Monday, June 14, 2010
Big East waits out the shuffle
It's only fitting that on a stormy, thundering morning in Louisville, KY the news about the storm brewing in college conference alignments rains down on the sports enthusiast.
Texas A&M to the SEC. Colorado to the PAC-10. Nebraska to the Big 10. Suddenly, the Big 12 is starting to look like a horse drawn buggy at the Indy 500. The dice are rolling, logos changing and Louisville and the rest of the Big East sit in the balcony and watch...waiting, wondering and maybe a bit worried.
We report and write on women's sports here at CARDINAL COUPLE...unless Paul goes off on one of his horse racing jags. This is a scenario where stakes runners have lined up to have a heated battle down the stretch and the Big East is a $5,000 claimer in non-winners of one at 99-1 odds....far behind the leaders and lop-legged in the final furlong.
Paul has box of old sporting event programs from UofL games. There are Missouri Valley Conference, Metro, Conference USA and Big East logos on these. Yes, we've been thru change over the last 40 years. Maybe not as big as the potential impending one...but UofL athletics has always managed to survive and prosper.
What will happen is anyone's guess...but don't get your hopes up that the Big East is going to get out of this thing unaffected. Currently on the chopping block...Syracuse, Rutgers, Pittsburgh and Notre Dame. Whether they'll become part of the mega Big 10, 16...whatever name they come up with remains to be seen. Whether the non-football playing schools in the Big East follow thru with their threat to disband the conference if two of the football playing schools leave is anyone's guess. The catholic coalition against the state schools.
The Big East doesn't have a lot of options. Will they scoop up the remnants of the doomed Big 12? Do they raid Conference USA? Do they even continue to exist if they get raided by the big dogs? Can I substitute if I don't like the sides on the daily special?
One thing is for sure. Womens' sports are taking a seat at the back of the bus because of the power and profitablity of football and men's basketball. Would I mind seeing a conference where Jeff Walz got the chance to play Baylor or K-State? Would I groan if the Lady Cards had East Carolina and Southern Miss in their division? Will I have any say in the matter?
UofL athletic director Tom Jurich continues to say that the Big East is where he is comfortable and where Louisville needs to be. But, if the raiding continues...could the Cards receive an invite to an expanded ACC? Just how comfortable are those of us who aren't making a handsome athletic directors salary?
Close your eyes, hold your nose...grab your ankles and down it goes. Louisville recently lost amusement park Six Flags at Kentucky Kingdom. The rollar coaster ride, though...is far from over.
Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss. As Randy Newman wrote many years ago:
"It's money that matters."
ZENYATTA roared down the Hollywood stretch from last place yesterday to win the Vanity Handicap yeserday by half a length over impressive ST. TRINIANS. A typical Mike Smith ride...hold the powerhouse back far behind the early speed and come roaring down the stretch like a runaway diesel locomotive. The big girl gets her 17th straight win.
Don't fool yourself. RACHEL ALEXANDRA is a fine filly...probably the second best in horse racing but ZENYATTA is the gold standard, the prime cut and the best that is out there today. I hope they get a chance to meet in the Breeders Cup. I hope RACHEL doesn't get whipped too badly. The question has been raised if ZENYATTA will adapt to a dirt surface instead of the synthetic.
Believe me. This horse could run in quicksand and still threaten the track record.