Mike Tranghese would like you to think that realignment would never happen if Penn State joined the Big East. (Rob Christy-US PRESSWIRE)
Mike Tranghese ranting about how he has all the answers and how he has amazing powers of foresight is right up there in my book with Todd Graham talking about honesty and loyalty - it makes for a great laugh for all Pitt fans.
So when Mark Blaudschun sat down with the former Big East commissioner, you can bet that it will leave you shaking your head and laughing at how ridiculous Tranghese sounds.
Q. In all the years you were involved with the Big East, what was the biggest thing you reacted not doing?
A. Penn State is the only regret I have and I had nothing to do with it. I know if we had gotten Penn State, the whole face of college athletics would have changed. I’m not certain if the Big Ten would have expanded. If the Big Ten hadn’t expanded, I’m not sure if there would have been any other expansion. The thing I don’t know is if you sat there with Syracuse, Boston College and Penn State would they have wanted to turn it eventually into a football league and they may have. But if they did, all they had to do was snap their fingers and there was going to be a football league. The problem was that (Joe) Paterno was a football coach. You can’t be a coach and run the league. That’s really the only regret
Really Mike? That's all you got? Because things like favoring the basketball schools, keeping Virginia Tech and Miami as football only until 2000 because of their poor basketball teams, bringing in schools like DePaul which brings no actual value to the Big East, not forcing Notre Dame to go all in, and allowing Providence to run the show since forever definitely kept things calm in the Big East.
Here's more from Tranghese.
Q. Changing the subject a bit, if you were the Czar of College football what would you do to make things better?
...I’m not naive, but I think a playoff is going to mean the demise of the bowl system. The public doesn’t care about the bowl system, but the people in charge of college football should be very leery of losing the bowl system. It’s going to be if you get in the playoff—great. If you don’t, it’s who cares. If you look at mid-level football programs, which have virtually no chance of getting into a playoff, what do they play for? And if they don’t have something to play for, I worry about the interest in the sport. We have unparalleled interest in college football on a week-to-week basis. People have badgered and criticized (former SEC commissioner) Roy Kramer for the last 10 years; his genius in creating the BCS is one of the great secrets. Now people say its lousy. All the conferences have made a lot of money because of Roy Kramer and the BCS. BCS basically opened up the Rose Bowl.
They are going to have a four-team playoff and that will be great, but the pressure is going to be great to make it bigger. Nothing can convince me it won’t be eight and I think there will be some negative ramifications. I hope I’m wrong, because I love the sport.
The thing I love about college football, those games mean something. I’m not sure if that’s going to hold true.
If Mike Tranghese was the Czar of college football, he would bulldoze every college stadium and have college basketball run year round.
But if the bowl system was gone...so what? In my opinion, the bowl system, as Tranghese says, doesn't matter to the public, which helps fund the people sponsoring the bowls. Why should we reward a team who went 6-6 in the MAC with a postseason appearance? It gives a false sense of achievement to teams who don't deserve it.
He brings up a point of making the playoff. His opinion is how we should view the playoff. If you don't make the playoff, you can bring up all the successes you had that season, but the general opinion is going to be "So what? You didn't make the playoff." Yes, the playoff will definitely be expanded and hopefully be more inclusive in the future. But I don't believe that interest will diminish because of the playoff. The public has been demanding a playoff for years - interest will only go up in 2014.
Q. With all the changes in configuration of conferences, don’t you think it’s sad that teams like Texas doesn’t play Texas A&M and Kansas and Missouri will not play each other any more on a regular basis?
A. I think it’s beyond sad. Even though the Big East wasn’t on Par with the Big Ten and the SEC, it was a viable factor. There was some interest in college football in the Northeast. Where’s the interest now? Syracuse is talking about owning New York City. That’s a joke. The only people who own New York City are people who win. I think there is going to be diminishing interest in the Northeast in college football. I can’t even comprehend what Texas and Texas A&M or Missouri and Kansas not playing. Just like in basketball Syracuse and Georgetown and Syracuse and St. John’s not playing. People say they will schedule each other. No, they won’t schedule each other because people who are making those decisions are coaches and coaches won’t schedule those games. I see Colorado in the Pac-12 and I can’t get my arms around it. I’ve always said if you took a map in 1989 and woke up today, you’d say what in God’s name is happening. You can’t explain it and I’ve lived through it. I’d like to say college football will find its way. I think college football is an incredible sport. I love the sport. I think college basketball has its own challenges. I applaud (Kentucky coach) John Calipari for what he has done. But what’s going on is not good for college basketball. We are basically going to be controlled by "one and done’s". That’s not a good thing.
Of course he ends his answer talking about how bad realignment is for basketball.
Is the loss of rivalries upsetting? Yeah, it sucks that Pitt and West Virginia will not play a conference game anymore. But realignment is how things are now. Schools are looking for more money and more exposure and unfortunately, being in the Big East is not the answer.