Print and Go Back ESPN.com: NCF Nation [Print without images]

Thursday, February 9, 2012
3-point stance: More on expansion

By Ivan Maisel

1. The Big East expansion has made the best of an untenable situation. If Memphis is the end of expansion --Air Force, what are you going to do? -- then taking four teams from Conference USA, Boise State, San Diego State and Navy just may be a wash for losing Pittsburgh, Syracuse and West Virginia. That is, if you measure by football. The problem is that the Big East football schools share neither tradition nor geography, both critical to the well-being of a conference.

2. We let the NCAA train us to say “student-athlete” like it’s a word and not something made up to sound academic. Enough’s enough. “Plus-one” is nothing more than a nom de grid for a playoff, made up by those who don’t want to upend the bowl system. The most popular plus-one idea, with the top four teams seeded into (or separate from) the bowls, is nothing more than a four-team playoff. So, unless it’s absolutely necessary, I’m done with the term plus-one. It is what it is: a playoff.

3. The Pac-12 is playing a nine-game schedule. The ACC, as of this week, and Big 12 are on board to follow. The Big Ten will play an eight-game schedule with a ninth-game against the Pac-12, which is admirable. The SEC is sticking with an eight-game schedule, allowing its members to play four stadium-filling, bowl-qualifying home games. The argument that that eight SEC games is enough to prove a team’s worth is just so much chicken salad. The schedules cheat the ticket-buying fans and mock the viewers at home.