As schools fight to put themselves in the position to receive the most money when the checks are handed out, not a day goes by that we don’t hear something about realignment. Whether it’s a board of trustees meeting, WHAT IS NOTRE DAME GONNA DO, or Deloss Dodds’ opinion on the tacos he ate for lunch, it NEVER stops.
And it’s never remotely informing until the day a school decides it’s actually going to do something. I long for the day when I don’t hear, or mistakenly read in my Twitter feed, “Florida State is interested in moving, but the board of trustees need to be convinced this is the right move, and there’s still the question of where Notre Dame stands, which no one knows because Deloss Dodds was a little gassy after lunch and didn’t respond to text message inquiries.”
So, to ensure that I don’t hear any more stories about realignment, at least in my lifetime because I am selfish, I have developed a 10-point plan that will put an end to this business, while providing maximum entertainment, and allow me, and anyone else annoyed with this subject, to fully concentrate on more important things, like how going on a two-week Breaking Bad bender was one of the best choices I’ve ever made (three episodes left in season four; holy crap, GUS TAKES NO PRISONERS).
1. Next Friday, every conference that wants Notre Dame to join them sends the school an invitation. This invitation may be any size or shape and may contain any and all incentives a conference wants to include, like straight cash or BCS memorabilia to show the Irish what it actually looks like.
Notre Dame will have the weekend to think it over, and on Monday at 9 AM (let’s not get up too early) they announce what they’re going to do. If they decline all offers, that’s it. No conference membership forever. And if they try again to get into a conference, it will cost the school and conference $1 billion each.
2. Texas secedes from college football and only scrimmages itself on its network. After all, as Texas believes, there is no greater opponent than Texas.
3. The ACC is abolished and all teams are up for grabs, with all interested conferences playing a game of Risk for individual schools. This may take some time, especially if no one can maintain control of Europe.
4. Boston College football is cancelled because no one wants to see Boston College play again.
5. Big East schools are allowed to shamelessly throw themselves at other conferences for one week, but those not taken in by another conference will form the ESPN Thursday Night and Sometimes Friday Night Football Conference.
6. Schools in CUSA/WAC/MWC/WhateverElseIsLeft may be rented on a five year basis, with a conference option to grant permanent membership at the end of the rental. The rental process will take place in the form of eBay bidding wars.
7. Once everyone settles into their new homes, all schools must sign a contract that binds them to their conference for the next 100 years.
8. Breaking this contract will cost a school $100 million. However, because this is America and enough money can fix problems, each year spent in the conference will knock off $1 million from the $100 million penalty. For example, if Texas A&M decides in 2042 they want to go back to the Big 12, they could do so for $70 million. And because I am tough, but fair, charter conference members penalty fees start at $50 million, not $100 million.
9. Conferences are allowed to trade members, but each school that gets unwillingly traded by its conference receives $50 million from their now former conference. Charter members cost $100 million (we’ll call this the Ole Miss Protection Clause).
10. Conference commissioners are fined $100,000 for saying the word realignment and any synonyms of the word. And yes, their golf carts will be bugged.
So there it is. A pretty simple plan for a royal pain-in-the-ass problem. Now all that’s left is to let the person in charge of college football operations take a look at it. Then we’ll be getting somewhere. If I could just get a name, number, or an email address, I’ll get right on it.