Time Out: Les East column for July 9, 2012
The Major League Baseball All-Star Game on Tuesday night marks not only the traditional midpoint of the baseball season, but also the last really big sporting event until football returns.
So it’s time to catch up on football, because in just 18 days, the New Orleans Saints will report for the start of training camp. And a week later, LSU and Southern will be on their practice fields.
There’s no need really to catch up on the Saints news because it’s been out there every day: no contract for Drew Brees, suspensions, no Drew Brees contract, lawsuits, no Brees contract, etc.
But as for the colleges, it’s necessary to brush up on conference realignment and figure which of the many impending changes go into effect this season.
It’s well documented that Texas A&M and Missouri are now in the Southeastern Conference, but other changes for the 2012 season aren’t as memorable. Most notably, the Big XII welcomes West Virginia, which escaped the Big East, and TCU, which left the Mountain West.
Temple has left the Mid-American for the Big East, and three schools — Fresno State, Hawaii and Nevada — have left the Western Athletic for the Mountain West.
In case you hadn’t noticed, there are three new programs in the Football Bowl Subdivision: Massachusetts (MAC), Texas-San Antonio (WAC) and something called Texas State (WAC).
This is the second-to-last season that the current Bowl Championship Series format will be used. Beginning with the 2014 season, four teams will compete in two rounds of playoffs. A selection committee will choose the teams.
In other words, two teams chosen by computers/polls bad, four teams chosen by committee good.
But who will be on this all-powerful committee, which will be charged with identifying the four best teams and properly seeding them?
Well, they might want to start with that British lady from the TV series, “Supernanny.” Getting a group of self-centered individuals to pull together as one will require her skill, though even she can’t work miracles.
You know the Rose Bowl people are going to whine until they’re included, so go ahead and invite the Grand Marshal of the Tournament of Roses Parade. The folks in Pasadena always seem more enamored with the “tradition” and “pageantry” of the bowls than that football stuff, and given the Pac 12 and Big Ten’s recent contributions to title-winning, the grand marshal might be their most appropriate rep.
While you’re greasing squeaky wheels, you’re going to have to deal with Notre Dame, so include Lou Holtz because you’ll want someone old enough to remember when the Fighting Irish were relevant to big-time college football. As a bonus, getting Holtz away from ESPN will spare everyone the silliness he and Mark May engage in every college football season.
Finally, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell would be a vital member of this committee. No matter which teams get selected, there will be complaints from those who don’t get in. And who’s better than Goodell at steadfastly defending a controversial decision?