Category Archives: Big 12 Football

Thursday morning buffet

Fire up the chafing dishes!

72 Comments

Filed under Big 12 Football, Georgia Football, Just Ask Lou Holtz About Lou Holtz, Media Punditry/Foibles, SEC Football, Strategery And Mechanics

The Big 12 does a 180 on conference expansion.

Not even two weeks ago, we heard Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione proclaim that Big 12 conference expansion was dead.

“There aren’t any signs that we’ll talk anymore about expansion for a little while,” Castiglione added. “We don’t have a timeline on it.”

Eh, who needs timelines?

In the span of one afternoon, the Big 12 all but decided to change the very nature of its conference and shake up the entire college sports universe for the foreseeable future.

The conference of One True Champion is about to undergo One True Expansion.

Following a meeting of Big 12 presidents here on Tuesday, Oklahoma President David Boren announced that Commissioner Bob Bowlsby has been authorized to engage schools interested in joining the Big 12 and said the league could grow by as many as four teams.

That’s quite the reversal.  Hope none of them suffered whiplash.

The tripping point appears to be the deal the ACC cut earlier this week with ESPN to establish its own network.

But the momentum changed Monday when ESPN reported that the ACC would soon announce a partnership on a new cable network and had agreed to a so-called “grant of rights” locking in its members for the next 20 years.

That means more money for the ACC, more stability and more of a threat to the Big 12 should another league — say, the Big Ten — consider expansion again the next decade.  [Emphasis added.]

I know people are focusing on the money — the Big 12’s current TV deals call for the per-school payouts to increase proportionally with the number of new members added, while nothing requires the conference to turn around and pay full shares to those new members (and it sure won’t), so there’s some short-term profit built into expansion — but it’s the ACC locking its members down financially and taking Notre Dame off the table, too, that’s got to have the Big 12 nervous.  P5 college football exists in an eat or be eaten world, and the Big 12 presidents have apparently decided they’re better off taking on lesser programs rather than sitting exposed waiting for the Big Ten and SEC to siphon off the cream.

Will it work?  Who knows?  As a reminder, this is what the likely list of candidates looks like today:

The leaders in the clubhouse for Big 12 expansion remain BYU, Cincinnati and Connecticut. The next tier includes South Florida, Central Florida, Memphis, Colorado State, Houston, Boise State and Tulane. If the league does add four schools, there’s really no standout candidate for that fourth slot. (Houston has the best program and television market of available schools, but there’s still some hesitancy within the state of Texas to allow the Cougars to use the Big 12 to potentially leap over current members). Schools like Temple, San Diego State and Northern Illinois don’t really have a chance, but will give it a shot anyway.

How you take four schools from that bunch escapes me.  But I’m not as sharp as Bob Bowlsby.

The other thing I don’t get is Texas’ angle.  What do the Longhorns get out of conference expansion that they don’t already enjoy?  Remember, this is a program that had no problem sniffing around for a deal with the then Pac-10 a few years ago and conceivably would find plenty of interested partners if it chose to shop around tomorrow for a more stable home.

The problem the Big 12 has is that it is a small scale representation of college football’s larger haves/have nots problem, with wealthy programs like Oklahoma and Texas at the top and smaller set ups like Iowa State at the bottom.  From a survival standpoint, the small fry need conference expansion a lot more than the big boys do.

I don’t know if what the Big 12 has in mind is going to have much of an impact on conference expansion in general, although I suppose that between the ACC’s deal and what the Big 12 has put on the table, if you’re Delany or Sankey with any thoughts of grabbing a few tasty morsels for your own banquet, there may not be a better time than now to grab a plate.  On the other hand, if Big 12 expansion turns out to be a flop, you might be able to negotiate better terms with a Texas or Oklahoma needing a safe place to land quickly.

In any event, it’s not hard to predict a few awkward moments are coming.

36 Comments

Filed under Big 12 Football

If stupidity were an Olympic event…

Bob Bowlsby would be in line for a gold medal.

In case you were wondering how it was going in the Big 12 after the scandals at Baylor, here’s this thought from Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby at Big 12 media days:

… But let it suffice to say as it pertains to all of our institutions, we are very committed as a group of ten schools to eradicating sexual assault on our campuses. It almost goes without saying that when you combine alcohol and drugs and raging hormones and the experiences of 18-22 years old, it’s probably unrealistic to think that these kinds of things are never going to happen.

All that’s missing is sincere advice to victims everywhere to lie back and enjoy it if it should happen.

Raging hormones lead to rape?  It’s rather staggering to hear someone say this.  And in any event, it isn’t alcohol that causes sexual assault; it’s the one doing the assaulting who causes that.

So, yeah, this is sad and even a bit revolting.  And if Bowlsby’s a dumbass for saying it, what do we call the school presidents who think he’s doing a bang up job as Big 12 commissioner?

31 Comments

Filed under Big 12 Football, Crime and Punishment, General Idiocy

That’s why he gets paid the big bucks.

Greetings from the Big 12.

It’s the former Baylor head coach you’re not supposed to remember, Bob.

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Filed under Big 12 Football

You can never have enough data points.

The Big 12 is a ten-team conference.  It determines its conference champion in the fairest way possible, by requiring its schools to play a round-robin nine-game conference schedule.

That, of course, isn’t good enough.  With no championship game, there’s money being left on the table.  With no championship game, there’s a feeling that something’s missing for the CFP selection committee to weigh in comparison with the other P5 conferences that have championship games.

And so, even though it’s completely unnecessary, and in fact is just as likely to make things messier in the event that the team which lost in the regular season comes back to win the conference title game, the Big 12 is moving towards having a championship game.

That’s all right with Bill Hancock.

… Hancock praised the Big 12’s decision to reinstitute a championship game in 2017, mirroring the other four major conferences. He emphasized, though, that the primary benefit is not necessarily the fact that all champions will now play 13 games but that the Big 12’s champ will now add another top 25-caliber opponent to its resume.

“How much the Big 12 will be helped by getting another game against a quality opponent — to me, that’s the game-changer,” said Hancock.

That’s a real game-changer, alright.  It’s a perfect example of sacrificing the significance of the regular season to enhance the postseason chase.  And it’s the path that college football, just like men’s basketball before it, is steadily traveling down.  The morons running the game are slowly destroying the character that makes college football unique, the emphasis on regional interest and the regular season.

I’ll keep saying it:  enjoy what you’ve got now, folks, because ten years from now, it won’t be the same.  Not even close.

49 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Big 12 Football

Thursday morning buffet

A few nibbles here, a few there…

  • Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione admits the math isn’t there for Big 12 expansion.
  • Does somebody at Tennessee need to step up and commend Drae Bowles for coming forward?  (Note that is not the same question as will somebody at Tennessee step up.)
  • Ole Miss hasn’t sold out its ticket allotment for the opener against FSU.
  • Here’s you a handy summary of all the preseason mags.
  • Academics vs. the jocks at Cal-Berkeley, not a pretty story.
  • Buyer’s remorse at Auburn can come on very quickly, it seems.

23 Comments

Filed under Academics? Academics., Auburn's Cast of Thousands, Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, Big 12 Football, College Football, Recruiting, SEC Football

“Wow, that’s a really neat idea.”

No, it’s not… but when you’re gonna combine division play with round robin scheduling, I don’t suppose it really matters.

28 Comments

Filed under Big 12 Football