In case you haven't been following the ever-changing world of college football realignment, the newest and hottest rumor on the table involving the Big 12 has Florida State and Clemson, erstwhile members of the ACC, headed west due to discontent with the ACC's leadership and a pursuit for the higher payout from the conference's coming television packages. Chadd Scott, who writes for ChuckOliver.net, a blog that delivers "ACC, C-USA and SEC college football news, opinion and analysis by a contributor network that spans the South", says those rumors are "nonsense ... breed[ing] on college football’s scum-covered basement of message boards." Setting aside for a moment the truth that sites such as the one on which Scott writes wouldn't exist without the same passion and zeal for information that drives those "scum-covered basements," Scott penned a list of reasons why neither school would ever join the Big XII.
I originally fired up the SBNation post editor with the intent of skewering Scott's post for its inaccuracy, bias, and myopia. I wanted to respond to his points logically in turn. I started by noting the ridiculous arrogance in its opening paragraph ("I’ve made a name for myself being right about conference realignment due to my ability to understand the multi-faceted nature of these moves...") and his complete lack of self-awareness. Scott lauds himself for understanding the many facets of realignment and then goes on to write a piece that doesn't even mention the most important possible motivation: money. Nowhere in his piece does he talk about money at all. Weird for someone who supposedly understands the issues so clearly, don't you think?
More below the jump...
Instead of focusing (or even mentioning) something so mundane as money, despite the fact that the dollars from college football fund entire athletic programs at some of the biggest universities in the country, Scott runs through academics (where the ACC has a legitimate edge on the Big XII that I would never gainsay), top-heaviness ("Fact is," he says, "once you get past the Longhorns and Sooners the Big 12 is a stinker"), culture (THE SOUTH IS AWESOME AND TEXAS IS NOT THE SOUTH ... but apparently Maryland is), the supposed weakness of the rest of the conference (he notes the Learfield's Director's Cup rankings the last few years showing the ACC as clearly superior in non-football sports), and fan disinterestedness (because the Big XII sucks, of course). His entire premise is that FSU (and to a lesser degree, Clemson) should be on the lookout for a better off than it has in the ACC now, but that there is only one conference actually better than the ACC, the SEC, Scott's conference of choice in nearly everything. The Big XII, on the other hand, is an inferior conference in nearly all respects. According to Scott:
Join the Big 12, begin competing against inferior completion and watch the best prospective student-athletes you bring on campus choose somewhere else to play. A move to the Big 12 surely and in swift fashion leads to the devaluation of every team on campus.
Wow. Other than the Director's Cup rankings and stats he pulled from USNWR, Scott cites no figures or statistics of any kind, doesn't even talk about the primary motivation-- $$$ -- at all, and dismisses the Big XII because of its negatives without even attempting to address its strengths. He tells his audience that his credibility should be unquestioned (something people that actually are credible don't typically need to say) and uses that assertion to buttress speculation and conjecture as rank and baseless as that of the message boards he lambasts, and then ends by saying a move to the Big XII for either school would "surely and in swift fashion" lead to what is basically a sportspocalypse.
Yes, this was a post ripe for the ripping. You don't often see this combination of bias, misinformation, and ignorance. Alas, someone in the comments to Scott's own article beat me to it by eviscerating each of Scott's points completely to a level I probably cannot match. So I'll save myself the trouble and say that you should read this and then that.