I knew eventually I would need to start talking about Longhorn football, but I am a bit amazed/ down that my first post on football will discuss the much discussed (in Texas, anyway) goings on with the Big 12 conference. Honestly, I planned on my first post on sports to be about World Cup soccer (or as our friends from across the sea call it "football", but they are wrong).
Sports talk radio, non-stop-ESPN, etc... aren't so much my thing, so if the rumblings of the fall of the Big 12 were building, I had no idea. I'd been checking college baseball scores to see how Big 12 teams were doing, but otherwise tuning out.
For those of you catching up, my alma mater is home to The University of Texas Longhorns, who were the #2 football team and volleyball team in 2009, and won some unbelievable number of baseball games this year (I'm hoping they place first in the College World Series). Both our men's and women's basketball team made it to the tournament, etc...
The Longhorns belong to the Big 12, which is a fairly respectable and competitive conference. While I enjoy the rivalries, I actually wind up watching a lot of Big 12 football, from all the schools.
The Big 12 had a not-great contract with media outlets, but the schools had large and loyal fanbases, and college sports, particularly football, are big money. So, conferences The Big 10 and the Pac-10 have been trying to meet with Big 12 schools to try to move them over with their superior contracts.
Read more about this thing here.
Anyway, I'm a little bummed that (a) the Big 12 may be no more by the end of next week, and (b) the extra revenue could disrupt traditional and regional play.
I understand the schools supposedly make money from shaking things up and say, a few schools joining the PAC 10, but... this is the Pac 10 we're talking about. I'm a romantic and an optimist in some ways, and so I like to think that regional relations make a difference in these cases. Joining the Pac 10 just seems so... calculated. It's like the rich, dopey kids asking if you want to hang out because they know you've got a new Sega Dreamcast, not because you've been hanging out for the past 100 years (sorry, Oregon and Oregon State. You guys are cool. Why do you hang out with those jerks, anyway? You're better than that.). So what happens when the DreamCast gets outed by the XBox?
Sure, there are some logistical issues and budgetary issues for sports that draw in smaller audiences, but I tend to think that the Texas/ Oklahoma powerhouse is big enough to work with the region and get a better contract.
Further, the biggest d-bag of them all, USC, just pulled an SMU and is totally dealing with his comeuppance. Dad just took away the entitled little twerp's Porsche keys. But, hey, if we notice that we had friends in our own backyard all along....
For the Texas and Oklahoma schools, its not such a big deal that Colorado has split off, and Nebraska seems ready to go, too (whatsamatta, Nebraska? Texas and Oklahoma too much for you?). But its hard to imagine football in the fall without the UT, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech and other rivalries playing out as part of conference play. The thing is, by coming into other conferences, any of those schools could be peeled off. Already, Baylor is basically being told not to count on being a part of whatever happens. And that's a little sad.
So, if the Big 12 is croaking, here's my proposal for the Nu Southwest Conference (going classic, baby):
01. University of Texas
02. Texas A&M
03. Texas Tech
05. Oklahoma State
06. Baylor (yes. Baylor. On principle.)
07. Texas Christian University (because those guys got good)
09. Kansas State
10. Nebraska (fungible with any other corn-fed bunch of punching bags)
12. University of Houston
That's right. U of H. Woot!
What do you guys think, because I think I just came up with a scheme that would make us all rich.