Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Just a Little Rant on the Side

I know a few of my readers are also alums/supporters of Big Ten schools so I don’t think I’m totally talking to myself here. However, those of you uninterested in collegiate athletics and conferences and the like may as well stroll off and come back another day when regular relationship whining resumes.

Okay, so now that it's just us here’s the deal. Just this morning I hear that the Big Ten (which already has eleven schools making the name Big Ten stupid and ridiculous) is considering adding a twelfth school to its ranks. Sigh. . . and Grrrrrrrr. . .

In my humble opinion, it was not ever the right decision to add an eleventh school to the mix. No offense Penn St., but you and your Nittany Lions just don’t belong here in my beloved Big Ten conference. The Big Ten is all about the Midwest. Pennsylvania ain’t part of the Midwest and has no business having their schools included in our conference. Yes, I know I lost this battle long ago, but it still chafes. Time does not erase the scars.

The bigger issue, of course, is the whole concept of TEN being in the name of the Big Ten. TEN is TEN. Ten is not eleven, and it is surely not twelve. We are supposed to be a group of prestigious universities, and we advertise eleven schools as the Big Ten?!? I’m sorry but any group that can’t see that eleven is not equal to ten doesn’t deserve to be considered prestigious. Even this accountant isn’t creative enough to make 10=12 a viable equation.

Now, I know there are the sports fans who will say, “But if we expand we can have two divisions within the conference and have a football championship at the end of the season.” Even though I’m not a huge football aficionado I understand your desire for such a conference championship. However, ten is still ten.

I understand that I will probably never convince the Big Ten to kick out Penn St. They’re here and have been here a while now. I understand the desire of football fans to have their little championship thingie. I understand that I will never convince anyone to bring the Big Ten back to being, truly, the Big Ten.

So here’s my compromise offer. I do believe that if we insist on expanding then let’s expand not to twelve but to twenty. Let's not just be a conference, let's be a dynasty. Let’s remain the Big Ten conference and have two ten school divisions - the Big Ten North and the Big Ten South, or BT East and BT West, or BT Originals and BT Newbies or whatever we want to call the two divisions based on however we want to divide them. At least the Big Ten name will almost still be reasonable, or at least explainable. Just promise me you’ll invite prestigious universities to join, okay? Let’s remain committed to being a conference of prestigious learning institutions as well as athletic training grounds, okay? Please?

Hear endeth today’s rant.

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