One of my favorite stories involving the history of Penn State football is of something that didn't happen: Penn State joining the Big East. Courtesy our our brethren at EDSBS, Bobby Big Wheel perfectly eulogizes the Big East Football Conference, and explains why it was doomed from the moment it thumbed its nose at the Beast of the East. HOW THE BIG EAST DIED AND WAS DEAD ALL ALONG - Every Day Should Be Saturday:
The conference's downfall was sealed more than 20 years ago as it rejected Penn State when the NIttany Lions asked to join the conference. Even post-Sandusky it's hard to imagine any conference turning down Penn State today. But the Big East figured that its basketball operations were going so smoothly that there was no reason to add football. Basketball is the Big East's Maginot Line; it was so busy fighting the old war they had no idea what the new one would be.
I'm nothing but a Northeasterner. I shill for the old eastern football culture, mostly because I can't afford, nor am willing to spend any more time than necessary south of DC or west of State College. But I didn't grow up a college football fan, and BBW sums it up perfectly:
Schools in the Northeast don't draw the die hards either. The die hards are taken. For them, football is Sundays, not Saturdays. There's no reason to trudge to East Hartford or Piscataway on a Saturday afternoon because either a) the Yankees or Red Sox will be playing or b) it'll be too cold for you to stand outside for a team you don't care that much about to begin with.
A few Rutgers games. A few Army-Navy games in Giants Stadium. That's as far as my college football "interest" took me until getting to Penn State in August 2002. My friends back home in northeast New Jersey see my fanaticism for college football now, and all I get are the most disinterested "oh, that's cool" responses you'll ever hear. I even convinced a half-dozen of them to come to the 2005 Purdue game. They had fun, but I could tell they didn't quite "get it."
And that's the entire problem with the modern eastern sports culture. When it comes to college football, they (and formerly me, too) just don't get it.
Won't Miss Either of Them, Though for Totally Different Reasons. 2012 College Football Season Won't Include Pam Ward Or Craig James. ESPN has dumped both from college football broadcasts for 2012. We all know why Craig James is more toxic than south central PA on March 28, 1979. But Pam Ward has been kind of treading water for some time, with a school of sharks circling since the beginning. Then again, Ward wasn't exactly a pillar of integrity, either.
Speaking of Haterz. Tell me again how the MSM's content is all that different than us in the ABM? College football -- Coaches we love to hate - ESPN
Money and Politics, College Football Style. A few links on a few somewhat related topics:
More important than the short-term consequences to the national championship tournament, though, is the long-term condition of the conference, and here, Delany has matched his Big Ten Network gambit. The Big Ten's financial position is already secure and about to be made better with a guaranteed cut of the playoff lucre. Its position in the pyramid of college football -- the supreme money-maker -- is likewise secured by his most recent move. His potential targets -- the northern and mid-Atlantic ACC/Big East schools and, yes, Notre Dame -- are on the outside looking in. His primary competition for those schools, the SEC, just added two schools that hold no interest for Delany, and were forced to do so when its expansion was not necessary and had no financial benefit to the conference. If the plan works, expansion round two will begin, and South Bend might not longer have a choice.
Actual Football Stuff. Stats are fun, but not nearly as fun as the PSU Quarterback Wars, set to resume in about a week.
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