Sunday, October 9, 2011

Addendum to College Realignment Post - Rivalries

Think about this for a few moments.  One of the rivalries that you hear that people would bring back on a regular basis is Pitt-Penn State (yes, they are playing in a few years a home-home).

Realize that with the realignment of the past month, there's a real chance these series will no longer happen.  Number of meetings between the schools, including any games in 2011, in parenthesis.

Data courtesy  Settling bar bets since 2000.

Texas-Texas A&M (118) - Not much more to be said there.
Baylor-Texas A&M (108) - From SWC to the Big 12.  After Texas, A&M has played Baylor more than any other school
Texas Tech-Texas A&M (70) - Meeting number 70, particularly with the treatment the A&M bus received, most certainly means this one isn't happening going forward.
Pittsburgh-West Virginia (105) - With the loss in regularity of Pitt-Penn St., these two schools are each others most played opponent and the proximity of the schools just adds to the hatred.  Consider too that the majority of Backyard Brawls were played while the schools were independent.  They didn't have to play each other.
Syracuse-West Virginia (59) - Game is played for the Ben Schwartzwalder Trophy, former WVU football player and longtime head coach at Syracuse, including the 1959 national championship team.

This doesn't include the longtime series that Nebraska and Colorado set aside leaving the Big 12, the rivalries that Utah & BYU let go, not to mention that the BYU series (88 meetings including 2012's) could end next year after not being renewed.  The news today that Air Force is possibly leaving the MWC to move to the Big East (assuming that the other two service academies or at least Navy follows them) is an even move for them, not counting the extra revenue the BCS brings.  They'll toss aside Colorado St. & Wyoming (50 games each, more meetings than with Army & Navy), but gain some scheduling flexibility now that those academy meetings are part of a conference.

This also doesn't include rivalries in sports like men's basketball, where Syracuse is letting go the guarantee of playing Georgetown, Villanova & Connecticut on a yearly basis.  Providence will also miss Syracuse.

The one school where realignment brings things together is for TCU, where yearly meetings with Baylor (107), Texas Tech (54) and Texas (82) will resume, along with a yearly meeting with SMU (101) that I assume will continue to occur.  Couple that with the Oklahoma schools in conference, its the one place where realignment makes sense economically and geographically.

The point is that rivalries are the fabric of college football.  The quilt is being patched together with dollar bills.

1 comment:

Mark said...

As a PSU alum, I can say that the Pitt rivalry is dead and that the last three generations of fans do not care that we don't play every year.

No PSU fans under 30, possibly 40, care that it's gone.

Old rivalries die, no ones are born.