Monday, June 14, 2010

Expansion Settles Down; Big-12 Survives; CWS Field Set

Just days after it appeared the Big-12 would completely crumble, it now looks like it's going to hang around....for a while anyway.

A late push by the Big-12 Commissioner has apparently convinced all of the remaining ten schools to commit to staying in the conference.  A new TV deal will apparently make the deal lucrative enough to entice each school to remain.

Texas A&M was calling the shot on this one because they were strongly considering joining the SEC.  Had they decided to leave, the Big-12 likely would have crumbled as a nine team conference could not have worked.  For that reason, I'm sure the Aggies faced an incredible amount of political pressure to stay on board with the Big-12.  But they also faced the prospect of finally getting out of the shadow of Texas and joining the best and most powerful conference in college athletics.  At the same time, they could have, for once, dictated what happened to the University of Texas.  They had the chance to be bold but in classic Aggie fashion...they caved to the pressure.  I really believe that Texas A&M missed a once in a lifetime opportunity to change the fortune of their athletic department.  Now, they'll probably continue to wallow in mediocrity.  Suit yourself.  Those east Texas recruits will continue to help LSU win football games.

In the short term, I think we'll see the PAC-10 add one more team, probably Utah, to bring their total to 12.  Then, they can play a conference championship game and enjoy the financial benefits of doing so.

Each Big-12 team will play a nine game conference schedule, and they will not play a conference championship game.  They will function exactly like the PAC-10 has functioned for the last several years.

So, is all of this over with?

Not so fast.  The Big-10, which started all of this, said some time ago that they were looking to possibly expand past 12 teams.  They have been awfully quiet since adding Nebraska, and I think many are making a mistake by assuming the Big-10 will stand pat.  You could still see them raid the Big East (Rutgers, Syracuse, UCONN) or the ACC (Maryland), and it could start a similar domino effect that was rumored over the weekend.

For fun, here is what the Big-10 could look like if they stick with what they have:


Ohio State
Penn State
Michigan State


In case you missed the Twitter update on Monday, LSU pitcher Austin Ross has signed a contract with the Brewers and will not return to LSU in the fall.

The College World Series is set, and I'm glad to say that I'll be there this weekend to take in some of the action.   Here is how the first weekend of games shapes up:

(1) Arizona State vs. Clemson
TCU vs. Florida State
(3) Florida vs. (6) UCLA
South Carolina vs. Oklahoma


Post a Comment


Saturday Night Slant - LSU Sports & Recruiting