Blog Entry

Rift in Texas

Posted on: June 11, 2010 8:46 am
Your morning expansion line for Friday includes news that Texas and Texas A&M may break apart.

Call it an expansion micro-burst. First it was the Big 12 breaking up. Now the most powerful faction of the Big 12 could be drifting apart. We always thought that Texas and A&M were joined at the hip pads when it came to expansion. But a Thursday meeting produced no consensus between Texas and Texas A&M. I hear that A&M prefers the SEC while the league is a non-starter for Texas.

I also hear that Jim Delany is still trying like heck to get Texas into the Big Ten. But what about that "Tech problem"?

The dominoes figure to officially start tumbling today when Nebraska announces it is joining the Big Ten. I wrote the heck out of this issue this week but it bears repeating: The Big 12 cannot survive if Nebraska leaves. 1) The TV rights go way down; 2) What's to keep Texas, or any other school, leaving in two, three, four or five years? The Big 12 is a bad marriage that cannot go on.

The biggest issues on the table going into Friday:

a) What does Texas do?
b) What does Texas do?
c) What does Texas do?

OK, seriously:

a) Where do Texas and A&M end up and do they go as a unit?
b) Where does the Big Ten strike next (because it will strike next)?
c) Where does the Pac-10 strikes next (please don't believe his stuff about the Pac-10 stopping at 11)?
d) What are you doing at 5 p.m.? Remember when happy hour today was the deadline for Missouri and Nebraska? Nebraska is gone and Missouri has no idea where it stands.


Since: Aug 31, 2006
Posted on: June 11, 2010 10:23 am

PAC messed this up ....

Ok, I think the PAC made a bunch of mistakes in the last little while on this whole expansion thing that TOGETHER might be enough to scuttle the whole thing ...

#1) Not inviting Baylor. That made a bunch of legislators mad. Not enough really to scuttle the whole thing, but it got the project a few enemies.

#2) Not recognizing what Baylor represents. Baylor represents more that just Baylor. It represents the power distribution within the conference. Not inviting Baylor was a political message that the State of Texas would not be given as much power in the new PAC16 as California has in the new PAC16. This made some people at UT nervous. It probably also made people at TA&M and TTech nervous. It also made the new PAC16 a bunch more enemies in the Texas State house. Again, not enough to scuttle the whole thing, but another set of enemies.

#3) Preemptive Colorado Invite. So, you now have two sets of enemies in the Texas State house, who are working to find a solution. And the PAC preemptively invites Colorado in a move clearly designed to force the Texas State Legislature to just accept what they didn't want. NOTHING makes powerful people (in their own minds) in State legislatures everywhere more angry than trying to circumvent them, ignore them, or force them to do something. The two small pockets of enemies of the idea just got a bunch more allies.

#4) Cal statement on Baylor. Cal's statement on Baylor really made a bunch more enemies in the state of Texas. It was an attack on a common lifestyle in the midwest and an insult to a huge percentage of the population. Most importantly, it started TA&M on a path of exploring alternatives. NOW the PAC16 option not only threatens Baylor, the power distribution in the new conference, and the state legislature, BUT now it also threatens the Texas - Texas A&M rivalry. THAT rivalry means ALOT to probably 80% of the state. Threatening that rivalry just might get enough people worked up enough to scuttle the whole thing.

So, in walks the BigTen and the SEC, both with offers that:
1) Maintain the Texas - Texas A&M rivalry (THE MOST IMPORTANT PART)
2) Let the Texas Legislators stick it to the PAC who tried to cut them out and force their hand.

I can see this working out that the Texas Legislature DOES get involved to say to Texas, if you go to the PAC, we're pulling the Mineral Rights Endowment ... which was the threat used to get Texas to get Baylor into the BigXII in the first place.

Texas and TA&M to the BigTen or the SEC offer the Texas Legislature a bunch of wins -- they keep UT and TA&M together and they get to stick it to the State of California and the PAC.

I don't know ... the PAC16 may still happen ... but I think it is in serious jeopardy at this point ....

Since: Jan 20, 2010
Posted on: June 11, 2010 10:22 am

Rift in Texas

You call it greed because you do not want something to happen.  How ignorant and selfish are you?

Since: Jun 10, 2010
Posted on: June 11, 2010 10:22 am

Rift in Texas

If they do that, then they would need to add two teams to the SEC-East.  I'd say Clemson and VaTech. 

