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Conference Realignment: Please Stop The Madness

So Oklahoma is all upset because Texas decided to make its own TV network, and now the Sooners and their in-state rivals Oklahoma State, plus perhaps Texas and Texas Tech, are considering leaving the Big 12 or whatever number it is and moving west to our happy and changing-with-the-times conference of choice out here, the Pac-12.

Sound confusing? It is. So much so that it shouldn't even happen. 

All of this conference realignment talk -- Missouri to the SEC, where it would get pummeled in football for sure; West Virginia trying to make a move; the Mountain West and Conference USA talking merger along with the Big 12 and Big East -- is really too much. 

Do college football fans really care, or is it the college presidents and athletic departments and the BCS and NCAA that truly care, since they'd be the only ones making money out of all these mega-conferences if they were to merge? Since when is it OK for OK -- as in Oklahoma -- to dictate who should be Big 12 commissioner? 

So if the Sooners don't get their way, they're going to take their ball and move the Pac-12? Please. Grow up. If the commissioner is going to allow individual schools to establish their own networks, Oklahoma should just develop its own, too.

I grew up following the Pac-10. The original Pac-10 (I was too young to know the Pac-8). Oregon, Oregon State (the only OSU I truly care about, sorry Buckeyes), Cal, Stanford, UCLA, USC, Washington, Washington State, ASU and Arizona. Ten was plenty and I keep up with conference football and basketball every year. Then the conference got a new commissioner and took a new direction and added Utah and Colorado. 

I applaud the Pac-12 for its sweeping reforms and everything Larry Scott is doing to upgrade the conference's image. But can it please stop there? Pac-12 TV Newtork? Fine. The Big Ten has one, and it makes sense for the SEC and Big 12 to do, that, too. But not one school. Too late, though, Texas has its own network.

I guess I'm old-school, but it always comes down to money when this discussion comes up. Hey Oklahoma, last I checked you were No. 1 in the polls in football. And now you want to threaten to leave your conference because a rival school has a TV network and you aren't happy with the commissioner. Just go out and beat your rivals on the football field and leave it at that. That's all people want to see anyway, not the Sooners playing Utah or Cal or Washington State.

There's something comforting about continuity. It isn't broken so why fix it?

Message to NCAA officials and conference commissioners: Figure out a playoff system and a way to somehow compensate the 18-to-23-year olds on whose backs you make millions for risking injury and working their rear ends off for their schools. Scrap this realignment talk, stay in your lanes and stop ruining regional rivalries, the lifeblood of college football.