Thursday, June 10, 2010

Death of the Big-12--this is a very dark day for NCAA football

I can hardly believe the news, even though many reports have prepped me for it. On the day of the NFL Draft, local sports guy Hacksaw Lee Hamilton reported a slew of items indicating that a major re-alignment was going to take place in college football.

I expected this to be sound and fury signifying little. I figured a few malcontents would shift conferences; small fries only. I figured Missouri would go to the Big-10. I figured Notre Dame might finally go to the Big-10. I figured the Pac-10 would invite Fresno State and San Diego State into the big house. The Big East conference might break up. No biggie really. I suppose death of the Big-East might be news to some, but not to me. This is a recent loose confederacy of teams with little history together.

Somebody mentioned that Nebraska would certainly go to the Big-10. I laughed at that. Bullshit was my response. Somebody mentioned that the PAC-10 would invite Texas and Oklahoma. I laughed like hell. Nice recruitment try, but USC will never accept it.

Well... guess again. Colorado has accepted the PAC-10's invite to jump. Nebraska has already jumped to the Big-10 (12). Reports from Oklahoma City news sources say that Oklahoma and especially Oklahoma State will absolutely accept the PAC-10's invite. The news release is immanent. They are already speaking of it as a done-deal.

On the NFL Total Access this very night, College Football expert Charles Davis said that the Big-12 is effectively dead. It is still on life-support, but the corps will be taken off life-support soon. When asked by Rich Eisen if anything can save the Big-12, Davis answered "my best inside sources tell me 'no'."


What I did not know is that the Big-12 has been an overheating pressure-cooker, preparing to explode. Back-biting and recriminations are flying all over the place, so it is difficult to get the straight scoop on just what happened. People are pointing fingers like crazy right now. They are not in a particularly honest mood at this moment in time.

Some of the allegations people are currently flying go like this:
  1. The Big-12 did not share revenue equitably {not the same as equal shares}
  2. The Big-12 did not share revenue equally {not the same as equitable shares}
  3. The Big-12 left Nebraska to rot in the Northern division, without an opponent.
  4. The strength of the Big-12 was in the South. The North was a waste land.
  5. Texas owned the Big-12, nobody else had any say in the day-to-day affairs of the conference.
These are a few of the allegations I have read in several different places. Do any of these claims have any real veracity or merit? The hell if I know. None of these things look like problems that can't be worked out. A re-alignment is possible. Shares can be divvied up differently after a negotiation, etc.

As is the case in any bad marriage that ends in divorce, these guys just didn't want to make it work.

There seems to be little doubt among trusted sources that the Big-12 is at death's doorstep. ST. Peter will open those Pearly gates to receive the Big-12 sometime in the next 24 hours.

Right now, reports indicate that panic has set in among ADs at all the Big-12 schools. They are all looking for safe-harbor as the Earthquake and tidal waves hit. They want to fix this and fix this good so that the college football season (which is only a couple months away) is not compromised.

In other words, they are like are like rats leaving the sinking ship.

For me, the most stunning aspect is that the PAC-10--my own PAC-10--appears to be victor in all this. It looks like we are going to eat 6 of the Big-12 teams and become the PAC-16; an ultra-hyper-mega conference, more powerful than the NFL itself.

If the bullshit I am reading in the San Francisco newspapers is accurate, the PAC-16 will look like this.

  1. USC
  2. UCLA
  3. Washington
  4. Washington State
  5. Standford
  6. Berkeley
  7. Oregon
  8. Oregon State
  1. Texas
  2. Texas A&M
  3. Texas Tech
  4. Oklahoma
  5. Oklahoma State
  6. Colorado
  7. Arizona
  8. Arizona State
That is a stunning list of Universities. I am amazed. I am horrified. I am awestruck. I am flabbergasted. I can go on with the superlatives, but I would bore you.

This is fucking crazy man.

The theory behind the giaganto-titano-saurus-mega-lopolis conference is that the winner of the conference championship game will have an automatic bid into the BCS Championship game every single fucking year... just like the SEC. This theory is hard to challenge. It seems entirely plausible to me.

I would expect the first several of these conference championship games to be won by the East. In a few years, who the fuck knows... Right now the power is in the East.

One of the interesting facts is that all of these teams are rebuilding. Nobody is really great right now. Texas and Oklahoma just graduated a shitload of #1 draft picks. Texas Tech just lost its coach. They are in rebuilding mode. USC has been in rebuilding mode, and now that Pete Carroll is going (speaking of rats leaving the sinking ship) they are truly rebuilding. Further, they have been ass-slammed by the NCAA.

Of course, my Bruins are rebuilding, as is Washington. Stanford and Berkeley just ain't no damn good to God or this country. They should move down to Division-II. Oregon State and Washington State are just pests. Oregon won the whole enchilada last season, and then got whacked by Ohio State.

I just don't know who might be the first to win this conference.

Another question is the time-frame. When does this merger begin? When does it finish? As we know, schedules are made up a couple of years in advance. Some of these teams are committed to their Big-12 conference for a couple of years. Of course, they may vote to dissolve the conference entirely tomorrow.

I doubt a PAC-16 conference schedule can be in full effect in either 2010 or 2011. Maybe 2012.

As a UCLA Bruin, I fear what this means. It bodes well for our Basketball team. It does not bode well for our football team. Competing with Oklahoma, Texas, USC, is not going to be easy for us. Right now, we aren't good enough to hang.

One point that is very, very, very interesting: UCLA and Kansas will smack it down in Basketball twice every season. WOW! Arguably the two most legendary programs, twice every year! WOW!