Sunday, June 13, 2010

My two cents on keeping the Big 12 together

It's been a crazy week for the Big 12 Conference (now down to 10 teams, after Nebraska and Colorado jumped ship). Based on reports, it seems likely that several more teams may leave this week, with Texas and Oklahoma taking Texas Tech, Oklahoma State and possibly Texas A&M to the Pac-10. (TAMU could instead head to the SEC on its own.) That would leave Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State and Missouri to either prop up the Big 12 with additional teams, merge with another conference as a group, or go their own separate ways individually.

Almost all of the 10 schools remaining have pledged their loyalty to the Big 12 in recent days:

"... we are focused on keeping the Big 12 together and maintaining the rivalries that we have enjoyed with our (three) Big 12 Texas brothers."
BU AD Ian McCaw

"We believe the Big 12 Conference is the perfect fit for Iowa State University. We are committed to our membership in the Big 12 ..."
ISU President Dr. Gregory Geoffroy & AD Jamie Pollard

"We at Kansas Athletics know that the Big 12 is one of the best conferences in the country, and we are confident about its future. I appreciate all of those at KU who have worked very hard to keep the Big 12 at the forefront of intercollegiate athletics. We all must stay patient and let this process take its course, but at the end of the day I am convinced that the Big 12 will remain, as it is today, a national leader."
KU AD Lew Perkins

"As long as there's a Big 12, we are absolutely committed to the Big 12."
KSU AD John Currie

"We are working diligently to maintain the long-term viability of the Big 12 Conference."
MU AD Mike Alden

"I think there's still a way for us [the Big 12] to stick together and be viable."
OU AD Joe Castiglione

"Our goals and hopes all along have been to keep the Big 12 Conference intact."
Texas AD DeLoss Dodds

"... it is still our choice to keep the remaining 10 Big-12 schools together if we can."
TAMU AD Bill Byrne

(Only OSU and TT have not spoken publicly on the matter, clearly keeping their mouths closed so they don't mess up their free rides into other conferences alongside OU and UT. But if those latter two schools don't go anywhere, then neither are the Cowboys and Red Raiders.)

So, schools, if you want to stick together, and it's in your power -- why don't we just call this done and stick together???

Worried about money? The networks have already indicated that each school would make more money than they do now, even in a 10-team league, when contracts are renegotiated in the next year or two.

Worried about status? Nebraska's a loss when it comes to football, but not irreplaceable, and Colorado likely won't be missed at all. A 10-team league anchored by Texas and Oklahoma absolutely keeps its automatic BCS qualifier. Toss in Baylor, KU and KSU, and you've got one of the strongest basketball leagues in the country, as well. And that doesn't even include the possibility of adding teams, now or in the future.

The answer is clear, schools (and I'm looking mostly at you, Texas): If you really mean it when you say you're committed to the Big 12, then prove your honesty and integrity and let's make this happen. The sooner, the better.

No comments: