If you thought the craziness of conference realignment was going to stop with Oklahoma and Texas to the SEC, the moves of USC and UCLA to the Big Ten yesterday should have been enough to disprove that idea. But just 24 hours later, there are already rumors the Big Ten isn't close to done trying to add teams.
Notre Dame has always made sense for the Big Ten — it probably should have been in the league a long time ago. And while we're just adding schools with reckless disregard for any semblance of geography, sure, throw Oregon in there. When you can have Penn State play a road game in Los Angeles followed by a home game in State College and then send them back out to Eugene, Oregon, you gotta do it.
Travel isn't the bad part of all this, though. We're just adding schools to get more money in TV contracts and create these supposedly marquee national games, when that's never been what college sports — football in particular — have been about. I want to see Auburn-Georgia and Tennessee-Alabama every season because those schools have played each other for more than a century and the fans hate each other. While college football is massively popular across the country, it has never been a national sport.
Sure, a national television audience will absolutely eat up USC playing at Ohio State or Michigan going to Oregon. But very soon, you're going to have to sacrifice more than a handful of the games that make college football special in the first place to make room for those.
Personally, I look forward to a few years from now when we have to divide the two or three mega-conferences into smaller groups based on geography because there's no way for a school to play everybody else in the league in a timely manner. If only we had come up with some sort of system like that before.