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Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Wednesday, December 7, 2011 at 10:41 AM

As a handicapper I have tried to stay on the sidelines as college football worked overtime to destroy itself with the wholesale conference realignments triggered by a chase for the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) money. The $22,000,000 each team gets for playing in one of the five closed BCS bowls is quite an attraction.

This means the $44,000,000 LSU and Alabama get for playing in the BCS championship game is a gold mine for the Southeastern Conference since every single member gets a slice of that pie, and it ain't chicken feed.

I just laughed when Missouri opted out of the Big 12 to go to the Southeastern Conference where the Tigers have neither the talent nor the money to compete week after week with LSU, Alabama South Carolina et al. The average SEC team spends between $2 million and $3 million each year on recruiting alone and every penny of it comes from fans and alumni. Missouri spent about $800,000 recruiting last year and is already begging the faithful to come up with the money it will need to compete.

Colorado's move from the Big 12 to the PAC-12 was nothing short of ridiculous and was an attempt to get away from Texas and Oklahoma-teams the modern day Buffaloes could not beat. To the brass in Boulder the belief was it was a more equitable arrangement to play the Likes of Oregon, Southern California, Stanford et al.

Talk about being blind and stupid.

Colorado finished 3-10 in its first PAC-12 season, beating only Arizona and Utah, which joined the PAC-12 this season as a refugee from the Mountain West. In the process Colorado lost to Stanford, 48-7, Oregon, 45-2, and Southern California, 42-17. Norman and Austin never looked so good.

Nebraska left the Big 12 for the Big Ten for the same reason, an inability to beat Oklahoma and Texas.  Maybe the Cornhuskers will fare better in the most over-rated conference in the country.

WVU Will Get Buried In Big 12

Some moves did make sense. TCU was first going to leave the Mountain West to join the Big East in order to be eligible for a BCS bowl but pulled the double-cross and landed in the Big 12. West Virginia has also announced it is leaving the Big East for the Big 12. TCU has an outstanding program and will compete from the get-go in the Big 12. West Virginia thinks it has an outstanding program but is going to find early on that, as we say down on the farm, the Mountaineers are going to suck hind teat.

Pittsburgh and Syracuse took steps upward when they opted out of the Big East for the Atlantic Coast Conference.
In the end, the conference that suffered the most damage was the Big East-the weakest of the five BCS conferences that were assured of at least one $22,000,000 bowl game since the champion of each conference is entitled to that. This year the Big East sends West Virginia (9-3) to the Orange Bowl to face Clemson.

The Big East was always the weak sister of the BCS and the departures of Syracuse, Pittsburgh and West Virginia made it a dead-in-the-water conference in danger of getting booted from the BCS and the automatic bid to one of the big games.

Money Took Over, Stupidity Stepped In

The Monday announcement the Big East was going to take in Boise State and San Diego from the Mountain West Conference in football only and Houston, Central Florida and SMU as full members was enough to make a purist puke. The conference also says it is about to land Navy, an independent, and Air Force from the Mountain West.

Wow, if this doesn't make sense.

San Diego State is located 3,067 miles from the Big East office in Providence. A Boise State-Connecticut matchup would require one of the teams to travel 2,594 miles. Boise at Central Florida would be 2,590-mile flight.

Travel expenses for Big East teams have to go through the roof and all of this for a shot at the BCS money. No guarantees.

Lest you misunderstand me, I am not objecting to chasing the BCS money but to the fact colleges have to chase it. This situation would not exist if there were a 16-team playoff at the NCAA I-A level.
Keep in mind if you are not a member of the Big East, ACC, Big 12, Big Ten or Pack-12 your chances of getting invited to partake in the money feast are quite limited. The BCS is a closed shop and has been the enemy of football ever since its unholy alliances shut out from playing for the national championship half the schools playing NCAA I-A football.

The BCS was founded for one reason-to make certain a handful of football powers had all the power and controlled all the money. The purpose behind it was to make certain no team on the outside could ever break through the wall and be competitive against the big boys.

The poor orphans were to be forever poor and always on the outside looking in. It was a give the four and five-star recruits were going to go to schools that had the opportunity to play for the national championship, and they have.

After years of frustration teams decided to seek membership in one of the five BCS conferences as a means of getting rich and it has brought chaos to the college game-and it's not good. Rivalries and traditions set over decades have gone up in smoke overnight.

College football is being ripped apart by the BCS which decides which two teams will play for the national championship and when all the dust settles the game will be the lesser for it.

A 16-team playoff system would solve all the problems but that is not going to happen anytime soon. The bribe money-and I am talking about millions of dollars-to keep it all going lines the pockets of coaches and school officials and these paragons of virtue are not about to give it up. Sorry but that is the pitiful truth.

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