"Welcome to Big 40 College Football"

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It isn’t that bad yet but nothing is out of the question. What we seem to have is a Conference game of musical chairs. Every NCAA team wants to be sure it gets a seat in a better conference (and of course the money that goes with it). Every NCAA Conference seems to be wooing schools in other conferences to come join them.

  • The Big 10 may not be able to count (there are 11 teams) but now they want to go to 12 or maybe 14 or 16.

*The PAC 10 (they can count) is looking to move to 12 or maybe 14.

*The Big 12 is just trying to hold on to their teams but would like to take in 2 more as well.

*The Big East and ACC are hiding under a blanket hoping other conferences won’t find them there.

The Big 10

According to the rumors floating around, the league has invited Missouri, Nebraska, and Rutgers to join the league. They have been courting Notre Dame for years but the Irish have their own TV deal with NBC and think they are too good to become a member. Nebraska is not likely to leave their rivalry with Oklahoma but both Missouri and Rutgers are likely to join.

But that leaves an odd number of teams at 13. If those two join look for the league to recruit either UConn, West Virginia, Pittsburgh or Syracuse to get to 14.

The Big 12

If Missouri leaves the league will be 1 short. TCU would be the most likely candidate to replace the Tigers. But if the Big 10 goes to 14, the Big 12 will want to follow. That would bring TCU, SMU, and either Rice or Houston to the fold. TCU, SMU and Rice were all part of the Southwest Conference that got raided by the Big 12.

SEC

If both the Big 10 and Big 12 got to 14 teams, the SEC will be forced to follow. There are rumors that the SEC is trying to lure Florida State and Miami out of the ACC to join their league. That would gut the football aspects of the ACC and force them to steal teams from the Big East or Conference USA.

Pac 10

The Pac 10 will want to expand as well to keep up with the other leagues. The most likely to join it are Utah and BYU. If they decide to go to 14 they would look at Utah State and either Wyoming or Colorado State.

That leaves a number of leagues with not enough teams and would undoubtedly lead to more raiding. The Big East would probably disappear unless they can raid Conference USA for teams like Memphis and Marshall. The ACC would go after South Florida (Big East) and UCF (USA).

The bottom line is that no league is safe as long as the big 3 are sniffing around for more teams. It will change the landscape of college sports and not for the better. Bigger conferences will lead to more bowl games. After all, the NCAA was thinking about having 96 team in the Basketball Championship Tournament. So what is wrong with having 48 bowl games?

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits https://fryingpansports.com. He is a regular contributor on Cleveland Sports Radio http://www.sportstalkcleveland.com/ Monday afternoons at 1 Eastern. He has also published several novels on

and edits .

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Niblets for July

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Note: We will continue our preview of the NFL teams on Monday.

Comment of the Month: From Steve on Vegas projects the Browns to win 7 games(???)

Go Browns!!! I think the Browns have more potential this year than the Bengals. The Bengals have had the same team in the past and can’t win. The Browns do have new systems but new is better than old and crappy.

Steve: I am a recovering Browns fan and have the receipts for a number of new TV sets to prove it. The TVs got so depressed with the Browns play that they committed suicide.

I hope I am wrong but I don’t like what I see from Mangini. The Bengals will be better on D with Rivers coming back and Palmer will make the difference. I still will bet the under.

Updates on Previous Columns:

The world vs. Lance Armstrong

Despite an outstanding effort, it looks like Lance is not going to win this Tour. He has announced that he will compete for the Radio Shack team next year.

What should the NFL do with Mikey Vick?

Mikey met with Comm. Goodell this week. The rumor is that he will be allowed to practice with a team but will face a suspension of between 2 and 6 games. First he has to find a team. So far not a single NFL team has expressed interest. The UFL has said he would be welcome to play for them.

Niblets fresh off the Cob:

Pro sports leagues and the NCAA files suit against the State of Delaware for single game betting law.

The NFL finally got the support of the NBA, MLB, NHL and NCAA in opposing the recently passed single game betting plan that Delaware enacted to help reduce that state’s budget deficit. The suit was filed in Federal Court in Delaware.

The NFL makes the 2010 Draft a TV mini-series

On Thursday the NFL announced that the 2010 Draft would conduct round 1 on Thursday April 22 at 7 PM Eastern Time. Rounds 2 and 3 will be done on Friday with the remainder held on Saturday. I hope none of the players that attend the draft will fall out of the first round. Does Madison Square Garden serve breakfast?

Is FA WR Marvin Harrison on an NFL black list or just a victim of age?

Harrison is still a free agent despite several teams needing WR help. The question is why? There was the problem with a man that was shot with Harrison’s custom gun outside the receiver’s bar. The victim was shot again and is in stable condition.

According to his agent, several teams have expressed some interest in Harrison. Don’t believe it. He may catch on (excuse the pun) during training camp if an injury happens but don’t bet on it. Harrison will be 37 before the start of the 09 season and has lost a lot more than a step.

The Vikings are doing more than waiting for Favre (and you thought this was a Favre free site!)

The Vikes have signed a new deal with pro bowl DB Antoine Winfield. Winfield will continue to play LC this year. At 32, his days at CB may be limited. But he is a key to the Vikes D and could play safety in the future.

NBA Water Cooler talk

The Cavs offered LeBron James an extension the second they were allowed to by league rules. Don’t expect him to jump to sign it. However he said he was considering it. That is good news for the Cavs.

Allen Iverson is without a contract. He thinks he has been blacklisted. No Allen, it is the economy. He was offered a 5 million mid level exception by Memphis in July but there is a difference of opinion whether the deal is still on the table. Memphis has not commented. Look for the 2010 free agent pool to be a lot more shallow than some think. The money just will not be there for many clubs to offer maximum contracts.

Minnesota’s 5th overall pick Ricky Rubio has told his team in Spain and the NBA that he wants out of the Spanish league ASAP. That should reduce Rubio’s buyout and get him into the NBA.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits https://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

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