Realignment and Rivalries

As I ponder the thought, there is one thing which has been lost in all of this conference realignment talk.  Very simply stated; it is the loss of some great rivalries that were staples of College Football for decades.  Many schools have played each other for close to or over 100 years. Now all of it is being thrown away.  As the realignment roulette keeps rolling forward we will see conferences change even more in the future.  This will result in losing more and more of our favorite rivalry games.

While College football is in an ever changing landscape – the more we realize the money grab keeps it going. Unfortunately the fans of the sport and the athletes are the ones who will suffer. We have already lost gameslike Oklahoma and Nebraska.  Next is Texas and Texas A&M as they will be ending their century long rivalry after this season. Now with West Virginia and Pitt both changing conferences, we are sure to lose the “Backyard Brawl” which has always been a favorite.

Change is always going to be inevitable and schools will position themselves in a place where they can make the most money and grab the most notoriety. However it is sad to see so many great rivalries being thrown away for a cheap buck. College football is steeped in tradition, but with the new conferences Athletic Directors are trashing the glorious history in these traditional games for the opportunity to line their coffers with cash.

Makes you wonder what they are thinking.  I don’t think they understand what they are throwing away.  The sad part is the rivalries are being trashed for the sake of the almighty dollar and prestige (in many cases ill conceived) the schools think they will receive.  It will take decades to build new rivalries like the ones we enjoy now.  Even A&M will have to change their fight song as it is built around their intense historic rivalry and competitiveness with the University of Texas.  I suspect the new games will even seem forced and uncomfortable as there is no history between the schools.  They will not be blessed with the wonderful and historical tradition as the ones we enjoy now.  I for one will miss the rivalries I grew up with and came to enjoy every year.

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Kody’s Sports Korner Bowl Preview; Part 3

If you  have missed the first two bowl previews I did, check out part 1 here and part 2 here

TicketCity Bowl:
Northwestern vs Texas Tech –
Sadly this New Year will begin with this lackluster bowl. In the inaugural Ticket City Bowl in Dallas, there will be a first time meeting between the Northwestern Wildcats and Texas Tech Red Raiders. While Northwestern is looking for it’s first bowl win since 1949, Texas Tech has some concerns if it’s coach will be around for next year. But all of that aside, there are a lot questions on how will Northwestern handle the pass heavy attack of the Red Raiders. Sadly to say, Northwestern will not get it’s first bowl win here. They will be lucky to stay within 21 points of the Red Raiders.
Prediction: Texas Tech 52 – Northwestern 21

Outback Bowl:
Florida vs Penn St
When this match up was announced, you figured there would be retirement talks from one coach. But the coach who is going to step down isn’t the 84 year old Joe Paterno, but the 46 year old Urban Meyer. While this is a shock to most, it isn’t that big of a shock after last years flip flop. The big question about this game will be whether or not Penn State can contain a good Florida team. After their struggles with an Alabama squad earlier in the year, I don’t see this one being pretty for the Nittany Lions.
Prediction: Florida 35 – Penn State 14

Capital One Bowl:
Alabama vs Michigan St
While most everybody will be expecting Alabama to roll in this game, I expect to see Michigan St give Alabama a run for their money and pull off a upset. Michigan State has been an underrated team all year and is probably the best team coming out of the Big Ten this season. Expect an exciting game, one that should give the Big Ten it’s few bowl wins this season.
Prediction: Michigan State 28 – Alabama 21

Gator Bowl:
Mississippi St vs Michigan
This is a very ho hum match up, there are a lot of better game to watch and I am sure Michigan won’t show up so they can assure to get rid of Rich Rod. That being said, Dan Mullen will have Mississippi State ready to play. Expect this one to be a blow out.
Prediction: Mississippi State 35 – Michigan 17 Bowl:
Middle Tennessee vs Miami(OH)
For a match up of two teams that nobody cares about outside of their respective cities. This could be a good game to watch for college football enthusiasts. Miami is going to be playing with a lot of momentum from their surprise win at the MAC championship. Meanwhile Middle Tennessee is trying to get one more win and finish with a winning record. Should be a good game and expect it to be a close one.
Prediction: Miami (OH) 24 – Middle Tennessee 21

Cotton Bowl:
LSU vs Texas A&M
In one of the more exciting bowl match ups, this game should be a lot of fun to watch. But don’t expect to see any surprises here as LSU should be able to find a way to win this game and put another notch in the belt for the SEC. Only question will be if Les Miles will have some Tiger Stadium grass available at this game.
Prediction: LSU 35 – Texas A&M 28

Compass Bowl:
Pittsburgh vs Kentucky
While everyone has Pitt as their favorite and expects them to win this game, Kentucky has been able to hang tough when least expected to. This could be a spring board into next season for the Wildcats and look for a very exciting game between these two teams.
Prediction: Kentucky 28 – Pitt 21

Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl:
Nevada vs Boston College
Expect Nevada to play with a lot of pride and be able to move the ball at will on Boston College. This is not going to be a pretty game for the Eagles, but it could be a very close game throughout if Boston College can contain the Pistol.
Prediction: Nevada 42 – Boston College 21

That is the last of the bowl previews for the lesser bowl games. Check back soon for the BCS Preview.