Home » blog » The Grass Ceiling

Posted by on September 11th, 2011 in blog, Brady Baylor, CFF Features | 1 Comment

While trudging up one of Colorado’s fifty-plus 14,000’ peaks a few days ago, and with peripheral edema firmly setting in around 13,000’ (in my case, hands swelling up like the giant foam fingers you can buy to support your team) and my mental state deteriorating rapidly, I reflected on the decision-making process that brought me to that place.  Being Labor Day, my hiking buddy and I were not the only ones on the well-defined trail to the top of this “easy” 14-er, but after my cousin ditched me and hooked it to the top alone (that’s right, I’m calling you out right here for leaving me gasping for every breath and struggling for every inch of forward progress!), the best I could come up with to explain why I was there was “it seemed like a good idea at the time”.


As the once-glorious quilt that is Big 12 football continues to unravel, I find myself wondering if that statement will echo in the minds of, say, a Texas A&M in the years to come, perhaps after running through a murderous three-week stretch of LSU, Alabama, and Florida (or pick your SEC teams).  I just cannot bring myself to imagine that a lone conference championship in a fifteen-year stretch of the Big 12 will equate to anything more than a once-every-twenty-five-years chance of winning the SEC.


Lest I dwell on the Aggies, I want to move on to the unintended consequences of the superconference, which by most accounts is where we’re headed with these proceedings.  Imagine you’re Oregon State, way out in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, quietly celebrating mighty USC’s (albeit temporary) demise and the opportunities that might represent.  Now, along come the PAC-12 powers that be and hit you with “Hey, OSU, how do you feel about inviting in Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and maybe a Texas Tech to our party?  Wouldn’t that be fun, what with the two OSU’s and all?”.   What is your response?  Will it be “Gee, yeah, that’d be great.  We’d love nothing better than to now have the prospect of five or six teams virtually guaranteed to kick our heads in every year”?


Okay, I’m already moving back to the A&M issue.  While I’ve already established that I don’t expect A&M to march into SEC play and dominate, I do have to think that they’ll be plenty good to play spoiler on a routine basis, much like Arkansas has been doing for years.  I guess I need someone to explain to me how this is a net positive for the SEC anymore than it is for Texas A&M; that is, to now have yet another team that can derail a powerhouse otherwise headed for a title shot.


The superconference is going to further marginalize already marginal teams, and push the mid-level players (i.e. South Carolina, the Cal Bears, Michigan State, Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M, et. al.) another step toward obscurity.  Yes, you can state your case that some of these teams are near the top of the rankings right now, but check the conference championship records.  A program as mighty as the Georgia Bulldogs has won a whopping two conference titles in the past twenty-eight years, and as they might say in the South, “It ain’t gonna get no easier”.  If navigating the turf for a full conference season was tough before, let’s see what happens when we throw in some good teams to good conferences (or great in the SEC’s case).  With women having faced the “glass ceiling” for years in corporate America, would you say these teams might soon be facing a “grass ceiling”?



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1 Comment for this entry

  1. jeff says:

    Great insight. I only wish the powers that be would see your points and come to their senses before it’s to late.

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