Saturday, August 13, 2011
My Sunday Feeling
Hell, no! I want to write about something important. I want to write about the latest shake-up in college sports, namely, that Texas A & M, is joining the Southeastern Conference along with Clemson and Florida State. The earlier rumor that Missouri was going to follow the Aggies over into the land of Bear Bryant and UGA the bulldog was just that. The Tigers are staying put.
Why would the Aggies leave the mediocrity of the Big-12 for a far more murderous and insane football conference like the SEC? Two 5 letter words my friends. And those words are "Texas" and "Money." The Aggies always felt like the red headed stepchild next to the snooty Longhorns. But what really got their noses out of joint in College Station is when Texas went out and started its own television network, the proceeds from which they ain't got to share. So, if the Aggs are going to finish in 3rd place in football on a yearly basis, why not do it in a conference where they stand to make a little more money?
Except they might not finish third. Odds are the Aggies will be put into the Western Division of the conference. Which only consists of Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, LSU, Mississippi State and Ole Miss. No Iowa States or Kansas Jayhawks in that lineup. The Aggies may not be able to beat Ole Miss on a consistent basis. This may be a tougher slog in football than they thought at the time they made the jump.
The good news is that they will be competitive in basketball in that division right out of the chute since it pretty well stinks. That and they won't have to fool with Kansas anymore. The bad news is that nobody at A & M much gives two hoots in hell about basketball.
I will say that having Clemson-or "Climpson"as those rednecks pronounce it- in the SEC will be bring a certain element into the mix. The SEC schools pride themselves on traditions. Well, Climpson football is traditionally one of the cheatingest programs extant. Their booster club is known as the IPTAY club. It was started by legendary coach Frank Howard who had the farmers who made up their fan base back then pledge at least 10 bucks to the booster club after they got the crops out each year. Hence, IPTAY or "I Pay Ten A Year." It has also been said that IPTAY stands for "I Pay Ten Athletes per Year" and/or "It's Probation Time Again Y'all." Further, folks in Starkville or Auburn are downright Parisian next to the average Climpson fan. Indeed, it is not for nothing that Sports Illustrated once referred to home games in Memorial Stadium as "the world's largest open-air Klan rally."
But I do like the fact that their coach is named Dabo Swinney. Never met anybody named Dabo before. Come to think of it, I'm not at all sure I ever met anybody from Clemson before.
Florida State already plays Florida and Climpson. And the basketball programs there will surely enjoy not having to play North Carolina, Wake Forest and Duke anymore. Hell, Florida State's team last year could have won the SEC Eastern Division even with Kentucky, Tennessee and Vanderbilt in it.
And none of the new schools will enjoy their SEC debuts in track or baseball. At least not anytime soon.
But they can live with it, at least for awhile because they will be out from under the teams they need to be out from under and, most importantly, they will each make more money.
And that's really all that matters. Money.
But I can't wait for the first Clemson-LSU game. The fights in the stands will be more entertaining than the game on the field.