This is aimed at the "Living under a rock" crowd. If you have been following clsely the goings on this week then you might want to hop over to one of the Big-12 or SEC sites for more details.
OK here is the ten thousand foot view of this months Big-12 happenings this past week.
Texas who has their very own network decided to leverage that by broadcasting High School games (huge recruiting advantage) and they tried to get Texas A&M to have their annual grudge match on the new network.
While the NCAA just smacked down the high school games they dye had been cast. What was already a dysfunctional relationship had started to become downright abusive. First ESPN, a partner in the "Longhorn Network" tried to bribe Texas Tech to put the game on the preferred Texas Carrier. When that did not work they threatened not to broadcast the game on ESPN, essentially blacking out the event.
A&M responded by deciding to leave their abusive partner, or so rumor has it. With the league already damaged by last seasons defections and indications that the SEC might be interested A&M decided to explore the possibility of a move.
To move to the SEC A&M has to clear a lot of hurdles, not the least of which is getting the SEC to take them. But even if A&M and the SEC do see eye to eye the Texas legislators might push back. They have traditionally pushed hard against splitting up the Texas schools be they public or private. Why do you think Baylor is in the Big-12?
Dan Branch who is that head of the Texas House Higher Education Committee has announced the hearing to be held on Tuesday, August 16. This is one day after the A&M board meets to discuss their move. The purpose his meeting is to discuss A&M's move to the SEC.
Branch is widely perceived as a Texas partisan. When other Big-12 schools, the world at large, and common sense were screaming that the Longhorn Network meant trouble for the Big 12 Branch shot back:
"I do not think that this Legislature ought to penalize people who are going out and maximizing their assets and getting a higher return and finding revenues that are not tax-based, because I think that's exactly what taxpayers want us to do with our public institutions," -- Thanks to "I am the 12th man" for digging this up off of Branch's website
If A&M manages to escape the snares that entangle it the Big-12 will have lost three schools over the course of three seasons. Being an AQ conference they can have their pick of non-aq replacements or stay at nine members. The risk of staying at nine is that there may be some instability elsewhere and the abused schools of the Big-12 North might be attractive to other conferences.
The move of one school to the SEC from the Big-12 is not going to end the world, but what might would be the fact that the SEC won't long suffer unbalanced divisions. If they add A&M you can bet they will look for a 14th member.
Speculation has centered around about a half dozen schools and there were even rumors of a move to 16 teams. Seems the initial '16 team super conference'. So who is the one school that will be added. Unless you run in SEC athletic director circles than you don't know anybody who can say for sure.
I am not going to engage in any speculation besides this. Chances are whoever is added as lucky 14 will not be in a state that currently host an SEC team. I've read that It only takes two votes to put the kabash on a prospective member and I suspect there are voting blocks aimed at common interest.This, I think, puts the breaks on the Florida State and Clemson rumors.
So were I a betting man my SWAG would be West Virginia, that is if the Mountaineers wanted to go. Short of that Maybe Virginia Tech (if they could go without Virginia). But again nobody really knows, its all speculation at this point.
With one more defection the Big-12 takes the crown "Most dysfunctional and vulnerable conference" away from the Big East. If the Big east were so inclined they might be able to make a play at KU, certainly the hoops schools would not object to that addition. Once again I don't know about the internal politics at a school like KU so I don't know if they would be interested.
If it's just 14 teams in the SEC then I would expect the PAS12 and B1G to stand down, both have little incentive to add more teams just to keep up with the numbers in the SEC. If the Big-12 decided to get to, well 12, members Conference USA looks pretty vulnerable and if raided that long promised invite to Temple might be fourth coming.
If, however, there is a move to 16 by the major powers some non AQ conference is going to get destroyed. The fall out will likely ravage Conference USA (Think Memphis, Houston, UCF, and ECU all going 'somewhere'). If conference USA responds by going to 14-16 after that they will pick arart either the Sun-Belt (because of the footprint) or the MAC.
Of course if the NCAA bumps the number of games played every year, even if only by one or two, then 16 team conferences do nothing other than make room for more FCS schools to move up. I don't think the BCS schools really want to jettison the non-aq conferences, elso how would they play all of their OOC games at home? how would the SEC teams pad their schedule so that they can win just two conference games and still go bowling?
The Superconference scenario is the only one which might effect Buffalo fans, and even then we are so far north that I can't imagine CUSA looking at us unless they intend to set up an 7-8 team 'north' division. Since I doubt they have that in mind the big change could be Temple leaving for CUSA (if they could eat the 2 million dollar buy out) and the MAC adding some FCS schools.
so how wrong am I?