Football: Laval beats the realignment drum

Is this Canadian university "superleague" simply a utopia or a grand idea from some football minds? "No, it's not a utopia,"responds Jacques Tanguay, president of the Rouge et Or. "We must take the time to make our move. This will happen one day. We are moving towards a 'superleague' because the explosion of football gives us no other choice. The elites must play with the elites. It will take years before this takes shape." -- From Le Soleil (translated from French)

Mr. Mirtle wrote about the push for a national schedule in The Globe & Mail last week. There were also some jumbled thoughts posted here in August about carving a "Big East" out of the Atlantic, Ontario and Quebec conferences for the schools who want to spend-spend-spend on football and run their programs more like that of a NCAA school.

(Digression: The rationale for only doing it with eastern schools was based on eco-concerns. Speaking as someone who knows that using mass transit, not using paper towels or tissue paper and not having an air conditioner falls short of doing one's part to go green, it would be a little hypocritical to support increased use of jet fuel for something as frivolous as a football game.)

The dot-orgers also have also started a thread. This is hardly a new topic, but we should keep pumping air into it until the powers-that-be decide to ditch the status quo that leaves us with games like Ottawa's 71-3 blowout of York last Saturday.

Blowouts are a fact of life in the NCAA, especially since some schools will pay a lower-division opponent to come be a punching bag. Like the old car-rental ad says, when you're No. 2, you have to try harder, especially when there's only 12 or 13 games every week and it's harder for the lopsided scores to get lost in the shuffle.

The ideal scenario is to have a Big East and have a conference for schools which believe football has value, but no more so than other varsity teams. It would be awesome to see more people get to play football beyond their high school years.

Maturing universities in Ontario such as Carleton, Brock, Laurentian, Ryerson or even UOIT a few years down the road might be more encouraged to form a football program if they knew they weren't going to get trampled for their first few seasons.

Of course, a lot has to happen on a macroeconomic level before you'll see Ontario universities laying out the funds to start a football team -- although it's amazing that no one has tried to implement the Laval/Regina/Sherbrooke/Lakehead hockey model.

(Big thanks go out to Bishop's sports information director John Edwards for the translation.)

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