Since: Feb 8, 2008
Posted on: June 11, 2010 10:20 am

Rift in Texas

The Big Ten will probably stop at 12 if it can't get either Texas or Notre Dame.  None of the Big 12 teams fit culturally with the PAC-10, but money talks and I imagine TExas and Oklahoma will end up in the PAc-10

Since: Aug 27, 2007
Posted on: June 11, 2010 10:17 am

Rift in Texas

A&M may not be top level SEC calliber at the moment.  They are more like Ole Miss or South Carolina.  That being said the SEC wants to be in Texas, and if they don't they're stupid.  If Texas thinks they bound for the Pac 10 or Big 10 A&M needs to do what's best for them.  The combination of the SEC in Texas and A&M not going out west or north means the stars could align for A&M.  Personally, If I were the Pac 10, now that I have Colorado I would go hard after Texas and hope that A&M goes to the SEC and Tech finds a good home so I don't have to take them.  All the Pac 10 wants is UT and to stop at 12 but if they could get Oklahoma they may expand further.  In all this confusion, again, A&M needs to take care of #1, A&M.

Since: Jun 11, 2010
Posted on: June 11, 2010 10:15 am

Rift in Texas

Who Cares?  The television networks are destroying college football.  Super conferences, BCS playoffs, and all their other brilliant ideas are a lame attempt to re-make the sport into NFL junior.  Traditions, rivalries, fan travel, and all the other non-televised sports don't matter anymore to these people.  The Universities and A.D.s should be ashamed of their grovelling for cash.  Good luck to the Texas girls tennis team when they have to travel to Pullman, Washington for a match during mid-terms!

Since: Feb 24, 2007
Posted on: June 11, 2010 10:13 am

Rift in Texas

Everything is cyclical. This is definitely "our" (SEC) time. But there was a time LSU played Tx A&M every year and the team west of the Sabine wore them out. However, LSU does lead the series 26-20-3. As far as overall records vs Big XII teams, The SEC leads 20-17-1 but if you add in the SEC record vs. the old BIG 8 teams the series is 43-43-3. Remember Colorado has one NC, Tx A&M also has one NC, Texas has three, NU five and OU seven.

So when a fan of a Conference with Ole Miss, Miss St., Vandy, Kentucky and South Carolina starts calling a school like Tx A&M (18 Conference Championships and one National Championship) unworthy, them we might want to dismiss him/her's post as unworthy of consideration.

Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: June 11, 2010 10:10 am

Why must the Big Ten strike next?

The current 11 teams plus Nebraska, with NU, Illinois, Northwestern, Minnesota, Iowa, and Wisconsin in a West Division, seems pretty viable to me.

Since: Jan 3, 2007
Posted on: June 11, 2010 10:09 am

Rift in Texas

I personally don't see why any teams would want to join a conference in an expansion that exceeds 12 teams. Twelve teams are required for a championship game, so that is the number every big time conference needs to hit, and the sooner the better for those that don't yet have one.

However, past twelve teams, you just have a reduced chance of winning a conference championship each year, and have to spread the TV and bowl money out among more schools. I can see the PAC 10 wanting to take in a couple of sure fire producing programs ... they need to lose their "weak sister" reputation, increase conference wide revenues, and expand their TV market beyond the Pacific Time Zone. But to that end, why start with Colorado? Colorado has only been a major threat in college football for a very few periods lasting only a very few years at a time. Their smartest move would be to add Texas and Oklahoma if they could, and stop there. By the way, even doing that would mean that none of the "traditional" PAC 10 teams are going to win many more conference championships.

As far as the Big 10(11) goes, it is years past time that they added a 12th team. Nebraska is a good fit, and gives them extra strength since that conference is having some real problems being competitive OOC in the last few years (with just a couple of exceptions). With Notre Dame foolishly but consistently refusing their invitation, Nebraska was a good way to go.

I am surprised, however, that they Big 12 couldn't hold things together, and now appears headed for the same fate that the Southwest Conference met many years ago. Since the Big 12 is the Big 8 plus 4, and the Big 8 has a LONG history and several long standing traditional rivalries, I wouldn't have picked them to break down in this manner.

As an SEC fan, I have no interest in seeing the SEC expand beyond 12 teams, and I certainly don't want to see them dump a traditional member who has been there for decades in order to pick up some shiny team that already proved it couldn't be faithful to a successful conference.

So what will we have? Two more conferences with Championship games. One more meaningful Championship game net, since the Big 12 game will be lost. This is hardly the end of modern civilization as we know it, which some fans would have us believe. LOL Each fan's school will still play football games, and each fan will still watch those games and root for their team to win. It won't really matter if they are playing the same old conference foes or not.

Since: Dec 28, 2009
Posted on: June 11, 2010 10:08 am

Rift in Texas

Obviously Texas wants to keep its sweet deal together because they won't make as much money in either the Big Ten or Pac Ten. The unequal revenue distribution and Texas' bullying the Big 12 are part of what doomed that conference. In two decades Texas has been in two leagues now that have failed. Are they culpable for those two failures?  Any conference admitting them now should be very careful not to give them a bigger slice of the pie than other conference members.

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