For college sports fans, the past week has been a whirlwind. Confusing, frustrating and even emotional, it felt as if someone dropped all the college sports conferences into a Yahtzee cup and tossed them out onto the table.
The fury started with Pac 10 inviting several Big XII teams (Texas, Texas A&M, Colorado and Oklahoma) to join its ranks, creating a “super conference” of 16 powerhouse athletic programs. Nebraska was already being lured out by Big 10 (and has since accepted), and Colorado accepted the invitation from Pac 10 first. Fans waited with bated breath to see if the University of Texas would accept, trusting that A&M and Oklahoma would follow.
However, at what felt like the last minute, Texas declined, as did A&M and Oklahoma. Big XII commissioner Dan Beebe is being celebrated by conference fans as he managed to convince these teams to remain together in the conference. With Pac 10 baiting universities with money, Beebe promised that the schools would make more by staying put. They must have believed them.
“What’s behind it, what’s in front of it, what’s on the side of it, what’s completely surrounding all this expansion talk is money,” said Ralph Russo, AP college football writer, of the conference realignment. “College football is a very valuable product right now and these conferences are trying to figure out how to A) create more product and B) expand marketing for their product.”
Watch now as Russo explains a little more about Texas’ decision to stay with Big XII and the rest of the conference realignment situation.
With Colorado now a member of Pac 10 and Nebraska now a member of Big 10, the Big XII is a ten-team conference. The next big news to break from this could be a new conference name – what do you think it should be?