Maryland's departure for the Big 10's rustier pastures has rekindled conference realignment's burning hot mess. Maryland's departure could threaten the future of the ACC, giving new life to speculation about Florida State's possible defection to the Big 12. The following is a transcription of a conversation that probably didn't happen, but like I said, this is all speculation anyway.
Mack Brown looks down at his desk as 50 Cent's voice rises up from his cell phone. Mack makes a mental note to ask Vince how to update that thing. "Jimbo Fisher" appears on the caller ID.
Mack: Hello, Jimbo. How are you?
Jimbo: Mack Brown! Big Mack! Finest running back we've ever had at Florida State. What are you up to, you handsome dog, you?
Mack: Well that's very nice of you to say, Jimbo. I've been reading TCU's statistics aloud to gameplan for next week. You?
Jimbo: Oh, you're gonna crush 'em, Mack. I'm gonna watch. Gonna enjoy a turkey leg and malt beer while you guys whoop 'em. Gonna be like watching Frogger get splattered by a semi. Hey, I'm glad I caught you when you had a minute. You've got a minute, right? What am I saying? Course you don't. Damned Longhorn Network, right? You've got my sympathies there. Aint easy being the King... or Prince, right, Machiavelli?
Mack's shoulders dipped slightly.
Jimbo: Anyway Mack, I'll be brief. Maybe you heard - we're going to be having another realignment spell coming up. Maryland and Rutgers are off to the Big 10, and now all the conferences are getting shuffled again because people can't leave well enough alone. Anyway, I'm calling to ask for your help. You see, well you probably already saw - Iowa State is also changing conferences. They're headed to the ACC.
Mack had not seen.
Mack: They are? I'm shocked by that. They are part of the Big 12 family. Paul Rhoads is angry sometimes, but he is a good man. Iowa State is very competitive in this league. Steele Jantz is a Heisman contender. They have swagger.
Just before replying, Jimbo made a noise that sounded a lot like he was holding in a tremendous fart while also lifting a sleeper sofa. He seemed to recover quickly.
Jimbo: Don't understand it myself, Mack, but these days things seem more complicated than they used to. Anywho, since y'all had such success against Iowa State this year, I wonder if you might be open to helping out a friend.
Jimbo and Mack were friends. Mack liked to hear Jimbo say it.
Mack: Sure, friend. What exactly do you have in mind? Hey, by the way, how's your wife, Candi? And the dogs? Tara and Rochambeau, right?
Jimbo: Jesus, how did you know my dogs' names? Tha...
Mack: Oh, I remember all the names. And the faces too. I never got the chance to ask him, but I'm certain Vince Young committed to Texas because I recognized the Young family hamster, Hennessy, from a previous engagement. Sometimes people change their names or get plastic surgery and change their faces. That scares the hell out of you because you can't prepare for it, but then again, it's their name or face. If people want to change their name or face, you just gotta let 'em.
Jimbo: Yeah... I guess... I guess that's... fair.
Jimbo was a good friend.
Jimbo: Mack, I think we've strayed off topic here. And I know how busy you must be.
Mack liked how he kept saying that.
Jimbo: What I wanted to ask you is if we could cooperate some as friends. Mack, we'd like to prepare for our new rivalry with Iowa State by using your playbook. And your signals too. Texas has been so successful against Iowa State. And now they're DEFINITELY moving to the ACC from the Big 12, and we're DEFINITELY staying in the ACC. And since we won't ever play each other, but your plays and signals work so well against Iowa State.... well, you see, we'd just like to share 'em and win a few games too. Whaddya say?
Mack: I don't know, Jimbo. Bryan has been pretty clear about not sharing the playbook and especially not sharing the signals. He says there are things there that we haven't put on film yet. I'm not sure how Manny would feel. Manny said plays are for simpletons and that the best defense is like jazz.
Jimbo: Jazz, eh? Well that sounds like a yes to me. And Bryan probably only meant that the playbook and signals shouldn't be given to people in the Big 12, anyway. We're not scheduled to ever play each other.
Mack wanted to give Jimbo what he was asking for. Mack liked how Jimbo had asked him for help. He also liked how Jimbo helped him understand Bryan. Bryan was always using new words. Mack liked how Jimbo was using the old words. Jimbo was a good friend.
Mack: Ok. I'll fax it all over.
Jimbo: Great. I'll send you the number.
Mack: No need. I saw it once on a business card out of the corner of my eye, and I've always remembered it.
Mack heard something that sounded like Jimbo whispering to someone else. Mack made a mental note to ask AT&T about that. After a moment, Jimbo sounded normal again.
Jimbo: Yeah, but this one is my home fax machine. I'm giving it to you because we're friends.
Jimbo was a good friend.