Sorry about the long #5. It just sort of flowed while I was writing.
1. The NBA Playoffs. The Eastern Conference is a dogfight right now. The Celtics-76ers are tied at 2 games a piece. The Heat are down to the Indiana Pacers 2-1. In Miami, you have the Bosh injury, the Wade-Spoelstra argument during game 3, and more criticism of LeBrick. In the West, the Lakers-Thunder series is overflowing with bad blood. 42 Free Throws in a game? Maybe the conspiracy theorists are correct about the Lakers and the NBA office. And the Spurs continue to roll along, showing that the Clippers aren't ready yet.
2. The NHL Playoffs. The Devils-Rangers series looks to be going long. That isn't good for the Rangers who went to Game 7 in the 1st two rounds. It looks like the Kings will be making the Stanley Cup Finals. I did get a laugh about Dave Tippett's "embellishment" quote. While stating the truth about the Kings and their flopping like a fish out of water, he has no room to talk because of his goalie, Mike Smith. I wish I could flop like he does. That is truly an art form when Smith flops around like he gets shot with a .44 Magnum.
3. The NFL and it's concussion problem. I read Pro Football Talk when I am paroozing football news. The owner of the site, Mike Florio, has said as late as a month ago that able bodied men haven't said no to the NFL because of the possibility of concussions and their consequences later in life. Well, over the past month 1 veteran and 2 rookies have quit because of those consequences. And ad Mr. Florio has stated, this is starting to become a major problem for the NFL. It isn't because they can't find bodies to replace those three people, but it furthers the argument that football is a dangerous sport and more changes need to be made to prevent this concussion "epidemic" from getting out of hand. It also opens up the NFL to these lawsuits that over 1700 former players have filed against the NFL and allows the NFL to be just that much closer to being found negligent on players injuries.
4. NASCAR and the organizing body. I do watch NASCAR, not as much as I used to, but still I watch it some. And the BS penalties on Kurt Busch for "buzzing" the crew of Ryan Newman is one that causes me just to blow off watching the races. Listen, I am all for crew safety, but when 1 member of the crew is upset about what he believes endangers his safety and then NASCAR fines the driver of a car when none of the other crew members had a problem with it, then NASCAR is going too far. It the member of the 39 crew is worried about cars coming too close to him, then allow cars on pit road to leave before doing maintenance on the pit stall. If that is not acceptable, then find another line of work. But NASCAR had no right to penalize Kurt Busch for that leaving of his pit stall.
5. College Football and Realignment. Yes this thing keeps on showing up and it hasn't stopped even though I haven't talked about it for a while. The latest is that Florida state has been approached by members of the Big XII about joining the conference. And while I would have dismissed this right away, there is another story that might bring validity to that. The story is that the Big XII and the SEC have agreed to have their conference champions play each other in a Bowl game if neither of them are in the BCS.
Why does that have implications with Florida State? Because of the proposed Plus 1 playoff format that the BCS looks like it will go towards. Right now there are 6 automatic qualifiers in the BCS. PAC-12, SEC, Big XII Big Ten, ACC, and Big East. If the BCS goes to a Plus 1 system, then the major money is being one of those 4 teams picked to be in the mini playoff. And let's face it, the Big East isn't going to be looked upon favorably with that system. They have lost power teams like Pittsburgh and West Virginia. The only power team that they have signed up is Boise State and they don't come into conference until 2013. And that is possibly a mistake because I expect for Boise to never enter into the Big East, sort of like TCU. They will get snatched up by another conference which will make more sense for Boise to belong to.
So now you have 5 major power conferences left. If you are the BCS, let's look at where each of these conferences have their power bases. For the PAC-12, it is the Area of the Rocky Mountains and west. That entails around 13 states including Hawaii and Alaska. You have Denver, Seattle, Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Diego, San Francisco and other metropolitan areas out there that are all interested in the PAC-12. Why would you alienate those fans by dismissing the PAC-12 in the BCS? You don't, so the PAC-12 is a major member of the BCS. The Big Ten? In addition of the cities like Minneapolis, Indianapolis, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Detroit, and Chicago, you have the storied teams. The Michigan Wolverines, The Ohio State Buckeyes, the Nebraska Cornhuskers, The Penn State Nittany Lions. You can't have them upset and deciding to upset the apple cart, so they get a seat at the Big Table. Let's take the SEC. How do you exclude them from the Big Table? The past 6 or 7 National Champions have come from that conference. They are the best football conference in the country. Nuff said.
That leaves the ACC and Big XII to fight for that last power conference which will be looked upon favorable by the BCS. And there are advantages and disadvantages to each conference. The two things that swings it to the Big XII: Texas and Oklahoma. These are programs that are respected and given the benefit of the doubt in everything that they do. The closest that the ACC has to them is Florida State and Miami. Also, the football crazed states of Oklahoma and Texas trump anything that the ACC can put forth. Florida has in it lots of SEC fans. Can you tell me with a straight face that either North or South Carolina can match the intensity of fan that Texas or Oklahoma has? Maryland and Massachusetts? Please. And with the signing of a bowl game between the champions of the SEC and Big XII, the opinion is that the Big XII is the superior conference to the ACC. Now if you are the BCS, you can say that right now you can have a Plus 1 system right now with the bowls in place. The Rose Bowl that has the Big Ten and PAC-12 champion and the Bowl of the SEC-Big XII champion. The BCS can say that it isn't ideal but if you have the champions of the best 4 conferences playing each other that the ideal of having the best teams playing for a national championship is being fulfilled. And that leaves out the ACC and Big East, which in turn has Florida State looking at the Big XII as a way of obtaining more money for it's institution.
The point is that the BCS is going to force a two tier system for major college football. And every conference and institution realizes this and is trying to position themselves to reap the benefits. Yes, there might be a magical run by a team like Utah when it was in the Mountain West, but they won't break the glass ceiling that is being built by the Big 4 conferences. they will have to be happy being the ACC champion in a Big Bowl, just not the Bowls that count for the Jackpot money.