The death of regionalism

I know that some of you are firmly convinced that NIL compensation has brought about the end of college football as we know and more power to you for having that conviction.  Me, I see something else.

I see a straight line from NCAA v. Board of Regents of the University of Oklahoma to this…

… and recognize it as the death knell to one of the pillars that’s made college football the unique and wonderful experience it’s been for many decades.

Here’s the new Big Ten map:

The Big Ten is now a bi-coastal college sports league.  I’d say that’s nuts, except it’s what the players — the ones who count, that is, meaning the conferences and their broadcast partners — want, damn the consequences.  And, yes, there are plenty of those.  Here’s some low hanging fruit in that regard.

They can’t, and they won’t really care.  (Although the standard playbook would suggest that they’ll make some mouth noises about their concern, come up with a half-assed solution and proclaim they’re doing it for the kids.)

But forget that for a moment.  Who’s really gonna get pumped up for a UCLA-Rutgers conference football game?  Not their respective fan bases, that’s for sure.  But it’s broadcast fodder, and, more importantly, helps to provide a framework for what’s coming out of this, namely a 20- or 24-team super league that will be set up to provide a feeder system for a new college football postseason.

I’m sure that will be entertaining for some.  It will certainly provide shiny new toys to distract the media for years.  But it’s not the college football I’ve grown up with and loved.  Not that those in charge will care, at least not as long as the checks keep cashing.

I’ll be shocked if I’m still passionate about this sport five years from now.  That’s a sad thing to realize.

48 Comments

Filed under College Football

48 responses to “The death of regionalism

  1. RangerRuss

    Shit man, I’m not going to allow it to get me down. I’m very happy we have one of the best minds in the business, Kirby, to oversee all these changes and Bluto to explain it all. As stated before, I am one simple sumbitch. I’ll just keep rooting for the Dogs.

    Liked by 19 people

    • bmacdawg87

      Yeah, this news doesn’t affect me too much. I care about as much about which conference USC and UCLA play in as I do about where my dog decides to shit in the backyard.

      Liked by 6 people

  2. Feeling your pain, Senator.

    Liked by 6 people

  3. jim1886

    I can only hope you are wrong, but am afraid you are right on

    Liked by 4 people

  4. jim1886

    When are other shoes going to fall, both for the SEC & the Big 10?
    Heard Pete Thamel(sp) say that the ACC schools , ie Clemson. NC, Miami, etc, have their media rights tied up into the early 30s by the conference media deal. Tough for them to get out off.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Derek

    College Football is too great a game to die. The current model may. It certainly has earned it.

    But they will still be playing football on college campuses well after we’ve all wriggled off the mortal coil.

    And besides, as long as Kirby is here we might as well enjoy the ride on top and into the great unknown beyond:

    Liked by 9 people

  6. akascuba

    The B10 has long had their Rosebowl west coast fixation. Adding soon to be named TheUSC and their tagalong neighbor allows every member to enjoy California dreaming.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Down Island Way

      Given the map as it is, want to know how much conver$ation was had with the irish, buy out conference clauses don’t mean $quat right now, any institution with brand is in the market place to change conference affiliation…#YOURCASHAIN’TNOTHINGBUTTRASH…

      Like

  7. barneydawg

    I fear that the Senator is correct. As my interest has dropped over the past year, I gave up one paid Dawg site and will not renew the Athletic when it expires. I no longer listen to UGA podcasts like I did. I know a lot of the changes are the right thing for the athletes, but I can’t make myself like it.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Down Island Way

      This 2022 NC for UGA football is looming bigger every day…

      Liked by 10 people

    • Dylan Dreyer's Booty

      Well I don’t have to renew The Athletic because I will continue to get it as part of my all-access New York Times subscription which was a little bonus I didn’t plan on but will enjoy.

      Like

  8. The NASCARization of another traditionally rural, southern sport is now almost complete. I’m afraid in 5 years these idiots are going to have torn my heart out and stomped that sucker flat.

    Oh well, we got our natty first.

    Liked by 11 people

    • RangerRuss

      Ouch!

      Liked by 1 person

      • RR, I’m not even a racing fan, but part of the appeal of the sport was its roots and its rivalries. I’m afraid what they are doing is going to rip all of that out with the hope that the appeal of a national playoff of 2 mega-conferences will replace those of us who truly love the sport.

        Liked by 3 people

        • RangerRuss

          I never was a big NASCAR fan. But I was aware of it. Watched a few races on TV. Knew the rivalries and had a lot of respect for Earnhardt.
          NASCAR is unrecognizable to me now. From the IROC setup where all the cars are the same to this playoff thing they got going on. I haven’t watched a race in years.
          I think you’re correct that college football is headed down the same path. The difference for me is I truly love Dawgs Football.

          Liked by 1 person

          • I do as well. I just think between all of this and the desire to monetize everything about the fan experience, I’m going to be doing other things in the fall sooner rather than later.

            Like

    • ugafidelis

      A tip of the hat to the LG reference.

      Liked by 2 people

  9. coladawg

    Traditions? Alas poor Rose Bowl! I knew him, Horatio….twice.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. bucketheridge

    It’s been a sad thing to watch happen. So many of the quirks and oddities that made college football so great have been steadily eroded over the last thirty years. We can’t count how many times writers and fans criticised college football for being “the only sport that doesn’t do X” or viewed seasons where they beat most of their rivals and even won conference championships as disappointments because there was no national championship. The Sugar Bowl became an afterthought. The “Game of the Century” that could’ve taken place from October through January 1. The debates about who was the real national champion in a given season, although fans still get to debate whether Nebraska would’ve beaten Michigan in 97 or Penn State in 94 or whether Auburn could’ve taken down USC decades later.

