In No Particular Order
The college football regular season (not that there really is a post-season) has ended, the college hoops season is on the verge of a hard-to-follow three weeks, and my loyal readership undoubtedly has various Christmas-related chores and tasks to complete before reading my always timely and poignant column.
12:35 P.M. WEDNESDAY, DEC. 17, 2008
So, in that spirit, I'll just run down a list of things on my mind and not waste time putting them in the usual paragraph form with complete sentences. I have editors for that anyway.
Big 12 Realignment...
Can we please just realign the Big 12 already? There was a time when our conference championship game featured the two best teams in the conference playing each other in a sold-out stadium with national championship implications. That time was 1998. Ten years later, all we have is one team (most always in the south) hoping to avoid one last "hurdle." Yeah, I know Mizzou was ranked No. 1 going into last year's game, but I'm not counting that since they were underdogs...and they lost by three touchdowns to the surprise of no one.
How do you realign the Big 12, you ask? Simple, draw an imaginary north/south line down the middle of the conference, not east/west. In fact, you can pretty much realign the conference based on each team's location relating to I-35. In the west, you'd have Baylor (forget that our campus is actually a three iron east of I-35), Tech, Oklahoma, Colorado, Kansas State and Nebraska. In the East, there would be Texas, A&M, Oklahoma State, Kansas, Iowa State and Mizzou. Yes, this would mean Texas wouldn't play Oklahoma every year. However, OU would play their old rival Nebraska each season and in a season like this, Texas and Oklahoma would meet in the conference championship game. I know it won't happen, but it's fun to discuss...and by discuss, I obviously mean "write."
About the championship game...
Why is this game played in Kansas City anyway? It seems cruel to "award" the division winners with one last game played in arctic-like temperatures...in a half-empty stadium no less. I suppose it warrants mentioning that there are two cities with domes in our conference that would die to host this game each year. I'll be sending out a petition to have the game rotated between St. Louis and San Antonio in the near future.
I love bowl season, really I do. I plan on watching just about every game, even those played during the day, during the work week and sponsored by products I'll never one day afford (thanks for the assist, Bell Helicopter). However, is there a reason we don't tighten up the end to the bowl season a little more? While the current format is a bit better than the old system of all the biggest games being played on New Year's Day (thus calling for an annual multi TV set up), I would like to see this sport end with some momentum. Remember that word? The season starts with such a bang on Labor Day weekend and ends with such a whimper four months later. Just watch, by the time Oklahoma and Florida kick off, you'll be ready for it to just be over. I can't blame you; between today and then, we have 30 full days to hear nothing but hype.
The hardwood Bears...
Finally, how great is it watching our boys on national TV on a regular basis? Saturday night's late tip off allowed me to view the Bears in a "public setting" where I took no hesitation in having the game put on solely for my amusement (if there's a Bears fan somewhere in the 63104 zip code, I haven't met them). This sort of behavior (loud grunting, cheering, screaming at refs) is always amusing and easily divides your friends in attendance into two groups. Group A being your friend(s) that admire your BU fanaticism, find it refreshing, join the bandwagon that is Bear Country and gladly yell out "RAINDANCE!" when Lacedarius drains another trey. In contrast, Group B showcases your friend(s) who was content watching the SportsCenter highlight loop, couldn't care less about the plight of Baylor athletics and yells out "BLOCK PARTY" each time...well, each time anything bad happens (regardless of it involving a shot rejection). Both groups were represented in my company Saturday night and when the Bears walked away from Pullman with a strong road win, I couldn't help but feel we'd be doing this again in the near future.
But, seriously, if there's another BU fan out there, come find me.