I’m 63 years old and times a wasting.
While I love sports of all shapes and sizes, Major League Baseball and college athletics certainly have been at the top of my list.
One of my goals is to see every Major League Baseball team play in person at least once, and all of the colleges in the Power 5 Conferences play at least one sport of some type.
So far at this point there is only one National League baseball team that I have yet to see play and that’s the Milwaukee Brewers. American League teams still on my list to be crossed off are Tampa Bay, Toronto, Baltimore, Chicago White Sox, Minnesota Twins, Houston Astros, and Seattle Mariners.
Of course I’ve seen all of the SEC teams play at least one sport over the course of my 45 years in the sports writing business (including new additions Texas and Oklahoma), but I have at least one school missing from each of the other Power 5 Conferences.
While I’ve seen Clemson, Louisville, North Carolina State, Syracuse, Florida State, Virginia Tech, North Carolina, Duke, Pittsburgh, Miami, and Georgia Tech, three I still have to knock off my list are Virginia, Wake Forest, and Boston College.
The newly about to be expanded Big XII has only two teams that I haven’s seen play — Iowa State University and Texas Tech. I’ve been fortunate to cover Baylor, Kansas State University, Texas Christian, Cincinnati, Central Florida, and Brigham Young play football, while catching Kansas and Houston playing hoops and West Virginia and Oklahoma State play baseball.
I’ve already knocked Purdue, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Indiana, Rutgers, Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State, Maryland, and Michigan State off my Big 10 list. While mostly considered a football and men’s basketball conference, I’ve seen Purdue, Rutgers, Michigan, and Ohio State play baseball, and Michigan State compete in women’s basketball.
The three schools I’ve yet to see compete are Iowa, Illinois, and Northwestern.
A lot of the schools I’ve seen play out of the Pac-12 Conference come courtesy of the Women’s College World Series, including Oregon, Washington, UCLA, Arizona State and Arizona.
I got a chance to see Utah take on the University of Southern Mississippi in the Liberty Bowl and Stanford play baseball in the College World Series.
The schools I’ve yet to see compete are Oregon State, California, Washington State, USC, and Colorado.
While we are here, let’s take a quick look at Group of Five conferences, which consist of the American Athletic Conference, Conference-USA, Mid-American Conference, Mountain West Conference, and Sun Belt Conference.
The three teams missing out of the American Athletic Conference are Temple, Navy, and SMU. Quite honestly one of the major Items on my sports bucket list is to see the Naval Academy play a home football game in Annapolis, Maryland. It would be an overwhelming experience.
The only two of the 14 C-USA teams I haven’t seen compete are the Owls of Rice University and the Panthers of Florida International University.
The only two Mid-American teams I have taken in are Bowling Green and Northern Illinois. I have yet to see Ball State, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Toledo, Western Michigan, Ohio, Miami (Ohio), Kent State, Buffalo, and Akron play, but I did manage to visit the Ball State campus this Summer.
I’ve seen Air Force, New Mexico, and Hawaii play out of the Mountain West, while Fresno State, Nevada, UNLV, San Diego State, San Jose State, Boise State, Utah State, and Wyoming remain on the list.
Sun Belt Conference teams that remain are Appalachia State, Coastal Carolina, Georgia Southern, and Texas State, with Arkansas State, Louisiana-Lafayette, Louisiana-Monroe, South Alabama, Georgia State and Troy already being taken of.
Will I get a chance to see them all? Who knows, but it will be fun trying
Austin Bishop, AKA The Old Sports Dude, has been covering high school, college, amateur and professional sports since 1975. He is currently pastor of Great Commission Assembly of God in Philadelphia, Miss. He may be contacted by email at email@example.com.