    Liked by 4 people

    • godawgs1701

      For the record, no, Auburn could not have taken down USC and it would have been hilarious and wonderful fun to watch them try.

      Liked by 2 people

  11. reipar1

    The first game should be Illinois v ucla in the rose bowl. You can squint at the tv and pretend it’s the 80’s!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. PTC DAWG

    Your last paragraph…possibly right on point…sad face.

    Like

  13. spur21

    Change a few words and this becomes relevant to college football

    Liked by 2 people

  14. atticus34

    I have lost so much interest, honestly. Who cares? I just watch the football and read the Senator. That’s it. Look at the NBA audience? There is a reason nobody gives a shit about the NBA. NIL, transfer portal, stipends, huge facilities, much higher donation requirements and much higher tickets prices…its all a joke. So wipe it all away and go to the NFL model. Oh and make sure gambling is prominent because that is what is needed to keep it relevant. Clowns to the left of us jokers to the right….

    Liked by 7 people

  15. This could spawn a new parlor game: How Will They Spin This As Doing It For “The Kids?

    “This geographical expansion means that B1G student-athletes will get to see parts of the country they’ve never seen before!”

    “Steel sharpens steel, and the only way for, say, Rutgers or Iowa to build a top-notch beach volleyball program is to compete against elite programs like USC and UCLA.”

    “Playing in the NFL or NBA means having to play opponents multiple time zones away on a regular basis, and this will better prepare our student-athletes for that.”

    Other ideas welcome!

    Liked by 5 people

  16. As goes college football so goes the country.

    Like

  17. Buck up Senator! When MGM builds a new casino resort on the site of the Tate Center, you’ll be given a complimentary suite as the UGA blogging rights holder. Just remember those of us loyal paid subscribers who have supported you over the years.

    Liked by 5 people

  18. godawgs1701

    I used to be a huge fan of Georgia football and SEC football and college football. My passion for Georgia football has never waned, but I do see that there are fewer games that get me excited across the national landscape for my college football fandom. Maybe the realignment stuff will turn out to be a good thing – and for younger generations who don’t remember the old SEC or the old ACC of the Big Ten when it was only one number off from being named correctly… maybe they’ll love it the way I have and it will survive. More changes are coming, though, because the mega conferences that are coming probably won’t be able to look anyone in the eye and claim they shouldn’t be paying players with their media rights deals far eclipsing the billion-with-a-B mark. And I’ll be glad to see players benefiting more for their efforts. But will we see even more movement among coaches and players? My favorite part of college football is that we’d never have to see David Greene wear a Tennessee shirt. We’d never have to see one of our guys playing for that team – that’s now no longer the case and it’s going to be a distant memory. I’m always going to have passion for Georgia football. But for college football? We’ll see.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Ozam

    The Death of Regionalism = The Death of College Football.

    I think a good analogy is NASCAR. It might be interesting initially but when you lose your core base nobody will care.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Dylan Dreyer's Booty

    I can see this backfiring on the Big X conference as well as USC and UCLA. The eastern half of that conference is going to have to go California for at least half of the conference games and what if Mickey decrees that they have to play a night game in Cali? Monday morning classes are going to be hell back east. Yeah, I know the pros do this all the time (at least, in season), but it’s the only thing they have to do.

    Like

    • miltondawg

      Unless the B1G also adds AAU schools Oregon, Washington, Stanford and Colorado, in which case USC and UCLA could have much of their scheduling stay the same. The Pac-12 just died in spirit with yesterday’s announcement. The B1G may just finish them off and take four more teams to get to 20 schools.

      Like

    • Doggoned

      What classes!? I sincerely doubt there are going to be any classes for players in the new super leagues.

      Like

  21. munsoning

    The Yankee TV execs who are ruining college football do so knowing they’ll be fine. Their compensation packages guarantee it. Good to know the adverse consequences are only for hick Southerners like me, who care about the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry. Hell, Jimmy Pitaro probably couldn’t find Auburn on a map of east Alabama.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. whb209

    I remember when every player bitched about going to Miss. St., because there ain’t no way to get from Athens to Miss. St. (where ever the fuck Miss. St. was located) We did not worry about beating them, only about the 20 hour bus ride.
    I know that now there are private jets and such, but you are still looking at a hell of a ride. Good luck boys. Just remember they are doing for the kids.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Not gonna lie, tho… I’ll probably stop in at the Rose Bowl to see some of those Big Slowbies come play. Maybe even make the trip down to the Coliseum. The college football game in Los Angeles just got ramped up about 200%.

    Liked by 1 person

    • bucketheridge

      That’s a take I hadn’t thought about. There may be games with over 50% Big10 fans in LA. Especially for the UCLA games. And not just from the folks flying in, I’m sure there are tons of Big10 alumni in LA.

      Like

    • miltondawg

      Well, it can’t be any worse and that is for sure. In the 2021 UCLA vs. LSU game at the Rose Bowl, the stated attendance was stated as something in the 30,000 range. From what it looked like on TV and what a person on an Atlanta radio station that attended the game said, that number might have been inflated by nearly 50%. And nothing says demand like UCLA giving away tickets to L.A. County middle and high school vaccinated students in November of 2021 to two games for free in the Rose Bowl.

      Like

    • SSB Charley

      Yeah, I live within about four hours of half of the current Big Ten. I may make a trip to Bloomington, Champaign, or West Lafayette to see USC or UCLA come to town.

      Like

  24. MGW

    Boooooooooriiiiiiiiiing

    Like