By Larry Pritchett
Past PCHS Activities Director
Has the conference jumping stopped or just eased up to take a breath before schools start looking at options again? It appears that the Pac 12 wasn’t ready to pick up Texas and Oklahoma and the baggage that came with them, at this time anyway, and that at least temporarily stopped things for awhile.
It appears that Texas and the Longhorn Network is more of a load than some conferences want to tackle right now. Texas might be able to “bully” the Big 12, but the Pac 12 has some big boys in it also and the Longhorns couldn’t just come in and start telling people how things were going to be handled and that at the end of the day, Texas would rake in the most dollars. The package deal looked like (on the surface anyway) to not just be Texas and Oklahoma, but with Oklahoma comes Oklahoma State, and with Texas comes Texas Tech.
Even with Texas A&M going to the SEC in a year or so, the Big 12, which would really be a conference of nine might stay together. I would be willing to bet that KU, K-State, Iowa State, Missouri and Baylor are feeling a little better knowing that their best bet is a continuing Big 12 conference.
Now the OU people are spouting some demands such as commissioner Dan Beebe being replaced and there be a restructuring of the deal that Texas and its Longhorn Network reached with the conference earlier. Who knows, that might have kept Nebraska and Colorado in the Big 12!
The conference that might be in trouble is the Big East. Syracuse and Pitt are headed to the ACC in the near future. The Big East is more of a basketball conference and a good one, but the schools that want the Football BCS option might be headed somewhere else.
Jim Boeheim, longtime Syracuse men’s basketball coach, pretty much spoke the truth when he said that the two things driving these changes were money and football.
It was also mentioned that possibly a problem is that the NCAA doesn’t have a leader. It is led by the conference commissioners.
Boeheim’s comment that if the conference commissioners were the founding fathers of this country, “We would have Guatemala, Uruguay and Argentina in the United States,” was typical of Boeheim’s sarcastic wit.
He also got the same type of point across when talking about the ACC tournament being played in Greenboro, N.C. or New York City, when he asked where someone would rather spend five days. “Let me think about that one and get back to you, “ he said.
Nebraska is looking pretty smart right now. They got into a good conference. A conference that has pretty much the same mixture of activities as the Huskers are used to and one that, even though it will require more travel miles, still isn’t as bad as some of the conference might be when this realignment thing is all finished.