(Connecticut) actively selling themselves to the ACC. It seems like the Big East is all but assured to lose its automatic qualifying status when the next BCS contract comes up in 2014, but the Big 12 is essentially a ticking time bomb.

The Longhorn Network and Texas have everyone in Big 12 country very nervous. With power programs Nebraska and Texas A&M now gone, Texas and Oklahoma hold all the cards. What if their television network generates enough revenue for the Longhorns to go independent, ala Notre Dame, and tell everyone else in the conference where to stick it? What if they decide they are better off in another conference? Also, will the extra revenue WVU is receiving make up for the cost of sending all of their non-revenue sports on 1,000 mile+ road trips to face schools in Texas and Oklahoma?

While the Big East is in dire straits, West Virginia could have been a power broker in rebuilding the conference. Had WVU overseen a new revenue splitting plan and helped bring in schools like Boise State, Houston, Memphis, Temple and Central Florida, the conference may have been able retain its AQ status while actually improving in basketball. But the truth is, even that is not a great situation.

Still, this is bigger than one program or one conference. As it stands, if you are not in one of those four lucky conferences, you are in a very precarious situation. Conference realignment, while exciting, has created an environment where if you are not a football power, you will struggle to compete at the highest level in any sport and be a profitable athletic department.

That is, of course, unless you were in one of these stable conferences to begin with. In that case, laugh your way to the bank.

If the Big 12 and Big East implode, storied basketball programs like Kansas, Connecticut and Louisville will be left out in the cold, while programs that offer little in any sport like Northwestern, Vanderbilt and Oregon State  will be raking in cash. What’s worse, if these “power conferences” pull away from the NCAA and set up their own post-season football and basketball championships, as many predict, it could put an end to any of those programs being relevant in basketball at all.

While West Virginia’s decision to join the Big 12 was shortsighted, it was also tragically predictable. In today’s college sports landscape, schools are forced into decisions that make little sense, just for a shot at survival. When the dust settles there will be many losers and few winners, and if you aren’t in, you will be like West Virginia: Forced to choose between a currently bad situation and a potentially disastrous one.

It truly is out of the frying pan and into the fire.