Jon Solomon makes a good point about conference realignment in response to Andy Staples’ “the more things change, the more they stay the same” piece:
What’s different now are more high-profile schools from major conferences are realigning. In the process, that has or could impact some longstanding traditions, such as Texas-Texas A&M, Kansas-Missouri, Georgetown-Syracuse, West Virginia-Pittsburgh, and Maryland’s 60-year history in the ACC as a founding member.
That’s a direct consequence of the financial stakes being ever larger. And why is that so? Because the networks crave live sports broadcast product as their lifeblood. Which makes this comment by ESPN’s programming guru either clueless or farcical:
“It’s sort of continued instability,” said Burke Magnus, ESPN senior vice president of college sports programming. “We’re anxiously awaiting a period of stability. Instability is bad for business and that’s really all you need to say from our perspective. Every time it has happened, it’s had an impact and generally not a good one.”
Hey, Burke, the second you and your peers decide to quit cutting conferences bigger checks, it’ll all start settling down. Get back to us when you figure that’s about to happen.