Friday, June 4, 2010

Sailing to the Coast? Not Without Choppy Waters!

The latest meetings and rumors concerning a total makeover of certain NCAA conferences have certainly perked up some ears! A smooth sail to another conference by Big 12 schools may be jarred by a resist to change and a struggle for the upper-hand. Rumors state that six Big 12 schools have been invited to join the Pac 10 Conference: Colorado, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas, Texas A & M and Texas Tech. Though, both conferences are meeting separately at this time, these are just said to be RUMORS…with some very real potential if you ask me. However, according to an article on ESPN, Big 12 Commissioner Don Beebe said today that he is "comfortable" the league will remain intact.
That’s not exactly the tone school athletic directors were taking. In an interview this week University of Oklahoma Athletic Director Joe Castiglione said “We (Big 12) make our own decisions…we have always made our own decisions.” The comments by Castiglione, Osborne and other ADs did not lead one to think they would stay put, only do what is best for the Big 12 conference…and their respective programs. Question = what is best?
The Pac 10 is comprised of Arizona, Arizona State, Cal, Oregon, Oregon State, Stanford, UCLA, USC, Washington and Washington State. Pretty solid programs! Add the six “invited to join” and you have a power conference. As an OU Alum do I fear the competition of this power conference? Isn’t sport defined by competition? In a game of numbers, yes, it would be more challenging to leave the Big 12 and join the Pac 10. The Pac 10 has won nine football national championships, six men’s basketball and a whopping 26 in baseball. The schools in the Big 12 have won a respectable 17 football national championships, four men’s basketball and 10 in baseball. Aside from Kansas’ men’s basketball championships and Nebraska’s football championships, most of that talent has been in the six schools being sought to take the leap of change. So, the Big 12 North would be worth ditching quite simply.
This leaves the next question, who will take the weak? The Big 6 just isn’t going to happen… talk about your next Mountain West Conference. Way below average (no last year’s TCU BCS bowl appearance does not boost this standing). No doubt a re-vamp by select NCAA conferences would equal more interest if not utter excitement, which basically equals money in the deep pockets of athletic programs involved. I find it exciting. Sounds a little like “This Land is My Land.” “From the Texas Hill Country…to The Port of Seattle…this conference was formed for victory!”

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