In reading so many of our own, and other posts over the past week, and really the past year, dealing with conference re-alignment, and specifically in reference to Big 12 programs, a few arguments and points keep arising that are either intentionally misleading, incorrect, or just below the belt. Apparently this new Big 12 is centered around 10 teams that all hate each other, and the focus of this hate has shifted away from on the field performances and now resides in arguments about whose administration is more/less evil, whose program rates better in some arbitrary poll, and which fanbase is most delusional. It has turned into politics and I think we are all at the point where trying to actually discuss it isn't informative or interesting anymore. That is where this post comes in.... this is a decree to the internet (the whole internet) to stop making two specific points when discussing anything conference re-alignment in nature, with explanations as to why under each. Enough undermining what could be a very interesting discussion with misleading, shit-slinging rhetoric that isn't informative, isn't funny, and is purely meant to elicit more hate out of fanbases that are already full to the brim with it. (although I will say that our post from yesterday was mostly troll free)
On to the list:
#1: "Ya'll have fun on road trips to Ames and Manhattan, we'll send postcards from LA and Seattle"
This is a variation of a trolling point that has been tirelessly made over the past year. It is the definition of trolling because it is intentionally misleading and purely meant to piss off the reader of it. The same statement could easily be turned around to say:
"Have fun in Pullman and Corvallis, I'll be living it up in Austin, Norman, and Lawrence."
All these new locations and conferences seem exotic and unique because they are places we are not used to going, and stadiums we are not used to playing in. Think about how exciting it is (or at least should be) for an east or west coast team to play in Phog Allen, Gaylord Family Stadium, or even GIA. Remember how much Georgia, Wash St, and now Arizona fans enjoy their trips to Stilly. Do you think Georgia is any more excited to play in Death Valley than say OSU is to play in Austin? The point is, all conferences have their collection of schools in the following locations:
Universally considered good locations: Austin, Norman, Lawrence
Underrated fun places to catch a game: Stillwater, College Station, Ames, Columbia
Places that are considered awful, but have their charm: Manhattan, Waco, Lubbock
Sure, some may have a little more in one category than another, but these places exist for all conferences. Making a point like "Conference A has shitholes like [insert shittiest sounding place], while Conference B boast [insert best sounding place]" is at best misleading and at worst trolling. Stop it.
#2: "Every Big 12 team except OU, Texas, and A&M are just tied to whatever conference will take them."
I will use Oklahoma State in this example, but the same applies to the other 7 schools in the Big 12, minus Baylor, and maybe ISU and K-State. There is a difference in not having options, and not actively seeking options. The best examples of programs seeking options are 2010 Nebraska and current A&M. It is widely known that their fanbases, and possibly their administration are wanting out of their current situation for whatever reason. This leads to rumors of offers from other conferences, which leads to real offers from other conferences. It is very much a chicken and egg situation, but in this social media filled world, the rumors always seem to come before the actual offers.
For this reason, I have no doubt that if @OSUAthletics tweeted something about being upset with the current arrangement in the Big 12, stories of PAC12, SEC, and Big East offers would be swirling within the hour. Then CRFF would immediately be posting stuff about how desirable of a program we are because it is rumored that all these other conferences want us and how the rest of the Big 12 can be happy to be slaves to Texas... yet nothing about the OSU program has changed. What changed was the focus of the stories and rumors. Of course conferences would consider Oklahoma State. Oklahoma State athletics makes a ton of money and has nice ties into some strong recruiting bases. Without a word ever being said by anyone who even unofficially represents Oklahoma State, there have been rumors of PAC 10 offers last summer, and a current rumor of SEC interest.
Oklahoma State (and for the time being Mizzou, Kansas, and Tech), is not being widely discussed because we are not the ones making it known that we want out. If and when that happens, all the rumors you heard about Nebraska last year, and A&M this year, would apply to to OSU at that time. So no more making that argument that Oklahoma State (or the rest of the Big 12) is inferior because we don't have rumored offers. The squeaky wheel gets the grease and we have yet to start squeaking. Surely no one really thinks that Utah and Colorado are any more desirable than Kansas, Mizzou, OSU, or Tech do they?
So are we agreed to a truce on these two trolling points when discussing re-alignment? No? Well then all of you suck and that is why [insert conference] doesn't want you, so have fun in [most boring sounding place in the conference], we'll enjoy our road trips to [somewhere exciting]!