Supreme Court decisions. Name, Image and Likeness payments. Penalty-free transfers. Finally, revolutionary conference realignment. Say this for Larry Scott and his largely disastrous tenure atop the Pac-12, at least he knew when to climb on his (likely conference-financed) private jet charter and leave town. In his place is George Kliavkoff, who takes over one of the country’s five - soon to be four - power conferences amid all of this change.
As y’all know, the latest - and probably most consequential - domino is the migration of the Texas Longhorns and Oklahoma Sooners from the Big 12 to the SEC. So besides having to preside over a conference that is in serious need of a quality boost, Kliavkoff also needs to assess where his conference sits, and whether he needs to act, as things once again shift around him (mostly to the south and east). Athlon Sports took a look at potential schools that could buck the trend and align themselves with the west, and if you’re like me, all you see is a big bucket of “meh.” Anyone want to see a Pac-12 (plus) that includes the Texas Tech Red Raiders, Boise State Broncos, TCU Horned Frogs or someone else on that list? Hard pass from this corner.
I do feel sorry for the schools that Texas and OU are leaving behind. I prefer college conferences that maintain some semblance of regional balance, and if it were up to me, we’d go back to the mid-90s or so, shortly after the SEC went to 12 (except that I’d keep Arkansas aligned with the southwest schools). The regional aspect of the sport was one of the big appeals for me, particularly when it came to the bowls. Watching the clash of conferences on January 1st was my favorite sports day of the year. Now we’re getting so far from what I remember that I don’t know whether the sport will even be recognizable in a decade. But I’m probably just old and don’t understand progress, or something.
One thing I did love about the Big 12 bell cow departure was the breathless letters of sanctimony from the left-behind eight, and the hilariously feckless attempt by Texas A&M to stonewall the Longhorns from joining their SEC party. Every one of those ADs and presidents in places like Stillwater and Lubbock couldn’t wait to express their profound disappointment at the lack of loyalty and respect for tradition. Meanwhile, every goddamn one of those folks would have jumped at the same chance. Anyone think that if the SEC invited West Virginia or Oklahoma State that those schools would’ve declined? Hell no. So spare me the tears, fellas.
Then there are the Texas A&M Aggies, the greatest example of “all hat, no cattle” in the college football world. They wanted so badly to keep Texas out that someone from the school leaked the expansion news in hopes that it would get spiked. Good job, good effort. Never forget that you’re Texas A&M. And while you’re awash in money, you’ve still never actually won anything and you carry zero weight. But soon you get to play Oklahoma every year. Enjoy!
I’ll be curious to see what the Texas fans think of all this when I’m there in September, provided I can pry myself away from the brisket troff and make my way to the game. Luckily, actual football (that’s coming soon!) will come to the fore and we’ll have different stuff to yell about. Can’t wait!
This Week in Parenting
The boys spent their final week in the U.S. with minimal adult supervision before the posse showed up on Saturday night. That led to activities such as...
Long live Eastern Washington. But the sheriffs are in town now, so the fun is over. One more highlight we were given upon arrival: the 12 year-old bragging about how he ate at Zip’s, took a dump that required five flushes and two plunger sessions. Apparently a very proud moment for him. I’m sure parents of girls deal with very similar stories.
This Week in Husbanding
Mrs. Kendall and I returned from our beer road trip to discover that the freezer had not been closed properly, which led to a frosted-over inside and lots of spoiled food. Mrs. Kendall admitted that she was the likely culprit, so she set to scraping out the whole thing so we could seal it up again. After she got stuck on one particular chunk, yours truly went full Tim “Tool man” Taylor mode to solve the problem.
I grabbed a flathead screwdriver and hammer, and began to chip away. After making some good progress, I continued. A few seconds later, a loud spraying sound was heard, and my eye was full of vapor. Turns out I’d punched a hole in the freezer wall and punctured the freon tube. Oops. One piece of good news: I learned that taking a stream of freon straight to the eye does not do any damage. So I’ve got that going for me, which is nice.
Pac-12 commish leads voices suggesting College Football Playoff expansion be paused amid SEC additions - CBSSports.com
With Texas and Oklahoma further strengthening the SEC, playoff expansion may be reconsidered.
College Football Playoff expansion complicated by Rose Bowl - Sports Illustrated
Two months before the 12-team expansion model is set for potential approval, the Jan. 1 event could present a significant roadblock in the path to an agreement.
NCAAF: How the SEC is becoming football's Amazon
College football isn’t so much a sport as a roadmap for life. The seasons rise and fall, vanish and return, in a familiar pattern.
Their Field of Dreams: Field hockey found success as WSU's first intercollegiate female sport | The Spokesman-Review
Over time, the geography of an increasingly far-flung schedule would put them on airplanes, and the women of Washington State’s field hockey team would entertain fellow passengers in the terminal – or annoy the grumpy ones – by balancing balls on their sticks or doing the juggling thing that would later allow Tiger Woods to help himself to more of Nike’s cash.
What We Still Don’t Know About Emmett Till’s Murder - The Atlantic
In 1955, just past daybreak, a Chevrolet truck pulled up to an unmarked building. A 14-year-old child was in the back.