If you’ve been living under Iraq for the past week and a half, it’s time to get you up to speed on the shell game that has been conference membership in the NCAA of late. And put your seatbelt on, because we’re flying into some bullet points.
- Boise State accepted a bid to join the Mountain West conference in 2011, shifting from beating up on undercapitalized west coast football schools to beating up on undercapitalized mountain region football schools. And because of the time zone change, they’ll get to do it an hour earlier.
- Nebraska agreed to become the 12th school to join the Big Ten, effective in 2011. While some of Nebraska’s tangible assets (geographic location, television market and academic ranking) were suspect, the university’s AAU status, national alumni base and perennial strength in non-revenue sports were enough to carry the day.
- Colorado accepted their bid to join the Pac 10. That league’s commissioner, Larry Scott, has made overtures in acquiring Texas, Texas Tech, Texas A&M, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State for what many people already are calling the “Pac 16.” Colorado’s first season in board shorts is “tenatively” scheduled for 2012.
- As the Big 12 begins crumbling into ruin, the Texas state legislature is pushing for Baylor to stay with the other three Texas schools, regardless of where they land. It’s like Mom making sure that the little brother goes and gets to play with the big kids, even though the little brother is a dinky little theology school in Waco. The legislature’s intervention was a big reason why Colorado put pen to paper so soon in the process. Baylor itself, meanwhile, is a little new to this whole negotiating thing, saying that they’ll take whatever they can get, even if it’s only the ten remaining teams of the Big 12.
- HOWEVAH, Texas A&M has been contacted by the SEC for its potential interest in joining the Curators of Team Speed and Verne Lundquist Fellatio. Certainly, the draw of moving out of the Longhorns’ shadow and playing in the nation’s most-hyped conference is worth considering. SEC commish Mike Slive was in College Station last week, and it probably wasn’t for the rodeo. Because rodeos are kinda silly.
- Amazingly, the Big East and the ACC, the key players in the last big conference realignment in 2003, have remained unscathed to date.
So there it is. It might be a little too soon for a Big 12 eulogy, but whatever. Eventually we’ll end up with just one big, 60-team superconference and then everyone will get that playoff that they so desperately seem to want. And everyone will complain that all of this is motivated by money, but screw them. I don’t know about you, but I didn’t get out of bed this morning as an act of charity.
UPDATE: The Big 12 might be staying pat as it is. Might.