Subscriber questions #1: Is Dallas on the Atlantic Coast?
And was I wrong about Ramaswamentum?
Hello, and welcome to the first-ever Silver Bulletin subscriber questions thread!
Let’s go over the ground rules:
This is an opportunity for paid subscribers to ask me questions about pretty much anything. Unpaid subscribers, I love ‘ya too, and there’s still plenty of free content. But, this is one of the perks I specifically promised for paid subscribers.
Good topics include: politics and elections, sports (especially the NBA), the media (including how the newsletter business is going), economics, poker/gambling, and maybe a bit of food and travel. There aren’t any bad topics, but I’ll probably disappoint you by not knowing that much about contemporary TV and movies, and I tend not to have well-formulated opinions about foreign policy. But my interests are always evolving and it doesn’t hurt to try.
If I don’t answer your question, that doesn’t mean it was a bad question. Sometimes a question may inspire a full-length post weeks or months down the road.
Questions can be asked in the comments below, or you can email me questions. If you email me a question, please (i) make it clear that you’re asking a question that I can post publicly and (ii) indicate how you’d like to be identified (anonymous is OK).
Here’s what we’re going to try. In each question thread, I’ll answer questions from the previous thread and solicit new questions for the next thread. Q&A threads will be posted somewhere between three weeks and a month apart from one another.
You are more than welcome to post comments that aren’t questions.
If there are questions others have asked that you’re really interested in, favorite them in the comments and I’ll try to give them priority.
I’ll aim to answer on the order of five questions per thread. The first question or two will be in front of the paywall and the rest will be behind the paywall.
Since I haven’t solicited questions publicly yet, I don’t have five of them to answer this time. But I did ask for one question each from our friends Nathan Redd and Nathaniel Bleu just to show you how this works.
Thanks for the question, Nathan. I think my college football realignment takes are not particularly spicy at all. However, I’m going to come in a little hotter here. I get why the ACC is doing this, at least for Cal and Stanford. But I think SMU is the worst conference realignment move since the Big Ten added Rutgers.
Cal and particularly Stanford are relatively desirable assets, schools that are pretty close to fitting the standards even of the Big Ten. They are, obviously, excellent academically, they are very good in the non-football, non-basketball sports, and they’re in a major market, although the Bay Area scores very low on football avidity.
They are also in California — so do they belong in something called the Atlantic Coast Conference? Well, that’s not ideal — and in the long run, I’d hope college football would return to a system where geography plays a larger role. But at least they’re near a coast of some kind and have some cultural commonalities with the ACC schools.
I analogize the situation to something like this: you live in North Carolina, and your brother/sister is a single parent raising twins in California who are about to enter their senior year of high school. Suddenly, your sibling is forced to transfer to some far-flung foreign country like Kuwait for work or military service. The twins really aren’t having it, so you offer to take them in for the year, where you have a nice big home in a good school district and two kids of your own. It’s certainly not ideal, but it’s a nice thing to do and might work well enough as a patchwork solution. You’re all part of the same extended family.
SMU is a more like — I don’t know, like inviting in some random swingers you met on the Internet to live with you. Look, SMU is a decent academic school, and it’s in Dallas. But overall, it ranks pretty low on the attributes that a major conference would want. It also doesn’t have much in the way of rivalries with any current ACC school; at least Cal and Stanford have one another. I don’t think it’s great for the conference’s brand as the ACC had been one of the more geographically and culturally coherent conferences.
To me, this reads as a very defensive move, with the ACC (perhaps seeing what happened to the Pac-12) protecting its downside and making sure it has enough members to survive if it loses schools like Florida State in the next realignment. It probably entrenches a de facto relegation system where the Big Ten and SEC represent the top tier of college football (with ACC schools like FSU, North Carolina, Clemson and Miami likely to eventually join them) and the ACC and the Big 12 as the next tier down.
Nathaniel Bleu: Well, mister. It’s been a month since you predicted that Vivek Ramaswamay would rise in the polls following the first Republican debate. Has he? Or is this one of your bad predictions — it wouldn’t be the first time, Nate!
Although, maybe the fact that he didn’t get a polling bounce in a good sign in a weird way.
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