At what expense will realignment come for college football?

I had a buddy in college that routinely would engage me in the debate over what was “better”: Pro or college football.

He loved college, I loved pro. Nobody ever won the debate and nobody ever will because it’s all a matter of opinion. But there we were, often hammered after too many adult beverages arguing the same points over and over again.

Two of the things he used to argue in favor of college football were rivalries and tradition. He used to shove those two points so far down my throat that he often had to perform the Heimlich Maneuver just so I could start breathing again.

I read today in the Houston Chronicle that Texas and Texas A&M might not play each other on an annual basis anymore if the Longhorns bolt the Big 12 for either the Pac-10 or Big Ten, and if the Aggies leave for the SEC.

So much for rivalries and tradition.

Texas belongs in the Big Ten like mayo belongs on an American hamburger. While it would be fun and exciting to watch the Longhorns play on a cold December day in Columbus, college football was built on its traditions. UT is supposed to play A&M and Oklahoma every year, just like Ohio State is supposed to play Michigan, Alabama is supposed to play Auburn, and Army is supposed to play Navy. Those rivalries and traditions are what make college football, college football.

The novelty of realignment may be fun, but in the end it’s just that: a novelty. Here’s hoping the Big 12 doesn’t fall apart like a deck of cards over the next couple of months.

Novelties wear off. Rivalries and tradition last forever.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

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