Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Brennan: Why I'm over realignment issue
By ESPN.com staff
There was a time when conference realignment would really wind me up.
It started in 2010, when this new era of shifting allegiances began, because it became very clear from the outset what all this talk of "football" and "TV revenue" and "branding" and "footprint" really meant.
As it unfolded, and the Big 12 came to the brink of dissolution, and one of college basketball's few blue-blood programs (Kansas) nearly found itself dangling in the wind without a major conference to call home -- people were talking about Kansas joining the Mountain West! -- I would occasionally become enraged.
It wasn't just about dissolving rivalries, or schools joining programs that made no geographic or traditional sense. I could get past that. What really stuck was that basketball had no real determinative place in this new landscape. It was a sideshow, a bonus, big-time second fiddle to a sport (college football) that honestly doesn't do anything for me.
For people who love college basketball, it felt like everything we knew and cherished about the sport was at risk. The Big East was dying. The already-huge financial gap between mid-majors and power schools was widening. The NCAA tournament could go the way of NCAA-controlled bowls, and then what happens to Cinderella? And why? A bigger footprint? Billions more dollars, a cut of which the student-athletes themselves will never see? You know the drill.
Now, after three straight years of this nonsense -- of rumors and breaking news and tortured explanations of why San Diego State totally makes sense as a football member of the Big East -- I'm done being angry. I'm just done.