College Football: Big East Changes Name to American Athletic Conference, BCS status pulled


As college football starts to embark on the 2013 football season in about 8 weeks, the Big East, prominent basketball conference and historic football conference, will have the BCS automatic conference bowl game tag removed. The 2013 season will be the last season that the Big East/American Athletic Conference will receive any automatic BCS bowl berth worth $17 Million dollars to the conference. When the 2014 college football season starts, the American Athletic Conference will be dismissed and become one of the Non-BCS conferences and become part of the so called “Group of Five”. This is like King Arthur telling one of his knights of the round table, ” You are now at peasant status, off you go and join the non-worthy public. You were useful to me when I needed you, now off you go to peasant status. Until you can fortify my kingdom with credible worth, you will no longer be part of our group. No matter what you do, your status from now on is peasant”. Voted out by the other knights of the round table and King Arthur himself.

The loss of Miami(Fla.), Penn State, Boston College, West Virginia, and Virginia Tech hurt the Big East conference as a football conference. Temple was never a competitive football program, but has returned after being a gypsy among the other FBS programs and conferences. With the current loss of Syracuse, Rutgers and soon Louisville and Pittsburgh will depart, this leaves the original Big East membership status at 0. During the time of the Big East football conference days, they were the a highly competitive football conference with those programs winning national titles and playing in prestigious bowl games. They have now moved on or were “lured away” to other football conferences because of the perceived notoriety those conferences possess. The Big East has always wanted new FBS programs to become part of that automatic bid conference. Even when the prominent programs were leaving, the Big East remained competitive and true to their brand.  Is status and name association that important to the NCAA that even though musical chairs have been played in all conferences, why must the Big East lose its BCS status? It seems to me that the NCAA and the BCS only want the best representation that promotes their image and marketing plan. With new FBS football programs entering the Big East, King Arthur believes that those new FBS programs are not viable products for BCS status. What is so interesting about these new Big East/American Athletic Conference football programs is they all compete under the same rules and regulations as all of the NCAA/FBS football programs. But since they are not of quality, like King Arthur said “You are not worthy any more, you are now a peasant”. Seems that King Arthur can do whatever he wants with his kingdom with no repercussions of his actions.

What if an SEC football member who lacks credibility within their own conference, such as Kentucky, Vanderbilt or Mississippi, said they wanted to join the American Athletic Conference. The possible reason for any one of them leaving the SEC would be, hey “we believe that we can actually win that conference, run the table, have 10 win seasons, rather than have a good SEC football season once every 10 years”. Does the American Athletic Conference then regain its BCS membership because King Arthur sent one or two of his knights into another region and return the credibility of the conference? ” I send you worthy BCS programs to compliment your conference thus your status is returned to BCS, because I don’t need any of my knights from my round table not to have the opportunity to earn $17 Million dollars”. At what point does the NCAA step in and say enough.

If I recall, does not all 125 FBS football members play by the same football rules, recruiting rules, academic rules, practice rules, number of games, number of time outs, size field and same football. Then why must the NCAA allows segregation into two groups; King Arthur and his round table and the peasants? The only thing that has changed is the amount of money that television wants to be associated with specific conferences to market and promote the so called “best conferences and programs” I know the American Athletic Conference will be a successful football conference as the seasons progress. I hope that when an American Athletic Conference member plays or is asked to play a BCS conference program, they compete and win. Then as the American Conference gains credibility they will continue to be asked to schedule BCS programs. What the American Athletic Conference and the remaining Non-BCS conferences should say to the BCS programs is,  “Sorry, either you play in our stadiums or we don’t play at all. We have bowed to King Arthur and his rules for to long, making accommodations to your needs to always play in your stadiums for 15+ years while you receive the accolades, notoriety and large sums of money.  Time for you to spend some of that money you keep holding on to and put into travel arrangements to Non-BCS Conference programs”.

I wish the American Athletic Conference great success as they build student athlete success and National Championships.