As usual, money tends to corrupt everything. The thing that always confused me, was how much change that the media and certain segments of fans wanted from what was clearly a popular sport. Normally such radical change is reserved for failing enterprises. In the 70's, you could only be on TV once, maybe twice a year. Wait you mean we can make more money if certain teams are on more, no problem. In the 80's we had an explosion of TV and bowls. But bowls sucked, they left us without a true national champion. We need a way to pit one versus two. Good bye Rose Bowl, we now need to focus on the BCS and getting to the only game that mattered. Now success could only be defined by one measuring stick. But the money was now flowing and there was no going back. Pandora was out of the box and the tail in some cases was waging the dog.
College football teams are an extension of the university and part of the fabric and culture of the whole college experience. It should NOT simply be an entity established simply to serve as a minor league system for the NFL.
I think that this decision is going to bring an end to the game I grew up loving. The BIG Is now aligned with five conferences, three of which has a very different set of priorities that we do. The PAC and the BIG will find themselves on the losing end of many of the decisions to come. Schools in the SEC and points south see the college athlete through a very narrow focus. For the BIG and the PAC to keep up, my fear is that money will need to be syphoned from the Olympic non revenue sports and this hurts the opportunity form many kids to get the help they might need to afford college.
I remember listening to a sports radio program one day in Cleveland and the topic was money in sports. The caller made a comment along the lines of when he was a kid, the Indians and Browns players lived in his neighborhood and were a part of the community, now they live in gated communities and only come to town for practice or games. When I went to OSU, the football and basketball players went to class with us, went to the bars with us and in some cases were our friends. What does the future hold. Will they even still be part of the university, or simply mercenaries for hire. Pay for play visitors who simply show up for practice and games and they bolt for the NFL as soon as able.