I’ll be darned. After all this there’s still a chance that the Big 12 could be saved. All that has to happen is for Oklahoma to be treated like the king of the conference instead of Texas. At least for a day or two.
Not even Captain Chaos could keep up with all this expansion nonsense.
A source has told The Oklahoman that OU brass will consider staying in the Big 12 – and saving that league — if Texas’ Longhorn Network is reeled in a bit and if commissioner Dan Beebe is whacked. Well, not whacked, but they do want him fired. You get the point.
“It’s going to take major, major reforms” for OU (and Oklahoma State) to stick around, according to the source.
That source also suggested that OU might ask for Texas to share a bit of its Longhorn Network loot with its conference partners. Wow.
So OU’s going full-Texas with a list of its own demands. How funny that UT is having to take orders from someone else for a change. Kudos to Oklahoma for following Texas A&M’s lead and standing up for itself.
Speaking of A&M, the Aggies are saying they’re gone from the Big 12 no matter what. OSU booster T. Boone Pickens tried to goad the school and Texas governor Rick Perry — an A&M alum — into sticking around, but an Aggie spokesman said: “Texas A&M has made our intentions perfectly clear. We do not intend to be a member of the Big 12 past this season.” Another school official said, “We are gone.”
If the Big 12 holds together, you can scratch Missouri from the list of SEC possibilities. Where that leaves the league is anyone’s guess.
The ACC appears to be gaining strength and if the SEC had the ability to grab a school from that league it likely would have done so before playing footsie with Mizzou.
So if the Big 12 is saved, the SEC could be forced to remain a 13-school league for a while… which is a horrible scenario. That or suddenly West Virginia could come back into play. (We’re guessing the Mountaineers were gently rebuffed rather than out-and-out rejected by the SEC. Never burn a bridge.)
But who knows if WVU would even be available should the SEC need it. Representatives of the remaining football-playing members of the Big East will meet tonight to discuss the state of their crumbling conference.
It’s quite likely the SEC could offer WVU enough money to make it back out of any rebuilt Big East, but if that league puts in some sort of outrageous exit fee, who knows?
Bottom line: We don’t believe any deals are done when it comes to SEC expansion (with the exception of A&M).
For the time being, the only things we can be sure of are these five points:
1. The ACC acted strongly and swiftly to upgrade its league and bring in more television viewers.
2. The Pac-12 has already made more money than anyone dreamed without having adding Texas, Oklahoma and the rest. And don’t rule this out — it’s possible OU is considering staying in the Big 12 because the Pac-12′s presidents aren’t in favor of expanding.
3. The Big 12 is still in trouble.
4. The Big East is in even more trouble depending on the future invasion plans of the ACC and the Big Ten.
5. The SEC continues to play the nice guy role, owned at every turn by Baylor president Kenneth Starr. History suggests Slive’s conference could still turn some heads with a couple of surprising, deft moves. But as of right this instant, the SEC looks like a 13-school league that’s scared of litigation and incapable of luring in any “big name” expansion candidates other than Texas A&M.
But that could change.