Saturday, October 29, 2011

Geography Mash

One of my favorite subjects in school was geography. By the time I was in 5th grade, I had memorized all 50 US state capitols plus Canadian provinces and most major cities of the modern world. I still have a great affinity for maps -- I have oodles of them and it's not uncommon to find me hunched over one studying the contours of the land or any number of hundreds of other geographic variables.

It's a good thing I went to school in the days of yore because the US map is being redrawn today by an odd group of people: major college athletic directors!

Don't believe me? Well, why don't you take this little geography quiz I've made.

In general terms, describe where the following US cities are located.
(Example: New York City - Northeast)

Boise, ID
Boulder, CO
College Station, TX
Colorado Springs, CO
Columbia, MO
Ft. Worth, TX
Morgantown, WV
Syracuse, NY

Okay, let's see how you did.

Boise, ID -- Eastern US
The Big East Conference has invited Boise State to join. If the Broncos accept, they will play in a conference where almost every other team is in the Eastern Time Zone.

Boulder, CO -- West Coast
This year the University of Colorado began play in the Pacific-12 Conference, a league in which most of the teams are from California, Oregon and Washington (states that border the Pacific Ocean).

College Station, TX -- Southeast US
Texas A & M is currently a member of the Big-12 Conference with other schools in the Midwest, but has been accepted as a new member to the Southeast Conference.

Columbia, MO -- Southeast US
Like Texas A & M, it is expected that the University of Missouri (my parents Alma Mater) will leave the Big-12 to join the Southeast Conference.

Ft. Worth, TX -- Eastern US, Intermountain West or Midwest
Texas Christian University (TCU) used to be a member of the Southwest Conference. When that conference dissolved, they joined the Mountain West Conference. Last year they announced they would move to the Big East Conference, but they changed their mind and decided instead to join the Big-12 (Midwest). In the last three years or so, TCU has landed all over the map!

Morgantown, WV -- Midwest
A long time member of the Big East Conference, West Virginia University accepted an invitation this week to join the Big-12.

Syracuse, NY -- Atlantic Coast
Syracuse University, a long time Big East Conference member, will join the Atlantic Coast Conference in a year or two.

Of course, where college teams choose to call home conference-wise doesn't genuinely change their coordinates on a map, but if college athletic directors wrote elementary school geography texts, American students wouldn't know whether they were coming or going!!

This situation offers yet another example of how greed can poison anything.

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