Talking of NCAA changes and a possible split of Division I is currently all the rage. Jim Delany and other power-conference commissioners have recently weighed in on the topic, and even NCAA president Mark Emmert agrees changes are on the horizon. But with all the talk of big programs forming their own division, what do the mid-majors think?
Southern Miss head coach Todd Monken says those programs can break away if they want, per Dieter Kurtenbach of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, but he has a blunt piece of advice: Don't come looking for paycheck games against so-called second-tier programs.
"I would propose to [the power conferences] this: If you want to split off, let's just do it that way, but you play each other, and you don't get to play us then," Monken said.
"Go ahead. See how you like that. See how you like the NFL rule and play each other every week. Coaches will be like 'Whoa, hold on, wait a second now.'"
Obviously, Monken has a problem with big-time schools having their cake and eating it, too. If schools like Southern Miss are relegated to a separate division and left without access to revenue generated by schools like Alabama, Ohio State and Texas, the Golden Eagles' head coach thinks his fellow non-BCS schools shouldn't oblige the big boys when they want to schedule "paycheck games" to break up tough conference slates. Playing 12 games a year against top-quality competition may have administrators from the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC changing their tune.
"Go ahead and do your deal - you guys split all the pie - but don't go playing anyone else. You just play each other every week. Just have a nice NFL crossover where you play each other. Then when you fire up a nice 7-5, and you're at a pretty good place and they fire you, they won't be real excited about it, because you won't have those games that they've been able to win. Plain and simple.
"Some of those teams that get bowl eligible when they go 2-6 in their league and they go 6-6. Well, you'll be 2-10, or 3-9, and it won't feel so damn salty."
Gee, tell us how you really feel there, coach.
Southern Miss is set to play two games against BCS opponents in 2013 (at Nebraska and Arkansas), plus a third game at Boise State, a school aspiring to move up to a power conference. In the next few years, the Golden Eagles will compete against a few more big schools. Southern Miss plays a home-and-home against Mississippi State in 2014 and '15, at Nebraska in 2015, at LSU in 2016 and at Tennessee in 2017.