Let the conference domino effect begin
Shocking news out of Augusta, Ga.! Just a few days removed from winning the NCAA Men’s Golf Championship, the Jaguars have decided to join the Atlantic Coast Conference. It was a close decision between the SEC and the ACC, but Augusta State officials like the fact that its membership to the ACC will make an even 12 teams in the league for golf.
Alright, I am joking, but that’s what you might expect if college golf moved the needle instead of football.
Since football is the cash cow, here is what has happened: Today, the Pac-10 Conference announced that Colorado will join the Pac-10 and this will likely start a domino effect in college athletics.
And what is likely to happen?
We might see Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State join the Pac-10, thus making it the Pac-16, the Big 16 or whatever you want to call it. There may be some resistance, however. Some reports say Texas A&M may be entertaining the thought of joining the SEC.
I could continue with Missouri and possibly Nebraska joining the Big Ten Conference – leaving Iowa State, Baylor, Kansas and Kansas State on an island and possibly merging with the Mountain West? The Big Ten will also go after a few teams from the Big East.
There are so many scenarios I won’t bore you or speculate. But, the burning question for college golf fans is what does this mean for college golf?
My answer: Nothing, really.
Hear me out. Conference affiliation in golf is more of a nuisance to coaches than anything. The reason is many schools feel allegiances to or at times pressure from school administrators to invite all teams from their conference when hosting a tournament. There are cases where some schools play each other for the first time at the conference championship.
Golf does not have any sort of scheduling requirements in terms of conference affiliation. There is no league play. The only thing this would do would create one heckuva tournament just before the postseason begins.
Sure, there could be some funding issues to some of the schools that get left out of the mega conferences. My response to that is welcome to the world of Kent State, Georgia Southern, Chattanooga, Middle Tennessee and Campbell.
Some may argue with me and tell me that this enhances recruiting. Alright, if you think so, but I will tell you that Augusta State just won the national championship as a Div. II athletic department.
Some experts say there could be real trouble down the road. We are likely to see four super conferences of roughly 16 teams coming from these mergers: the Big Ten, the SEC, a combination of the Big East and ACC and a cominbation of the Big 12 and Pac-10. Some predict that these four mega leagues might someday break away from the NCAA and form their own governing body and leave the rest on their own.
Now that would be trouble for college golf.