OK, next question. What happens if Texas A&M is forced to stay in the Big 12-which-is-really-10-and-is-going-on-nine? Wouldn’t that be the grouchiest family this side of the Kardashians?
You’d have everybody hating Texas and its TV network. (Which perhaps will offer its own reality-based Kardashian spin-off: “Bruce Jenner and Lamar Odom take Bevo shopping on Rodeo Drive.”) You’d have everybody despising the Aggies for wanting to leave. You’d have Nebraska and Colorado … actually you wouldn’t, seeing as how they’re already gone. You’d have Oklahoma assessing options, and no school has the options OU does. You’d have Oklahoma State wondering what Oklahoma is doing.
You’d have a mess so panoramic that, at some point, somebody’s going to say: “Was it really such a great idea to threaten to go to court to keep this conference together?” And then everybody would start hating Baylor, who’s seen as the ringleader in the stop-the-Aggies-moving movement.
Me, I give this aggregation another year, tops.
Texas A&M is going to leave: That’s a given. It might cost the Aggies financially — an exit bribe, if you will — but they’re going. They hate Texas more than they love money. They’ve already been invited to join the SEC by unanimous vote. Try getting the diminished Big 12 to be unanimous on everything. Whatever Texas wants, everybody else doesn’t want.
(Switching conferences for a second, it’s kind of like Jim Valvano’s description of ACC meetings involving officials: If Dean Smith said he liked a ref, the other coaches would blackball the guy.)
The Aggies will wind up in the SEC soon enough. (Although the league has to be wondering, “What did we do to deserve this?” It was A&M that approached the SEC, not the other way around.) And the Big 12 will either find somebody of comparable worth or collapse. Lost in Wednesday’s Baylor-fueled furor was this little nugget from Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long: Not long ago, Long said, the Big 12 asked Arkansas if it would like to join.
Given that Arkansas was once in a league with Texas — it was called the Southwest Conference, as students of ancient history know — and wound up fleeing, that might have seemed a sign the Razorbacks wouldn’t be interested. (Which Long insists they aren’t. Nobody’s leaving the SEC now. Most everybody else wants into the SEC.) But it shows how desperate the Big 12 is.
Another year, tops. And then Texas and Oklahoma and Oklahoma State will be in the Pac-15 and Texas A&M will be based in the SEC West and Baylor will be threatening to sue everybody. But Baylor has, as its president, a man known for dragging out legal proceedings. His name is Kenneth Starr.
Hey, does Whitewater have a football team?
(Actually, Wisconsin-Whitewater does play football. It has won three of the past four Division III titles. Somebody investigate that program!)
By Mark Bradley