Not that there's anything wrong with it...
By now, you all surely have heard that the Big 12 Conference, once thought to be the Titanic of sinking ship BCS Conferences, has now decided to formally organize nightly prayer sessions while facing Austin and form the Texas Longhorns and their 9 Nappy Head Ho's Conference which, to be honest, I think a lot of people felt would be the end result all along. Not that the Pac 10 rumors weren't juicy, but we all know that Texas HAS to be the center of attention in everything they do, and in the Pac 16, they'd be Prom Queen to USC's Prom King, at least to start out. And even though that dynamic would likely change after a couple of years, a couple of years to wait for that crown and it's guaranteed nookie from the head cheerleader was just too long for UT, and now we'll sadly never be able to see the Corp of Cadets get blockaded while marching into Cal Berkeley's Stadium every other fall.
So all signs have pointed towards the Big 12 remaining the Big 12-2 Conference. Commissioner Dan Beebe has said that he has no interest in adding additional teams in the region while Mack Brown and DeLoss Dodds - the Big 12 Gestapo - have said they are looking forward to the new round robin style conference format, and feel like they don't lose any clout by dropping their conference championship game.
But could they all have been blowing smoke up our asses this entire time?
In today's "completely nefarious email being shipped around the internet that you've probably seen already*" department, I direct you to a transmission that I have now received twice. The original sender shall remain nameless. mostly because it's THAT anonymous on my email, but here is the body of it anywayl:
A pretty fascinating thought, no? Just the three most powerful people from our athletic department sitting down to breakfast with college football's new Houdini who just so happens to be the Commissioner of the conference whose invitation we covet so dearly. And I'm not saying three of those four weren't having breakfast together... but I am saying that I just don't see a Big 12 invite in our future. And that there's a man on the loose in Fort Worth who looks exactly like Dan Beebe and eats at Colonial.
First off, Texas has openly stated that they do not want us in their conference and Texas IS the Big 12 now. They finally pushed Nebraska, their biggest naysayer, aside, Oklahoma has been surprisingly subservient, and aggy, despite their cute little puffed up display the past couple of weeks, is just as much their bitch as they ever were. Tech fancies themselves a player, but seriously, don't make me laugh. And I know there are six other members in that conference, but I just can't place them... So basically, Texas says jump and everyone else says how high. And if Texas doesn't want us in, then there are nine other teams who, no matter their inclination, are going to say no as well.
So we've got that going against us.
Secondly, as has been stated over and over again, this whole thing is about money. By adding a small, private university with a limited alumni base that sits smack dab in the middle of a region the conference already controls - no matter the depth of our athletic programs in comparison to every non- UT member of the conference - you're basically just saying, "Here! Take all my money!" Because it'd basically be Texas, Oklahoma and the rest of the gang taking money that they would already be earning out of their pockets and giving it to us. And you can bet that after playing Robin Hood to the likes of Baylor and Iowa State for the past 15 plus years, DeLoss Dodds isn't looking to add another Little Lebowski Urban Achiever to the ranks.
So that's going against us as well.
But, there is one way, however unlikely, we can MAYBE elbow our way to the table, and that would be if the powers that be could convince Arkansas to relocate from the grownups table that is the SEC to the high chair that is the new Big 12. If this were the case, it would probably be in the best interest of the Big 12 to take in another team and reestablish a 12 team conference so as to keep up with the joneses. Speaking of Joneses, Jerry Jones is probably the most famous living Arkansas alumnus and, although he's not near as involved with the Razorbacks program as some might have you think, he could potentially be a major player in this if called upon. Think about it - he's losing a lot in this deal by the Big 12 Conference Championship game magically disappearing and thus not lining his pockets every December. Would the prospect of having his Razorbacks move into a more localized conference, which would give him a better chance to catch some games, and the added benefit of re-kickstarting a Big 12 Championship game in his stadium be enough to rally him around the Frogs? It's hard to say, and honestly, I don't think he'd have that much input, but if the Hogs at least flirt with Dan Beebe, maybe nibble his earlobe and slip him heart shaped notes in his locker between classes, with the current trends towards realignment, there's really no telling what could happen.
And, as I was typing that last paragraph, I thought of a new wild card - the Missouri Tigers. It's been kind of understated to this point, but Missouri and the Big 12 are anything but bosom buddies. Missouri wants to be in the Big Ten more than a fat kid wants candy, and the Big 12 would love to give the ingrate Tigers the boot. Just see T. Boone Pickens comments from the other day, where he openly stated that he is glad Colorado and Nebraska are gone and that he hopes the Tigers join them. Seeing Nebraska swoop in and take the Big Ten bid that they felt was rightfully theirs KILLED the Tigers and pretty much puts them in "foot in mouth" mode as long as they're in the conference, which appears to be for an imminent amount of time, and I can't imagine that's any way to live.
But what if this thing isn't over? What if the Big Ten really IS stretching this thing out 18 months as they've said all along? If they get Notre Dame, they're at 13 teams but probably try to find a way to work out around it, but if they strike out and decide they want to continue growing, Missouri is an obvious target. Then the Big 12 would be in the exact same mess they are right now. They'll grudgingly settle on ten teams, but nine? Nine was the magic number a week ago by which OU, Tech, OSU and Texas would jump to the Pac 10. So, if this happens and Arkansas expectedly declines, then don't they HAVE to take TCU?
Only time will tell, but with this apparently being all but a done deal, I just need something to comfort me while I sit in the corner hugging my knees and crying.