Welcome to my brain, a disgusting nucleus of football, booze, hot women, money and things of lesser importance like other sports, cheap booze, kinda hot women and change. Examine the scientific diagram:
I'll try to start doing this weekly just to throw stuff out there for conversation. Today, I'm talking conference realignment in college football (and what it means for Rams fans) and, sure to bore many of you, the World Cup. If I had a vuvuzela, It'd be two inches from your face in full head-exploding mode:
Stuff after the jump. (and no, that's not me with Great Wall of Douche haircut)
The end of the beginning of the end
So, in case you haven't heard, college football no longer exists. Ok, so I took it a bit too far, but as of 2011, the current landscape will no longer exist. So what will it look like? Right now, the exact answer is "Nobody knows. Ask me in 2011."
Let me try to sum up: Colorado left the Big XII for the Pac-10, followed by Nebraska who bolted the XII for the 10 which is now the New Big 12 since it really was the Big 11, but maybe not for long, since Texas will announce whether or not it will join the Pac-Something to become the Pac-Something bigger this week. If UT does head west, Oklahoma, Oklahoma St. and Texas Tech will likely fill out the convoy. But what about the good people from A&M? They're hoping to get into the SEC. And what about the leftovers from the exodus? There are some pretty good programs in there as well, including Kansas, Kansas St., Missouri and our own Jason Smith's alma mater, Baylor. Word is, the Mountain West could be a contender for their services, although they're one team bigger already with the addition of Boise St. (who will be a top 3 team to start this last season of normality before the end of days). So just to recap - Nobody knows. Ask me in 2011.
But that's college. How does that affect me, your every day, übernormal, six-pack drinkin', steak-and-potato eatin', Olivia Munn fantasizin' TST reader? Well, for one, uh, there's the uh, remember when, uh, have you ever...it depends. For those of you on the west coast, if it all goes down, expect the Pac 16 to develop a TV network akin to the Big Ten Network (which one could argue catalyzed this whole shift) and the much lesser known MountainWest Sports Network (which has escaped more focus than it deserves IMO, just like the conference itself) as well as the one proposed for the Big XII...what? So the dying Big XII/X/? is going to have a network too? Yeah, probably. The reality is, this is going to be par for the course for every major and mid-major conference because legacy teams in off years don't get the exposure of a top-ranked team that will go the next 5 years being mediocre. So for our California/Oregon contingent, that means you'll likely get access to tons of NFL prospects for whatever you're paying now for whatever television service you have.
Don't think that's a big draw? Reconsider when looking at a possible Pac-16:
That's a lot of future NFLery in a single conference (h/t Crimson and Cream Machine). The problem is, there are so many questions left. Notice I haven't mentioned the ACC or Big East, Notre Dame, anything from the SEC besides A&M, the early rumblings of some mid-major mergers (imagine the MAC & WAC combining...to make the MACAWAC), and even more remote possibilities that I will let slide for now. Without knowing what's really going to happen, it's tough to say how much of an impact that will have on the TSTer or to double-project, how it will change the Rams as an organization. Needless to say, it's a story to keep an eye on this week and the near future, as what happens in the talent pool that supplies 98% of the NFL with its on-field employees tends to have an affect on the NFL.
The Cup runneth over
So yeah. There's this soccer tournament. And for some reason, people seem to care more this time. I don't understand why, but hey, the more the merrier...kinda. Context...
Another soldier and I work in a unit that has hundreds of soldiers. For the entire deployment thus far, until a week ago, we were consistently mocked for liking soccer. Now, we're being sought out every 10-15 minutes for absolutely random (and incredibly repetitive) information.
Why are there ties? Was the U.S.-England tie a good thing? Are we actually any good? What is that noise? Why are they all pussies? Why do we suck? Do we suck?
As a huge soccer fan (and I know soccerheads are a relatively noticeable contingency here), I'll let others answer those questions if need be here at TST, but it's tough to bring my level of footy discourse down from a level similar to the level football is discussed here at TST to a level it is discussed among third graders. It's tough to explain a sport's beauty to someone who doesn't understand the most basic principles (if you've ever tried explaining the awesomeness of American football to someone who doesn't know what a touchdown is, you feel me).
Still, it is a great sport and I'm glad to see people actually watching it instead of looking for the remote. That being said, I hope everyone is making the most of SBN's soccer resources. There's great stuff coming out all day, every day for those interested. For others, if you don't dare tread beyond the comfortable walls of TST, feel free to ask me anything about the WC. It's a hell of a tournament, and seeing the reaction in Africa (albeit South Africa) has been great.
Ah that's enough. I'll try to make these shorter in the future as they're meant to foster discussion more than throw my opinions out there. Holler.