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A modest proposal: The Aglands Athletic Conference

2 8 5,154

I can’t hold back any longer, since all my ag school alumni friends up here in the Big 12 North are lamenting conference re-alignment as if it were as important as the formation of the United Nations. Lamenting, as in Old Testament style—rending of garments and such. Stuff people are saying about Nebraska leaving for the Big Ten can’t be printed in our family magazines.


The clincher for me, though, was a quote yesterday from University of Texas President Bill Powers, who was justifying the Longhorn interest in the Pac-Ten--for its superior “academic and research” standards. That’s Texas, all lab rats and book worms.


Sometime soon after that comment, Texas changed its mind. Must be they took a second look at academics in Waco and Lubbock and decided to stay. Nothing much said about the money they’ll get from their new Longhorn television network, which no doubt will be giving ample coverage to genetics and literary criticism.


Conference re-alignment clarifies the fact that the aggies in places like Stillwater, Manhattan, and Ames just don’t belong in the same league with Texas. We need a conference of like minds—so let’s just base it on agriculture. And anyway, football in Ames has about as much in common with the Longhorns as it does with the Dallas Cowboys.


Might as well raid the Big Ten, ACC, and SEC conferences for ag schools while we’re at it.


So  here’s the proposal:


Aglands Plains: Iowa State, Kansas State, Missouri, Okie State. (Nebraska is boycotted for fleeing to the Big Ten for its higher academic standards.)


Aglands Corn Belt: Minnesota, Illlinois, Purdue, Michigan State. (Ohio State, Michigan, and Penn State will join the NFL, along with Texas, Florida, USC and a few others.)


AgLands South: Virginia Tech, Auburn, Clemson, NC State, etc.


Post-season action would include the Corn Bowl, in say, Des Moines, the Wheat Bowl, in Wichita, and the Soy Bowl in Indy. A friend assures me that we could cut a deal with RFD-TV for sports coverage.


With the money saved from trying to compete with NFL-grade college teams, more dollars will be diverted into programs like livestock judging, the agronomy club, and Block & Bridle.


There won’t be any pretension in the Aglands Athletic Conference that we can compete with the University of Texas in research and academics, nor contend with them in the newly re-aligned NFL, but we will be better able to continue our collective mission of feeding the world.


What other schools are Aglands worthy, I wonder?

Senior Contributor

Since it is all about TV money I guess the question is, how does getting 100,000 eyes on a $200K combine or $300 bag of seed corn compare to getting 10 million eyes on a 6 pack of bud light?


I'm guessing not very well, unfortunately- marginal cost of production of the BL is pretty tiny relative to the potential value upgrade of convincing someone of its essential nature.

Senior Contributor

Make sure you run all conference changes by Texas to make sure it is OK with them!!  And to make sure they get your share of any monitary compensation you get!


Senior Advisor

Interesting concept John.  My solution is to take the profits from collegiate sports and use it to fund education. Unfortunately most schools use athletic proceeds to fund athletic programs. That why we have million dollar salaries for coaching plus their staff.


It must be disgusting seeing those dollars ploughed back into semipro football and basketball while college expenses keep climbing for those merely trying to pay their way and educate themselves for the future.


I Think if we are running farm teams for the pros, let them pick up the tab for the jocks. Jocks or ordinary students pay the same tab to go to college. Either pay it themselvesor find a benefactor to pay it for them.


The math,science or music majors deserve the same rates as the super stud athletes.


Senior Reader

John, John, John, there you go again with another one of your cockamamie ideas. I hate to be so blunt, but somebody's got to say it:


Your past is all behind you.


And your future, too.


I nominate Dordt College at Sioux Center, Iowa to the AgLands Conference. It has a great ag program more people need to learn about.

Senior Contributor

Why not New Mexico State, San Francisco, Idaho or Stanford for the AgLands West? They may not produce the corn, soy, or wheat, but they do produce a lot of what we drink and eat.

If there is anything that should be changed about college athletics is some of that money earned should pay for upkeep of the rest of the campus. Some of these educational buildings are looking worse for wear and now we're getting brand spanking new basketball arenas and football facilities.