Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Conference Expansion: The Big 12 Stands Firm

Jan 6, 2010; Newport Beach, CA, USA; Unversity of Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban and University of Texas Head Coach Mack Brown pose in front of the National Championship Trophy at the Citi BCS Bowl National Championship Press Conference at the Newport Marriott in Newport Beach, CA. Photo via Newscom
The quest for a new mega-conference has hit a brick wall, and the applause you hear are from “old school” college football fans across the globe.

The PAC-10 has been turned away by the remaining schools from the Big 12, and for now…all is RIGHT in the landscape of college football.

In a proposal that would have divided a conference and sent the remaining schools looking for a new place to call home, the University of Texas declined an invite from the PAC-10 on Monday afternoon.

The “declaration” by Texas to remain in the Big 12 was quickly followed by several institutions also promising to stand firm and remain in the conference.

Had the PAC-10 received half of the Big 12, it would have created a ripple effect all across the nation in respect to conference affiliation.

The remaining half of the Big 12 would have been forced to find new conference affiliates, and the impact would have been felt in every other major conference.

However, thanks to the University of Texas, MANY helpful individuals, and the “higher ups”…pandemonium has been averted.

I can officially say, Colorado has joined the PAC-10, Nebraska has joined the Big Ten, and Boise State has joined the Mountain West. I can only speak for myself, but I’m so very pleased those are the facts…and NOTHING more!

The decision by Texas has put an end to the mega-conference expansion plan, and those who love college football and college athletics should be thrilled!

So how did all this actually come together? Courtesy of sources close to the situation, many people were “turned off” by the aggressive nature of the PAC-10. Various people and groups across the country began to “take a stand” against the PAC-10 and the expansion plan.

People said to be involved in saving the Big 12 were business executives, conference commissioners, athletic directors, network executives, and various people with ties to the NCAA. The wonderful part of the “survival effort” was that many of these individuals and “groups” had/have no ties with a Big 12 institution.

Reports say that all of the influential people and groups held various meetings, conference calls, and spoke with Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe. The influential parties also helped organize a new television contract between the University of Texas and the other five schools who were being coaxed by the PAC-10.

At the end of the day it appears many parties involved felt the PAC-10 was playing the role of the “school bully” and making rash and swift decisions that would impact the Big 12 in a negative manner.

The PAC-10 has said expansion is still a priority and Utah will be the next school targeted in the growth process.

With the Big 12 (10) intact, many of the conferences “caught up” in the expansion chatter will remain strong with all current schools in place. The Big Ten could expand but the subject is not considered a top priority at this time.

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