Labor Day 2011 has been one for the books. Check out these links as you're coming down from the holiday high.
*I'm working on a more in-depth piece expressing my feelings about realignment as a fan. In the meantime, here's what everyone else – and I mean everyone – has to say, along with a quick reaction from moi:
- Mark Cuban says breaking up the Big 12 is a big mistake – If you've seen Shark Tank or The Benefactor, you know you that ignore Cubes' advice at your own peril. Not to mention what he pulled off with Avion tequila.
- Dan Wolken of The Daily offers up some suggestions on saving the Big 12 centered around adding elite mid-majors in both football and basketball – Very good idea. Not sure if this could match the money a Texas or an Oklahoma could get from the Pac-12, though. Also, it doesn't address the challenges presented by the Longhorn Network and general distrust it has created among existing league members.
- Orangebloods.com's Chip Brown is floating Texas to the ACC, reporting that the chances of UT following Oklahoma to the Pac-12 dropping significantly – As homie Mark Ennis of Big East Coast Bias notes, Brown has left quite a few floaters lately. Also, just because ESPN is on board with the move, are we to assume the rest of the ACC would be on board with Texas' media rights agreement with ESPN and the Longhorn Network? You're foolish to rule anything out in realignment, but there seem to be some significant unresolved issues with scenario.
- Speaking of TexPN, Kristi Dosh writes that the Longhorn Network contract leaves plenty of room for it to be folded into the Pac-12 regional network structure – We've seen throughout this process that these contracts are worth less than the paper they're written on when people set their minds to breaking them, and Dosh's reading of the deal definitely supports prevailing sentiment that the LHN won't be an impediment to UT hopping to the Pac-12.
- Ray Ratto of CBSSports.com seems a little skeptical of the adoration being showered upon Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott, instead pointing to Texas overplaying its hand as being the primary reason the league may nab the Longhorns – Fair enough, but let's not overlook that Scott's vision and tenacity have turned his conference into a far more desirable landing spot.
*Finally watched The Town last night. Strong follow-up from Ben Affleck the director to the criminally underrated Gone Baby Gone. As a filmmaker, Affleck displays an astute ability to capture the conflicting drives and emotions of the human condition far better than anything he has done as an actor. As far as the Boston working class goes, Affleck depicts a deep sense of loyalty and clansmanship in a way that comes off as strikingly authentic and not at all hokey.
*Don't get your hopes up about Travis Lewis playing against Florida State next week, let alone being effective.