College football realignment: What should CU Buffs, CSU Rams do now?

If the move by Texas and Oklahoma to join the SEC has taught us anything about college athletics, it’s this: When the bottom line is the bottom dollar, it’s every school for itself.

So given that edict, what’s the best move for CU and CSU, respectively, if another round of conference realignment is truly upon us? Let’s break down the options:

CU Buffs: What now?

Option 1: Hang tight

Pros: The Pac-12 feels relatively safe (ish) and the Big 12 is a minefield, despite Larry Scott’s damage to the former. If you’d have predicted that in 2019, we’d have laughed you halfway to Stillwater.

Cons: If the Big 12 disintegrates, the landscape becomes a free-for-all. The Pac-12 might feel comfy now, but USC is a football-mad wild card and seeing peer powers such as the Sooners and Longhorns bail might be the last bit of incentive needed for the Men of Troy to ponder life as an independent, Notre Dame West.

Option 2: Talk to the Big 12

Pros: Hey, it never hurts to have a Plan B.

Cons: Manhattan, Kansas. In February.

Option 3: Talk to the Big Ten

Pros: Nebraska. Also, money. Lots of it.

Cons: 10 a.m. kicks. Like every week. The serious network cash is in the East, but CU’s soul, and the Buffs’ alumni and donor base, reside in the Mountain and Pacific time zones. That said, if the Big Ten starts chasing a pod of Pac-12 schools for a merger, best get on that gravy train.

CSU Rams: What now?

Option 1: Call the Big 12

Pros: The Rams have a stadium that’s more than up to snuff. Bonus: It’s a chance for the league to stick a flagpole in the mountains again.

Cons: Texas schools don’t recruit Colorado kids the way Colorado schools recruit Texas kids. The football brand lags well behind AAC stalwarts such as Cincinnati, Memphis and UCF, so Big 12 brass might not call you back.

Option 2: Call the Pac-12

Pros: Remember: The worst thing they can say is, “No.’”

Cons: None. Well, other than the whole “No” part.

Option 3: Call the AAC

Pros: They’re hungry. They’re looking. They’ve reportedly got ESPN’s blessing to push. Why should East Carolina have all the fun?

Cons: If the Big 12 breaks up and the AAC gets the first pick of scraps, you’re going to be closer to the back of the line than the front.

Option 4: Hang tight

Pros: More time to catch up on episodes of “Loki.”

Cons: Conference USA is an awfully lonely place these days.

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