Nick Canepa: Aztecs left twisting as conference realignment swirls

AUG. 12, 2023 3:34 PM
Sez Me …
What’s going to happen to San Diego State athletics is a revolving enigma, a whirling mystery Vitamixed into a filthy, slimy frappe, inside a maelstrom, placed on a lazy Susan for everyone to enjoy at a vortex table.
Dizzying.
Will the spinning wheel stop on big money or the joker?
The Aztecs are involved in a wild, greedy game of musical chairs and they can’t find a seat. Adhered in the eye of Hurricane Greed, and not being experts at getting out of trouble — and too poor to hire help — they’re basically being asked to save themselves.
The first responders aren’t responding — nor are the seconds, thirds and fourths.
They’re stuck. But how do they come unglued? Rock here, hard place there. At least for now, they’re in the Molehill West conference, where they don’t want to be, where they thought they had found an escape route.
Alas, as Irving Berlin wrote, they’re caught in the rain, and they were going on their way now they’ve got to remain.
For the moment. Maybe until the end of time. Storms, even perfect ones, subside, and this one will, but it’s going to be some time before we put away our umbrellas.
The ground moves willy-nilly under collegiate sports every day.
It wasn’t long ago State appeared certain to obtain its 60-year goal of entering the Pac-12. USC and UCLA bolted to the Big Ten, leaving SDSU as the only Division I football school in behemoth Southern California as an option for the Pac-12.
It had what the conference needed. Good facilities. A new football stadium. A basketball program that had just reached the NCAA final. Growing Olympic sports. Much-improved academics, with standards high enough to turn away tens of thousands of applicants per year.
But the Pac-12’s once-mighty dreadnought, horribly captained, the geniuses who denied access to Texas and Oklahoma, went down in its own sea of incompetence and arrogance. Colorado, the two Arizonas and Utah bolted for the Big 12, Then the Big Ten welcomed Oregon and Washington into its wealthy house, leaving Stanford, Cal, Washington State and Oregon State behind. The Pac-4.
So talk began that, orchestrated by SDSU, the remains of the Pac-12 might merge with a select group from the Mountain West, which wouldn’t make State Power 5 TV money, but certainly in a better place than it’s been in. But Aztecs brass denies involvement.
That the academic snobs of the Pac-12, which included the nation’s second (L.A.), 10th (the Bay Area), 11th (Phoenix), 12th (Seattle-Tacoma), 22nd (Portland), 29th (Salt Lake City) largest markets, couldn’t negotiate a major TV deal, earns them doctorates in ineptitude. Turned down $30 million per team in 2022.
This is a disgrace, an extreme, unexplainable botch. It was the greatest conference in the history of conferences.
So now Florida State wants more money or out of the ACC. If that happens, Miami also will go (both probably to the SEC). The ACC was said to be wooing Stanford and Cal, which would be the mother of long distance relationships. But those two international academic locomotives are said to be souring on the idea.
Football, played once a week, can — and does — handle that travel. Not Olympic sports. Too difficult. Too expensive. I can’t see how it’s going to work. USC and UCLA’s minor sports teams will travel to Rutgers (which is in New Jersey) and vice versa?
What we have here is an ungodly mess.
I’m not going to say it’s tragic. Hell, it’s fiscal, not physical.
If it is a war, this one is cold, and for now the Aztecs are left out in it.
Nothing remains for them but to hope for the thaw that could be provided by the Big 12. …
How do the Padres always seem to gain ground when they lose? …
This is a baseball team that has to grow some figs and man up. The Dodgers foot-wiped them (as did Seattle). I’m not a retaliation guy, but if pitchers throw at you, at players making hundreds of millions, you fight back. If the L.A. Hypocrites steal signs, so what? Steal back. It’s been going on for 150 years. …
Baseball is not a game played clean. …
Look at it this way, Padres fans. As much as it seizes my intestines, our Petco kids are not as good as the Dodgers — during the regular season. That’s a sunny side. But it’s particularly annoying that the locals make the enemies better than they really are. …
The Dodgers are not even close to being great with this Ding Dong School pitching staff. Doesn’t matter to the locals. …
It could be worse. The Padres could be the Diamondbacks, but at least Arizona has an excuse for stinking it out. It’s Arizona. …
Guinness honors Manny Machado after he sets a record for saying: “We’ve got to play better.” …
The Cowboys are looking for a kicker. Are there no high schools in Dallas? …
Johnny “Football” Manziel admits he never looked at a minute of tape while with the Browns. His career worked out similarly to his mentor, Ryan Leaf. …
Etched Into My Eyeballs Dept.: I was standing in the NFL Team That Used to Be Here’s lobby following a practice I didn’t attend, and Leaf was walking out with golf clubs. His backup QB, Moses Moreno, walked in right after him, carrying a playbook featuring plays that didn’t work. …
Reggie Miller gets the “now” from “then.” Asked by Dan Patrick if he’d take Larry Bird or LeBron James, in their prime, under today’s NBA rules — which don’t exist — he said, “Larry Joe.” I can’t disagree. Although LeBron would have no problem fitting into any era. …
Anthony Davis signs a three-year, $186 million-deal with the Lakers, which means $750,000 per missed game. …
In the race involving stupid sports rules difficult for prosecution, blocking the plate is leaning at the tape, along with a few football beauties — the catch rule and pass interference. …
I don’t like roundabouts, but I guess they’re better than total morons running stop signs. …
The Phillies’ Michael Lorenzen was allowed to throw 124 pitches in his no-no vs. the Nationals, prompting thousands of nerds to call 911. Meanwhile, Cooperstown has outbid the Smithsonian for Michael’s arm. …
Memo to Ribbon Cutter Mayor and his Ham & Eggers: Passed a string of five potholes on Morena Boulevard that could be seen from outer space. Each had a sign: Superior, Michigan, Huron, Ontario, and Erie. …
I’m sure even millennials can remember that, when criminals committed a crime, they paid. We approach an era when police, lawyers, judges and wardens will have no one to arrest, defend, try and control. …
Gary Cooper and Picasso paid for everything they could by check, knowing the paper wouldn’t be cashed but kept for their signatures. Fredo Spanos tries, but Stan Kroenke cashes his $1 rent payments. …
There’s no rule stating a tie goes to the runner — unless it’s for a forgetful politician late for lunch. …
A report claims Phil gambled $1 billion. If Mickelson did, he can afford it, and I can’t afford to care — anymore than I do about Jimmy cracking corn.
Did You Know? The Earl of Sandwich not only changed his name from Sangwich, but also preferred quesadillas.

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