I don't think we have ever had this kind of information overload in a span of 7-10 days. I haven't had the chance to really digest all the information concerning conference expansion. We know the top lines:
- Colorado is now part of the Pac-11 (starting in 2011-12 season) [CRN has already issued his welcome to Colorado].
- Nebraska has gone over to the Big-
1012 (starting in 2011-12 season).
- Baylor seems to be out of the Pac-16 equation (phew!).
- Boise State has joined the Mountain West Conference
- According to Chip Brown of Orangebloods.com (who has been running the point on all these expansion stories), four Big 12 south schools - Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech - will move to the Pac-10
- There is also speculation swirling that Texas A&M is more interested in the SEC (because they might be feeling "uncomfortable with the Pac-10's more liberal culture and feel more comfortable in the deep south"), which could make Kansas a target for the Pac-16.
Guess I am more content to let this play out. I found the perspective (HT SBN) Adam Jacobo from Black Heart Gold Pants (SBN's Iowa blog) very interesting. Adam points out how Texas is positioning itself to be the home wrecker twice in three decades (emphasis added):
What's not going to happen, though, is that Texas stays in the Big XII. Oh, they'll claim to have tried their hardest to keep the conference together, but they could have accomplished that with or without Nebraska and/or Missouri in the fold. Nobody's ever asked Texas and A&M why, precisely, the conference couldn't survive without a Nebraska program that had spent the last few years lamenting the XII's increasingly Texas-centric approach. We can't even intuit a plausible answer why that's the case.
Moreover, it's disingenuous to pretend that Texas' Big Ten fantasies didn't start over 15 years ago, or that they haven't persisted since. After all, it's not as if Delany and OSU president Gordon Gee talked about Texas turning down the Big 10 on the conference's merits; it's that Texas Tech made it a "Tech Problem." If the Pac-10 wants to slather the Red Raiders in cash, it's their prerogative and it probably strengthens their conference in the immediate short term, but still. it's just TTU.
And so either the Pac-10 or the Big 10 happily welcomes into its conference the main actor in the only two I-A conference deaths of the last 50 years. If UT decides it can't be in a conference with a football program on a death sentence, then the Southwest Conference can't exist. If UT decides it can't be in a conference without a Nebraska program that's been complaining for years about the (state of) Texas-centric approach of the conference, then the Big XII can't exist. And if, in a couple decades, UT decides to convince Ohio State/USC that they can't handle conference network revenue sharing when they're in the same conference as Northwestern/Washington State or Purdue/Stanford , then the Big/Pac Tewhatever can't exist either. And just like every time before, we'll all act so, so surprised.
A perspective all of us should keep in mind while looking at this:
Let's use this thread to discussion all conference realignment related news.
UPDATE (N): It looks like Texas A&M might have the votes to join the SEC. Via Chip Brown's twitter:
Texas A&M regents have the votes to join the SEC and could announce that move as early as next week, sources tell Orangebloods.com
And that OU is being lobbied to join the SEC as well.Texas A&M to SEC is being advocated by oil barons:
Those in favor of the move, led by regents Gene Stallings and influential former Exxon Mobil executive Morris E. Foster, prefer the SEC from a regional, financial and athletic standpoint and feel like there are bonds between the SEC and A&M that work.
In addition to Stallings, A&M's charge to the SEC is also being supported by Texas A&M System chancellor Mike McKinney, who once served as Gov. Rick Perry's chief of staff. Perry is a former yell leader at A&M who still remains very tied into the school's day-to-day workings.
A call to Perry's office Saturday by Orangebloods.com resulted in a statement from Perry released by spokesman Rob Johnson, who added that Perry is in China.
It also sounds like SEC officials such as Commissioner Mike Slive might already be in College Station as well. I think I would prefer Utah over Kansas in the Pac-16. I rather stick Kansas hoops in a non BCS conference instead of having them in ours. Just my 2 cents. GO BRUINS.
UPDATE II (N): Jon Wilner ponders about Missouri:
* Who’d be No. 16?
If A&M joins the SEC, the Pac-10 would be sitting on 15 teams (assuming the Oklahoma schools, Texas and Texas Tech join).
The top contenders for the final spot, reportedly, are Kansas and Utah. Which way would the Pac-10 go? Salt Lake is the 31st-largest TV market in the country, Kansas City the 32nd. And KU would, of course, bring its powerhouse basketball program.
(I still wonder about Missouri, which would be a great fit for the Pac-10 academically and brings the No. 21 TV market in St. Louis. Are the Tigers destined for the Big Ten? If not, the Pac-10 should make a run at them
Hmm. I like the combination of CU/Missouri better than CU/Utah or CU/Kansas. GO BRUINS.