With the Gators-Buckeyes back-to-back championship finale's it seems many are ushering in the new era of big-time college athletics. Pat Forde sure is. An era in which the Superprogram finally becomes a reality. Gone are the days of schools who consider themselves either a basketball or a football school. Or are they? I would say those days are far from gone. Despite the Gators and Buckeyes recent two-way success it's unlikely to continue, or at least become the norm. The belief that a Superprogram can never truly exist is the main reason many think Billy Donovan is heading for Kentucky. Most coaches ego's are far to large for them to play second fiddle to another sport.
If being a Superprogram means duplicating what Florida and Ohio State have done this past year than its an emphatic no from where I'm sitting. If it's being consistently competitive in both sports then I think this era has been upon us for years. Florida's been competitive in football forever and for at least the last nine years or so have done the same on the hardwood. Texas has been solid in both sports for years but has never been called a Superprogram as far as I can remember. Despite the football team's National Championship last season to go along with the basketball team reaching the Elite Eight.
If the Superprogram is indeed a reality I'd imagine those one-way schools are in some trouble moving forward. If teams can consistently reach championship games in both sports in the same academic year, the Duke's of the world could have some difficulty recruiting. Wouldn't you think? If I were being recruited by two schools; one a Superprogram and the other a one-way program. Why in the world would I go to the one-way school? Wouldn't I rather go to an Ohio State just because of the possibility of being there when they pulled a Florida? I think I'd find it soothing to know that the football team was there to relieve some of the pressure if we don't get it done on the court. Or vice versa. Yet if I'm playing at Duke it's all us, all the time. If we fail the student body is disappointed until the next season tips. Because the football team surely won't do anything but disappoint. What if I'm at Auburn and we're once again spurned by the BCS. As basketball season rolls on everyone will still be talking about it. Why? Because the basketball team hasn't seen the NCAA Tournament but once since the War started.
I'll admit my theories are a bit flawed here, but I think the overall idea I'm going for works.
If you were playing football and were torn on whether to attend Auburn or Ohio State (regardless of where you live) wouldn't you head for Columbus?
NOTE: I hadn't seen Forde's article until Marco over at JCMJ mentioned it. Thanks to him for pointing me in that direction as it's a good read. And I probably would have missed it in the after game jumble.
Buckeyes and Gators lead the Megaprogram parade (ESPN)