New Big 10, Big 12, Pac


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Jul 09, 2023

New Big 10, Big 12, Pac

What a roller-coaster ride, eh college football fans? We’ll get to amusement parks, one in particular, in just a bit. Of course, I’m referring to a few days full of conference realignment rumors,

What a roller-coaster ride, eh college football fans?

We’ll get to amusement parks, one in particular, in just a bit.

Of course, I’m referring to a few days full of conference realignment rumors, reports and retractions with the latest seeming to point to the end of the Pac-12. At least as a national power.

Reports on Friday afternoon indicated Oregon and Washington were all but signed, sealed and delivered to the Big Ten. Arizona was next, officially making the move to join Colorado in the Big 12. Shortly after, Arizona State and Utah followed suit.

UCF OPPONENT PREVIEWS:Familiar foe Houston closes out inaugural Big 12 football campaign

Social media was flooded with grief and despair.

Well, de-spare me. Where were you when the Big East was being ripped apart just a little over a decade ago?

No, I refuse to see this as half empty. After all, in 50 years, nobody will remember those old, disbanded rivalries. And maybe, that's OK.

Where rivalries were once born out of geography in a world where travel and communication were much more limited, new ones are sure to form in their places. Ones based on, well, other things.

So don’t cry because it ended, smile because it happened! And in the meantime, look forward to what could and will be. New rivalries!

Here’s a look at some potential new rivalry games, which could be coming to a conference near — and far away from — you, all at the same time, in the near future.

I mean, come on, it’s the Trojans vs. the Spartans, perhaps the world’s first great rivalry. And it only took 32 or 33 centuries (give or take) to make it a Big Ten league game!

This one is unique in the fact that it’s the only rivalry in sports in which the loser takes home the trophy — in this case, a bronze painted horse on wheels filled with adjustable hats bearing the emblem of the opposing team inside. All players and coaches must wear them in postgame press conferences as well as all media appearances the following week.

Featuring schools from the starting point (Chicago-ish) and destination (Los Angeles-ish) of the journey of the Griswold family in the comedy classic, "Vacation," vehicular spoils will be on the line.

The winning coach gets a year to drive around campus in a 1981 Ferrari 308GTSi, like the one driven in the movie by Christy Brinkley. The loser, you might’ve guessed, must putter around in a replica of the modified 1979 Ford LTD Country Squire, built to specifications to match the one Chevy Chase is saddled with in the beginning of the film.

Oh, and let’s send the winning team to the actual Wally World, which does exist and resides in London, Ontario.

Better make it an offseason trip. If the Bruins think Evanston is a haul, wait til they get to Canada!

I mean, we even have a sponsorship on this one!

One caveat: The game only counts toward the rivalry record if it’s raining.

Here’s betting the chances are decently high when the Huskies host.

Another rumor being passed around Twitter, or X, or whatever Elon wants to call it these days, is the possibility of an ACC/remaining-Pac-12 merger. That would become much more likely should Florida State and/or Clemson maneuver its way out of the ACC. It would also probably take some kind of Pac-12, Mountain West union first.

Details, details.

But assuming this somehow comes to fruition, what would make the Eagles and Beavers such a fun league matchup? It would pit the Western-most FBS program in the continental United States (Oregon State) against the Eastern-most, Boston College. Winner gets the Transcontinental Trophy: an original IMAX reel copy of "Oppenheimer", which reportedly is nearly long enough to span the 52-plus degrees of longitude between the two campuses.

Another in that proposed, theoretical ACC/Pac-12 merger. Sure, the Apple Cup between the Huskies and Cougars seems like it could be on ice, for now, but who says other rivalries won’t bear fruit?

On paper, Wazzou and the ‘Cuse couldn’t be much farther apart nor much more different in terms of culture and tradition. Why, it’s almost like comparing … you got it!

Winner, of course, takes home one of those plastic fruit bowls that your grandmother used to display in the middle of a coffee table for no reason at all. Which is the same amount of logic behind this ever being a conference tilt.

I can’t take credit for this one as the Colorado Barstool account on Twitter proposed it in the late hours of Thursday evening. But as a Mountain State native, I can’t love it enough.

As part of the pregame festivities, both head coaches must put on a karaoke competition with Deion Sanders doing his best rendition of “Rocky Mountain High” and Neal Brown getting down on “Country Roads.” Winner gets a pair of oversized, round eyeglasses to wear on the sidelines during the game.

As far as the trophy, how about replica, 1910 Gibson acoustic jazz guitar, the inspiration for another Denver hit, appropriately titled, “This Old Guitar.”

Oh, and a victory can of Coors Light, mountains blue, of course.

Series record: 2-2

Last meeting: Sept. 16, 2017, Texas Tech won 52-45

Most of you already know that the Grand Canyon in Arizona is the largest in the United States. But did you realize the second-biggest such gorge is the Palo Duro Canyon, in the aptly named town of Canyon, Texas, just an hour and a half, or so, north of Lubbock?

It’s a full three hours and 45 minutes from Tempe to Grand Canyon, Arizona, but if you think I’m factoring in geography here, you don’t know Eugene from UMass.

Courtney Love, lead singer from the alternative rock band Hole, will perform the national anthem before every matchup and the winner gets its team flag planted in the lowest point of the other’s canyon for the remainder of the year.

Remember, it’s not just the Power Five leagues that got shuffled up.

Enter Florida Atlantic and Rice into the American Athletic Conference after Cincinnati, Houston and UCF bolted for the Big 12. Now, along with long-time member Temple, all three FBS programs with “Owls” as a moniker reside in the same league.

Rules here are simple: Whichever team defeats the other two wins. If all go 1-1, point margin is the tiebreaker. Players on the winning teams get a bag of Tootsie Roll Pops and the complete set of Harry Potter novels. An area Hooters waitress will be on hand for the opening coin toss of each game.

What’s this? Conference realignment resulted in the resumption of a rivalry?

That’s right, the addition of the Longhorns to the SEC in 2024 will resurrect the series that was played every year between 1915 and 2011 with Texas holding a massive 76-37-5 advantage. The Aggies must feel a little like Laurie Strode upon waking up and seeing Michael Myers for the first time in the hospital in "Halloween II."

Just when you thought you were safe, am I right?

But that's a tagline for a different famous horror flick. The one for John Carpenter's 1981 slasher sequel read: The Nightmare Isn’t Over.

I’m afraid, when it comes to college athletics and conference movement, that might be fitting for quite some time.