Mike Bianchi Has Lost His Ever Lovin’ Mind

I make it a point, usually, not to criticize a fellow writer. Our kind get enough criticism from elsewhere, and we can be a surprisingly tight bunch.

But Mike Bianchi, a columnist for the Orlando Sentinel, has written a column in which he endorses eliminating Mississippi State and Ole Miss from the SEC. The basis for his reasoning: More money for the remaining 10 schools, like what’s happening with the smaller Big 12 Conference.

Now, I understand college football has become about little more than money – witness the expansion madness of late. Texas didn’t leave the Big 12 for the Pac-Whatever, but only because of money. Any other explanation is hogwash.

But to simply say adios to the Rebels and Bulldogs for just a few extra bucks would be the height of stupidity, arrogance and greed. I don’t see how any person with a shred of principle could even endorse such a move, much less be a driving force behind it.

It would defy logic, too. You have to have at least 12 teams in your conference to have a league title game. And with both schools being charter members of the SEC, they can’t just be kicked out. Colorado and Nebraska left the Big 12 of their own accord.

I know Bianchi is just scrambling for column ideas this time of year – a lot of us are – but I’ve lost a lot of the respect I had for him. I consider myself an unbiased journalist, but being a native Mississippian, I’m kind of partial to the universities in this state. Both my parents are Ole Miss graduates, my father also holds a degree from MSU, I’m an Ole Miss grad, and of course I thoroughly enjoy covering State.

So I kind of find it hard not to take that column as insulting and arrogant.

OK, rant over. Carry on. (Oh, and you can reach Bianchi by e-mail at mbianchi@orlandosentinel.com.)