Straight to that, and then a couple more interesting conference realignment links. I like conference realignment links much better now that the theme is "ding dong the witch is dead."
-- Moved DT Chris Nelson from orange to maroon. I think we can all agree that Nelson's decommitment is best for all involved, and not much of a surprise. Other schools surely have been reminding Nelson how hard UVA is working on Andrew Brown and Derrick Nnadi... and then Nelson goes to the spring game and sees it with his own eyes. Still gets listed in the world's ugliest colors, though.
-- Moved ATH Travon McMillian from green to red. McMillian seems to be mainly looking at schools where he can play quarterback, and is probably not far from calling Blacksburg his future home.
-- Moved WR Cameron Phillips from yellow to blue. UVA in a top three + he's from DeMatha = blue.
-- Moved DE J.J. Jackson from blue to orange. Jackson is a linebacker-DE tweener, and we sure could use some of that DE action in this class.
-- Removed DB C.J. Reavis (VT) from yellow.
-- Removed QB William Crest (WVU) from red.
-- Added ATH Jeffery Farrar to yellow.
-- Added TE Devin Pike to green.
Now for that conference realignment stuff. First is a recap, of sorts, of the madcap adventures that the whole sordid mess took us through. "College sports' dumbest gold rush," they call it, and all I want to know is, why limit it to college sports? Can you think of any such three-year saga that left everyone this much dumber? The scary thing is, if you consider the beginning of the realignment era to be December 2009, when the Big Ten said "WE'RE EXPANDING!" most of this blog's existence overlaps with realignment's glory days. Except in the past tense, the only time I want to talk about realignment again is if it makes Johns Hopkins an ACC associate member. And that's lacrosse anyway, where realignment is actually kind of fun. (I guess you could also count me rooting for my grad school - Detroit - to find a way up and out of the Horizon, like to the A-10 or something, but that's a little bit outside the realm of this blog.)
Next we have - from a Nebraska source - a realignment report card. To spoil the surprise, it's the ACC that comes out at the head of the class. Strange, isn't it? After all, the ACC had reams of people lined up to deliver its eulogy. Not really, though.
Consider the realignment carousel, minus all the rumors that turned out false. No FSU and Clemson to the Big 12, no UVA, UNC, and GT to the Big Ten, no VT and NC State to the SEC. No doom scenarios, because none of it ever happened. Just the facts, ma'am. Also, leave out for a second our UVA bias (we lost a rivalry game) and look at it from the perspective of any other ACC school, or even an outsider (hence the Nebraska take.)
Here's what the ACC did:
-- Destroyed one of its two biggest rival conferences in hoops and re-asserted its superiority there.
-- Snagged the one school that everybody wanted, including "Machiavelli Jim" Delany.
-- Traded an underperforming school drowning in red ink for one that just won the hoops national title and the Sugar Bowl to boot.
Of all the schools even mentioned in realignment rumors, let alone the ones that actually moved, the ACC got the top prize. Better than Texas. (At the risk of inflating the heads of an already full-of-itself fanbase, it's true. Texas brings baggage.) The Big Ten has wanted Notre Dame forever and DeLoss Dodds was working his ass off to try and hook up the Irish with his Longhorns. Rutgers is a poor-ass substitute.
Meanwhile the Pac-12's additions are enormous duds. The SEC got into Texas, so they got what they wanted basically, and they can't complain about how this went down. The Big Ten got Nebraska, which is a great fit, and two schools that are looking at a lot of mediocrity for the next decade. The Big 12 got half-eaten, and the Big East exploded, with fascinating results (unless you're a UConn or Cincy fan - the latter must be looking around and wondering how did they get back into the same conference they were in 10 years ago.) Does the high grade mean the ACC came out the strongest conference of the whole gang? Nope. But it does mean the conference brass did a fantastic job navigating these waters. Swoff might be a punching bag at times, but this is a job well done.