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.