Here lies the Big 12 conference. Its downfall is surreal. The word “surreal” is over-used a lot, but it’s the only way I can describe what has happened and what appears could happen.
Iowa State fans are walking around in a daze, and it’s hard to blame them. Based on what’s been reported so far, ISU and Baylor appear to be the only Big 12 teams without a decent backup plan. For the Cyclones and Bears, the only good option is to hold on to the Big 12 for dear life and hope it stays afloat.
If there’s a sliver of a silver lining for Iowa State, it’s that everyone seems to be in store for a quick resolution. An extended period of limbo would kill recruiting. The Texas Board of Regents meets Tuesday, and after that meeting, we should have a pretty good idea which conference The University of Texas wants to belong to.
At this point, what can the Big 12 do to convince Texas to stay? Offer the Longhorns a bigger share of the revenue split? That wouldn’t be fair if we were talking about any school in the Big 12, let alone Texas, which already has one of the biggest athletic budgets in the nation. But giving Texas a one-sided deal to stay in the Big 12 is still better than the alternative for most of the remaining schools.
I understand why Nebraska jumped to the Big Ten. It’s a good fit, and it makes sense on several levels. But I had to chuckle at a few of the reasons offerered by Athletic Director Tom Osborne. Osborne went on at length, stating how many of the Huskers’ outdoor sports were at a competitive disadvantage because of the climate in Nebraska vs. the climate in Texas. Last I checked, Nebraska had pretty solid baseball and softball programs.
Shifting gears, is there a more polarizing sport in the United States than soccer? I find most people either love it or hate it. The cool thing about the World Cup is that it unites soccers’ passionate fans with others who don’t follow the sport at all. Everyone seems to be able to cheer for the red, white, and blue.