Thursday, May 3, 2012

Daily Discussion Question: More Big 12 Expansion Smoke.

In this case, the arrow should be pointing the other way.

By this point, I think we all assume that the Big 12 expanding to 12 teams is fait acompli.  There is just too much money being left on the table without a Championship game, not to mention the added rankings boost that comes with being a Conference champ.  Considering all of the talk surrounding a future playoff involves the preference a Conference champion being slotted into the semi finals, the mystery becomes even clearer.  Being the smallest of the major Conferences with only ten teams and lacking a Championship game will almost certainly go against the Conference in selecting national semi-final participants.

We've all heard the likely suspects of BYU, Cincinnati and Louisville, with the latter two getting the most play due to their regional proximity to new member WVU.  But perhaps the reason none of those three have yet to be formally introduced is because they've never been the true targets?  Take this with a huge grain of salt considering it's just message board banter at this point, but here are two candidates you haven't heard:

Old pal Clemson

and Florida State.


The rub is this:  The Big 12 wants two more teams for the reasons above, and no more.

Now, like many you, I immediately thumbed my nose at this report. Why on earth would Clemson, a founding member of the ACC and consistent competitor in that Conference choose to leave?  Florida State wasn't a founding member, but they've been in the league for over 20 years and fared pretty well for themselves in that time.  I personally believe that the only way either of those schools would leave the ACC is if the SEC came a-callin', but even then, why leave a Conference you compete in on a regular basis and with a great academic reputation to go to the SEC, which is filled with a bunch of flop haired dum dums and where you'd always be an also-ran?

The answer, of course, is money.  From what I gather, the ACC has a TV contract paying each member institution $14 million annually through the year 2024; the Big 12 is about to sign a deal that could push their payout into the $18 million+ range.  Would that be enough to get them to jump?  It remains to be seen.

On the flip side, though - can you see Grand Maester UT agreeing to pick up two teams that would directly impact their success on the field as Clemson and FSU would?  And, with the Big 12 already getting paid, is it worth it to split the bill 2 more ways?  It almost makes more sense to sit and wait to see how this new, non-BCS world plays out before making a hasty decision.

Truthfully, this sounds a lot like the UT/OU to the Pac 12 rumors that never came to pass.  If you think about something hard enough you can justify it in your mind, but that doesn't make it true.  I highly doubt we'll be despising the tomahawk chop the same way we disdain SMU's limp peace sign any time soon...but then again, we all thumbed our noses at the first 50 TCU to the Big 12 rumors, and that turned out rather swimmingly.  Stay tuned - until the Big 12 gets back to its namesake, anything is possible.


Slay Purple said...

With the advent of the 4-team playoff I would think that lacking a conference championship game would be in the Big XII's favor. Additionally, including a conference championship would only mean that to win the National Championship you would have to finish your season by beating a very good big XII team and then 2 top-4 teams... Basically it would be adding two very quality games to this past years schedule.

SBP10 said...

Add Notre Dame, Louisville, Florida St. and Clemson...

SnK said...

Is it not incredibly clear to everyone that Notre Dame wants to be independent in football? They're not joining a conference. Ever.

Cowtown Food Junkie said...

Adding L'Ville and Cinci makes the most sense geographically. Would be easy to have a North and South division again. With the other major conferences all having title games it will eventually bite us in the ass if we don't have one too. We can try to hype de facto title games all we want, but it's not the same. In a race to finish in the Top 4 every little PR advantage helps. That's why we'll be getting back to 12. By the way, it's still surreal to use "we" and "us" regarding the Big 12.

Sir Wesley Willis said...

I see your point Slay - I debated it back and forth in my head when I was writing this. I just think, from a final rankings standpoint, having a title game helps. Look at the Big Ten - they felt they were always left out of the discussion because their season ended so early and lacked a title game whereas the SEC and Big 12 continued to play. I guess it cuts both ways - if you have a situation like with OU a few years ago when they were undefeated and got railed by KSU in the B12C, it goes against you. Yes, I realize I killed my argument because OU still went to the title game that year, but it's also the only recent title that was split because it was kind of egregious, so there ya go. It's one more opportunity to lose, yes, but it's also another opportunity to cement your ranking. Guess we'll just have to wait and see what happens.

Lyle Lanley said...

My vengeful side still wants to kick Baylor to the curb for all the years they undeservedly suckled at the teet of Texas and OU, but I guess as we're getting our Lattimer on (with a "place at the table"), I'm cool with whatever.