The great thing about this world is the limitless potential of possibility. Coupled with open minds of reason, no realm nor vision is predisposed to be a failure or forgotten memory. Or as your boss says during brainstorming sessions — when they turn to their employees because the executives have plum run out of suggestions — "there are no bad ideas."
Ideas are pure and innocent concepts; it's when the implementation of them are so outlandish and unreasonable that the ideas become euthanized and sold as scrap material to the Soylent Corporation.
And that's basically what happens with conference realignment talk. This school could go to that conference because, hey, it's a good idea for someone! And then you realize that Oregon is not near any other school in the SEC, and suddenly hopes are dashed. But the seed of an idea could've been mentioned by a Big Ten official, such as "hey wouldn't it be cool if we had a superconference that went from coast to coast?" And then a co-worker wistfully agrees before they went off into a meeting about how best to distribute unsold 2010 Capital One Bowl t-shirts.
And it looks like those types of conversations are happening in the MAC.
After a summer of realignment frenzy, news of speculation and relocation cooled and congealed once real live college football was seen on television. But throughout the development of powder keg alliances, the Mid-American schools were somehow left out of the discussions. Probably because of all the lackluster seasons. (What a time for Toledo to stop winning 10 games a year, no?) They did become the final domino in the great MAC>C-USA>Big East>ACC school square dance of 2005, and they did snatch up heartbroken Temple soon thereafter.
But the cannibalization of the MAC has been deathly silent. Although that's not to say it can't happen in the future, and if it does ... well, we'll need a blog name change, won't we?
But suddenly this week the murmurs seeped into the media about the MAC possibly adding more schools in the future. More than 13? Well, that'll definitely cement their status as the largest Bowl Subdivision entity. Eastern Michigan athletic director Derrick Gragg took sparks to the tinder when he told AnnArbor.com "I think the MAC is going to try to extend invitations to one or two institutions in the next year or two." For those keeping score, this is officially an insider's opinion. And it's fun, if not substantive. Oh, and he thinks Temple football is totally leaving once their deal is done with the MAC. (Theory: they're going TO THE MOON. Should their new athletic director become Alice Kramden.)
To get even more insider-y, MAC commissioner Jon Steinbrecher followed up on the news-rumor by saying basically, well, sure, anything could happen, but nothing's set in stone. Which is what we all knew, unless some people out there really thought a deal was already in place. But of course, every conference is probably looking to discuss things that could be possible. Notre Dame to the MAC, for example. Possible! And definitely an idea.
But while expansion discussions may exist — and they do — this leaves an inventive and collective imagination of you and me to salivate over who it could be. Maybe teams from the Sun Belt. Maybe another Championship Subdivision team looking to join in on the postseason corporate gift basket fun, as they've done in the past with with NIU, Buffalo, and Marshall. Maybe they'll build a school out of the earth's mantle deep underground and annex the very first subterranean university in NCAA sports. And I'm sure you have expansion dreams of your own, too.
Someone once said to dream big. Well, go ahead and do that. It's fun if unproductive. Much like blogs!