If you’ve seen the ESPN 30 for 30 “Pony Excess” about the SMU Mustangs and their receiving of the college football death penalty in the 1980s, you might have noticed former NCAA investigator Dan Beebee. In that role, he truly was a great. In his role as a conference commissioner, he is an absolute train wreck. The Big 12 is utterly imploding, and there’s nothing he can do to stop it.
Oklahoma will apply for membership to the Pac-12 before the end of the month, and Oklahoma State is expected to follow suit, a source close to OU’s administration told Orangebloods.com.
Here’s more from the Rivals.com Texas Longhorns page
If OU follows through with what appears to be a unanimous sentiment on the seven-member Oklahoma board of regents to leave the Big 12, realignment in college athletics could be heating back up. OU’s application would be matched by an application from Oklahoma State, the source said, even though OSU president Burns Hargis and mega-booster Boone Pickens both voiced their support for the Big 12 last Thursday.
There is differing sentiment about if the Pac-12 presidents and chancellors are ready to expand again after bringing in Colorado and Utah last year and landing $3 billion TV contracts from Fox and ESPN. Colorado president Bruce Benson told reporters last week CU would be opposed to any expansion that might bring about east and west divisions in the Pac-12.
T. Boone Pickens also said Thursday night during his team’s broadcast that OSU will move with OU. That’s the key here- almost every school needs a partner to jump conferences with, because conferences want to keep divisional alignment even. The Sooners natural partner is also their arch-rival Texas.
But that doesn’t seem the case anymore as Texas is playing by its own rules and now has the Longhorn Network. They will consider all their options, independent of what OU does. Likewise the Sooners will commence movement without giving consideration to what UT decides to do.
The biggest losers in this situation, other than Beebee’s reputation obviously, are Baylor, Kansas, and Iowa State. BU and ISU will end up in no man’s land if/when the Big 12 disintegrates, because they offer nothing in either of the two sports people care about. Kansas has such a tremendous national brand/relevance in college basketball so they’ll land somewhere relevant, but it might be a step down in conference because this is about dollars that come from football.
The money doesn’t flow from hoops. And the Big 12’s demise isn’t unprecedented. This conference was formed from a shotgun marriage of old Big 8/SWC schools. And we remember what happened to the SWC. See that SMU 30 for 30 for more on that.
Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, an official Google News site that generates millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports
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