10. Conference Calls
For the past few years, there was a hypothetical theory brewing that always started with “If Team A decides to go here, and Team B takes Team A’s place, then Team C can move here and then Teams D-ZZZZZ will subsequently realign.” It was the basic NCAA FBS conference realignment domino theory and the possibility never really seemed strong. However, 2010 saw the theory put to work, although not nearly as severely as many pundits had predicted.
First, Colorado decided to play in the Pac-10, and then Nebraska moved to the Big 10, then Utah jumped to the Pac-10, too, and TCU moved to the Big East, and DeVry and ITT accepted their invites to Conference USA. Meanwhile, the University of Phoenix Fightin’ Pajama Girls refused to move up to the FBS because of financial complications, while Hogwarts will remain independent because of its quidditch contract with NBC. I think that’s how it all worked out.
While hardly over (rumors are growing that CUSA and Mountain West may join to form a super conference with the power of dominating weeknight games), the changes have made it clear that the almighty dollar rules the land that is college athletics. The conference realignment also led the Big 10 to change its image as officials revealed a new logo and new division names, Legends and Leaders, much to the head-scratching of everyone. In related news, Sun Belt officials renamed their divisions “Cupcakes” and “Homecoming.”
9. The Downfall of Donovan
Andy Reid and the Philadelphia Eagles had a choice to make – cut ties with Donovan McNabb for the sake of the future or trade Kevin Kolb out of respect for the past. The team’s front office ultimately decided to trade McNabb, the franchise’s QB of the past 11 seasons, but it was the destination that sparked the most controversy – the Washington Redskins. Normally most teams aren’t too inclined to trade their franchise star to a hated rival. But Reid rolled the dice and he sure looked good for it.
McNabb’s first season in Washington could very well be his only. New Redskins coach Mike Shanahan benched McNabb in favor of Rex Grossman for Week 15’s loss to the Cowboys and he basically referred to the game as a test to see if the team is better off moving forward without McNabb. There’s also a little matter of a 5-year extension that McNabb signed with the Skins, but it’s essentially worthless. Washington can release McNabb at any time and pay very little for doing so.
Meanwhile, the Eagles are soaring into the playoffs *punches self in crotch for cookie cutter pun* and McNabb continues to be a punchline for jokes like, “Did you hear the one about the Miami Dolphins overpaying a washed up QB?”