Wednesday, August 31, 2011

August 31, 2011
With the finally official Texas A&M move today, is the Big 12 finally going to crumble from within?

The speculation is already beginning that the Big 12 is one member away, now, from crumbling. Some believe that Oklahoma, which, by the very nature of it's relationship with Oklahoma State would almost assuredly include them in any proposed move, is about to jump ship and seek admission to the Pac-12.

This would allow Texas to save some face and not be the "team that destroyed the Big 12." At this point, that is all Texas has in this fight, a chance to save face. After all, it was their greed that nearly destroyed the conference a year ago; and it is their greed that has ultimately destroyed the conference forever. Texas, you see, has been humbled. A year ago, Texas fancied itself the new Notre Dame. A team with enough tradition, fan-base and fervor to go out on their own; but they still liked the benefits of being in what amounted to a cupcake walk towards a National Championship Game.

Unfortunately, along their path to surefire riches beyond belief, Texas found out that, outside of Texas, there was not a real demand for their new Longhorn Network. A year ago, the musical chairs that Texas played with conference politics was never really about leaving the Big 12. It was always about getting their own network and ensuring that the revenue was not distributed equally. In the ever changing landscape of college football, the best method of ensuring your place at the top is to have more money than the "other guy." Texas had successfully held the rest of the Big 12 hostage. Save for the departure of Nebraska, the Big 12, and Texas, had little concern over losing Colorado. Their hubris in believing that they could control the conference to their favor is likely the downfall of the conference.

Now, just a little over a year after the college football foundation was almost swarmed under by a tidal wave of realignment, it appears that the "Super Conferences" may come sooner than expected. And, when the dominoes start to fall, expect some major changes. College football conferences as we know them will be a thing of the past. There is a very real likelihood that the Pac-12 will be the Pac-16 by next year. And, if that happens, if the Pac-12 is a simple "one and done" conference before expanding again, expect the rest of the college football landscape to be drastically altered.

Good or bad, this change is going to happen. Probably just sooner than we thought. Hang on, folks, this may get a bit bumpy.


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